Beyond the Office [Great Sites: Movie and Music Collections - 05/10/2005]

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Ablang, May 13, 2005.

  1. Ablang

    Ablang Guest

    May 10th, 2005

    Great Sites: Movie and Music Collections

    by Sean Captain, PC World contributor

    Preview movies online: If you're looking for DVDs to rent or buy,
    start with Ifilm:

    You can search for a movie and pull up, at a minimum, a synopsis and
    credits. Most entries also include video trailers and often special
    features such as interviews with the actors and directors. In
    addition, Ifilm has a staggering collection of small-screen videos for
    your computer, with brilliant short films, music videos, game
    previews, sports, and TV clips in the Windows Media Video, QuickTime,
    and Real Video formats. (Caution to parents: The site's Uncensored tab
    leads to explicit videos.)

    Get the most music options: A cross between a radio station and record
    store, Rhapsody provides nearly 100 streaming music stations with
    various themes such as sixties pop, alt country, baroque, new wave,
    and underground hip-hop:

    Users can create their own stations, or stream most of a performer's
    songs or CDs on demand. They can also download songs, either as
    RealAudio 10 files for 89 cents a tune (99 cents for nonsubscribers)
    or as free "tethered" Windows Media Audio downloads that play as long
    as the user's membership is current (similar to offerings from
    services such as Napster to Go). Unlike other stores, Rhapsody offers
    some file format leeway: Its software converts Real Audio 10 songs to
    copy-protected WMA or Apple's FairPlay format. Rhapsody is also
    supported by a number of network streaming devices--such as the D-Link
    MediaLounge, Omnifi DMS1, or Roku Soundbridge--which pipe Internet
    radio to your stereo system, provided one PC on your network is
    running Rhapsody's software. Fees are $5 a month for basic radio
    service; $10 if you want to stream music and download tethered songs
    to your PC; or $15 to transfer tethered songs to a portable player.

    For the latest on Rhapsody, read "First Look: New Rhapsody Hits a Sour

    Explore indie music--for cheap: Music download services are now
    abundant, providing similar collections, prices, and restrictions. But
    EMusic offers a different, and thrifty, model for music fans:

    The basic $10 subscription allows up to 40 copy protection-free
    downloads per month in MP3 format, which plays on nearly any device.
    If you later regret taking a download, you'll be out only a quarter.
    You won't find many Top 40 hits on EMusic, but you will discover an
    impressive collection of lesser-known acts and exclusive live albums,
    such as "Taj Mahal Live at Fox Theatre."

    For more about the service, read "Welcome Back, EMusic":

    Download DVDs? If only we had a similar glut of sites selling movie
    downloads. The few currently in operation, such as MovieLink and
    CinemaNow, have small collections that play only on PCs or handhelds
    that support Windows Media 10 and Microsoft's digital rights
    management technology. Around the time you read this, however, EZTakes
    plans to let you download the real deal--MPEG2-encoded movies complete
    with menus, subtitles, and surround sound--to burn to disc and watch
    on TV using any standard DVD player:

    EZTakes expects to have a few thousand movies available by the end of
    the year, at prices lower than those of store-bought DVDs. But don't
    expect Hollywood blockbusters: As of press time no major studio had
    signed on.

    For more fun on the Web, read "Great Gear Sites," our roundup of the
    best spots to find digital entertainment goodies:

    Also check out our Digital Entertainment Info Center, which is
    jam-packed with reviews, news, and buying guides for all the latest

    "Until last October, Christ had a very limited involvement in my life. I believed in God; I just never had to prove I believed. Belief is an absence of proof."
    -- Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling
    Ablang, May 13, 2005
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