A Short Thought – UltraViolet Really Sucks

I’m not going to belabor this at all – but UltraViolet, Sony’s movies in a cloud thing..? Yeah, so not a fan…

I am a computing fan. I am a Windows OS expert. I’ve been a part of nearly every Windows and Office Technical Beta Team (the ones picked by MS to privately test for them), ever. I’m currently using a Mac, and while OS X is now my default OS of choice, I still use Parallels for Windows to run Office 2010, because, well, it is a native Windows app, and the integration between the apps is so much better on Windows than on the Mac.

Please don’t say the words Outlook 2011 for Mac. It’s the biggest train wreck to come out of Redmond since Windows ME and Windows Vista. Its so bad, I couldn’t even finish a review of it. It was too negative.

Why preamble all of this? Simple. As a Mac, I’ve embraced their ecosystem and have an iPad 1 and an iPhone 4S as well as a 15″ Early 2011 MBP. iTunes is my music manager of choice, obviously and really, has been for quite some time. Its just provides the best well rounded experience on the desktop and on the go, even though its bloated as all get out, and could probably do with a serious code rewrite; but I digress…

Because I’m a Mac and use iTunes, when I purchase DVD’s or Blu-Ray discs at point of sale, I try to buy titles that include an iTunes digital copy. It saves me from having to buy the movie twice (the physical copy for the set top box and a digital copy for my iPad, Mac and Apple TV). This is a problem with certain films, as I’ve got a huge iTunes audio and video library dating back to before 2004.

I could pontificate a ton more; but let’s cut to the chase – UltraViolet exists because Sony didn’t like the deal that Apple was willing to cut them. They wanted a better deal, Apple wasn’t willing to cut into their margins and neither was Sony. So, Sony created a completely different, competing download system that uses Flixter (available in Google Play as well as the iOS App Store) as a content player on both Android and iOS devices.

The problem comes when you’ve got an already existing library in iTunes. Without jumping through some serious hoops, you won’t get the content on your iPad, iPod, iPhone or even in iTunes for that matter. Flixter wil eventually give in and get you an iTunes compatible copy; but it sucks that you have to go through the grief.

So, because Sony and Apple can’t work and play well together, I’ve got to either limp my way through managing 2 different content libraries, or I’ve got to beg Flixter and Sony to give me an iTunes compatible copy…and there’s no guarantee they will.

The only thing this is really going to do is push me to rip video from DVD’s I own, avoid those that don’t offer an iTunes compatible digital copy, or just forego buying a physical copy all together and just stick with the copy that I can get to play on my Apple TV, my Mac or my iPad.

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