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by Mike Zazaian September 7, 2006 - 9:14pm, 2 Comments

Amazon Unbox Goes Live

Amazon’s new digitial video download service is up and running, and the prices are friendlier than expected.

The world’s largest online book, video, and everything store is now in the digital video download business, and they’re doing it in style. Unbox, the name of the new service, allows users to download both DVD-Quality video for playing on a full-sized TV, or a smaller Windows Media video file for playing on the integrated Unbox video player, or on a personal video player.

Whereas prices were originally speculated to begin at $15 for video downloads, and $4 for video rentals, Amazon came out with prices all over the map. Anywhere from $3.99 to no-name titles such as Beneath the Blue Reef or The Admiral Was a Lady, all the way up to the peculiarly disproportionate price of $35.99 for Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. Video rentals range from a modest $1.99 to $2.99 per rental, and TV episodes are available for purchase at an iTunes-equalling $1.99.

However, there are some serious limitations to the Unbox program. All downloads are currently Windows-only, no Mac users, no Linux users. If you ask me that’s a pretty insulting kick-in-the pants to a market that while not sprawling, still exists. Also, downloads will not be available to be burned to DVD, that is, not with any help from Amazon. Some users have also been complaining about problems with downloads today, but these are likely first-day glitches or bandwidth issues.

[via Techcrunch]