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November 13, 2005


Robert Black

Point 1: "Watch as many times as you choose, share between five computers, burn to data CDs or sync to the new iPod." The only catch is that those 5 computers must be 'authorised' to your account via iTunes.

Point 2: Even though the QuickTime Player's translucent panel of video controls doesn't appear in videos played full-screen directly in iTunes, you can use the standard Mac keyboard shortcuts for video: space=pause/continue, up/down arrows control volume, left/right arrows jump to start and end.

Point 3: Try opening the TV shows in QuickTime player - right-click on the video in iTunes, and select 'Show Song File', which will bring up the file in the Finder. Drag the file onto QuickTime Player to launch. (I haven't purchased any TV shows myself, so consider this an experiment, but I'm pretty sure Apple's FairPlay DRM works transparently across QTP and iTunes)


You also have to consider them for what they are - another choice. It's not perfect for every scenario but then DVD's are a compromise in many ways also.

For $1.99 you get to view a LEGAL version of the show you missed that you can delivered straight to your desktop in less than 30 minutes. It has restrictions in both quality and format.

You can wait until seasons end to rent or buy the season DVD's. They will also cost you at least $14.99 (presuming you are willing to watch 2 at a time via Netflix) and get them all viewed in a month or pay around $40 for the set to own. There is also DRM on the DVD and they are also a compressed format and not HD. You also must view them in a Region 1 area (North America).

I'm certainly not saying the ipod video store & format are without some flaws but you know upfront what your tradeoffs are as there is with EVERY format. Even with a DVD, it's compressed and we don't really know if the DVD disc itself will last many years - they say 100 but who really knows. Plus, it's not HD (yet). And it's not really all that portable and suspectible to damage.

As the Robert pointed out, while it has restrictions, a little tweaking on your part opens up a lot more possibliities.

(Yes, QT Pro gives you the full screen option).

John Robb

Thanks for the feedback.

Robert: OK. The TV shows can't be burned (the option is turned off). I also can't seem to share the shows between authorized computers. The expected behavior from my experience with the music isn't usable. I can't right click, I use a powerbook.

jbelkin: Hey, I know it is a first shot. This is my feedback on the system as is. This also isn't a review of Netflix.

Robert Black

John, on Macs with a one button mouse or trackpad, Control-clicking is synonymous with right-clicking. A control-click is clicking the main button whilst holding down the Control key on the keyboard. That will bring up the menu described.

But in any case - if you're likely to do more than a hour's work with your PowerBook at a desk in a given day, run, don't walk, and buy yourself a 2 (or 4) button mouse.

And seeing as I'm throwing around advice like it's been asked for, a second 19inch or greater monitor is a huge productivity booster when you can use it in tandem with the PowerBook's own screen (aka Desktop Spanning)

ps. Just say if I'm wasting your time - it'll save me time to know.

John Robb

The extra monitor sounds cool and thanks for the advice on the right click proxy. Unfortunately, I actually use my laptop on my lap (while I sit in a recliner). I probably should get a desk.

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