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Apple Me

One Downside to Streaming and Subscriptions

The way that we consume media has greatly changed over the last twenty years. At the turn of the century, which seems just like yesterday, we listened to mix-CDs on our Sony Walkman CD players or had MP3s that were either ripped from CDs or obtained via other means. Movies were on DVDs, as Blu-Ray would not come to market until 2006. And there was no streaming media to speak of due to lack of bandwidth, both on the server and consumer sides. Basically, we purchased our media or borrowed it from others.

There were some who had high-speed internet, but this was likely using a desktop that was not equipped with Wi-Fi. One of the most ubiquitous items that everyone has today is a cell phone. Yes, cell phones were available and had just started to become more and more popular, but they were still not as commonplace as today. If you did have a cell phone, you actually used it as a phone and if you were lucky you could possibly have a very basic game or two. Life has changed significantly in a mere twenty years.

Today we have streaming media and subscription services. There seems to be a subscription for just about everything these days. Some of the types of subscriptions available include games, music, movies, apps, and tv shows. The two types of services that most users have a subscription to are for Music and Movies/TV Shows. For music, there are options like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, among others. For Movies and TV Shows, you can subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Hulu, and Disney+, along with other options.

The shift that we have had over the last twenty years means that we have gone from owning our own media to merely being renters. Having a subscription can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, we are able to see shows that we may not have purchased. This results in us being able to consume more media, which creates more demand, which means more content will be created. Being able to subscribe to a service means that you can dip in and out, and you do not need to make a significant commitment to the service. To provide some perspective for the amount of content available, according to Variety, in 2019, Netflix alone had more new shows than the entire television industry did in 2005. And that is just one streaming service, so you can imagine how many new shows were created in 2019.

With having subscriptions, on an intellectual level, we all know that we do not have perpetual access to media, yet is not always something that we fully understand. We have all had a show that we enjoyed on a service disappear because the rights for that program with that service have expired. This is quite common with movies and TV Shows. Whereas it is not as common with music. However, I have experienced, first hand, a song that gets pulled from a service, yet it does happen from time to time.

I am one who subscribes to fewer streaming and subscription services than most. I have Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Apple Music, and This Old House. I used to subscribe to Apple Arcade, but I cancelled it, but that is another story. The service I use the most is Apple Music. This is because I listen to music throughout the work day.

Now I have had songs that have not been playable, because they were singles and the album that contains the single has been released, so access to the single is removed. In these cases, I just re-add the song and continue one. However, I have not had a song just become completely unavailable before. I went to listen to the song “Never Told a Lie” by Noah Smith using Apple Music and I could not. At first I thought, maybe an album has been released with it on it, but that is not the case.

Next, I was thought, I will go and buy the song. I searched the iTunes Store, could not find it. I then searched Amazon Music, could not find it in the U.S. It is not available on Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, or any other streaming service in the U.S. Even the YouTube video has been pulled. When I did some searching it is possible to purchase, just not in the U.S. You can purchase the song in the UK, Germany, Italy, and many other countries.

While I am generally in favor of streaming services, the times when media is no longer be available, can be inconvenient. Suffice to say, if you want to be sure that some media remains available you will need to purchase it. You will likely want to purchase the items before it is too late.

I do this with movies and some TV shows, but not as often with music. Due to not being able to listen to “Never Told a Lie” anymore, I have taken my own advice and purchased a number of songs that I did not own, but had added to my iTunes library from Apple Music. In all, I ended up purchasing 39 songs. Some of these songs were just singles, so I purchased the entire “album”, while others were just songs on albums, so I purchased them individually.

I understand that this is very much a first-world problem, but it is one that you may experience at some point and it is easily avoidable. If you would like to see the list of songs that I purchased, you can do so by browsing the Apple Music playlist.

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Tips Video

Movies Anywhere

One of the possible downsides to having so many different purchasing options is that in oder to get the best deals, you have to stop around. One area where people look for deals is with movies. The biggest problem to today’s movie landscape is that there are two main competitors, when it comes to purchasing content; Amazon and iTunes. The most annoying aspect to this is that if you purchase a movie on Amazon you cannot watch it on iTunes, and vice versa. There was one exception to this, Disney Movies.

If there were one company that you would think would want to charge you every time for every movie on every service, it would be Disney. However, this was not the case. Disney actually allowed all of their movies to be purchased once and watched on iTunes or Google Play. This included all Disney movies, Pixar Movies and Marvel movies. This is a great solution for Disney Movies, but what about non-Disney Movies?

Movies Anywhere

Movies Anywhere takes the Disney Movies Anywhere concept and expands it to more than just Disney. Movies Anywhere will allow you to purchase a movie from iTunes or Google Play and play it anywhere. The movie studios that are involved with Movies Anywhere are:

  • Walt Disney Studios
  • 20th Century Fox
  • Universal Pictures
  • Warner Bros. Entertainment

There is one additional advantage to Movies Anywhere, and it is a big one.

Additional Viewing Locations

Being able to watch your movies on iTunes and Google Play is great. However, it would be very helpful, for many, to be able to use their Amazon Fire TV to watch the movies that they have purchased. With Movies Anywhere, this is possible, not because you can download a Vudu app to the Fire TV, but because Amazon is also part of the Movies Anywhere service. This means that you can watch the movies that you have purchased through Amazon.

Ultraviolet

Ultraviolet is a service that wanted to become the one-stop shop for your movies. However, this did not pan out as they might have hoped. Particularly since Apple was not on board. With Movies Anywhere, Ultraviolet is likely to disappear. If you, like me, never redeemed any of the ultraviolet codes that you received with your purchased DVDs and Blu-Rays, you can now do something with them. If the movie studio that produced the movie is supported by the Movies Anywhere service, you can use that code on the service to redeem the movie.

Downsides

The inclusion of all of these means that you now have a selection of even more movies than before. There are still two companies that are not included, Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate Films. This means that not everything you purchase will be available through everywhere.

Tip for Purchasing Movies

There are two tips that I have for purchasing movies.

First Tip

What the lack of all movie studios being on the Movies Anywhere service means that some movies are not available. What this means you for is that you should continue to purchase movies, that are not on the service, from whichever service you primarily watch movies. If you watch most of your movies on an Amazon Fire, then continue to buy from Amazon. If you use an Apple TV, then continue to use iTunes to purchase your content. I recommend this because if Paramount and Lionsgate do come to Movies Anywhere, these movies will then be available everywhere. I also recommend this because even if the two studios are not added, you can still watch your movies using the application that you enjoy most.

Second Tip

The second tip I have is to always look for deals. You can purchase movies from Vudu, Google Play, Amazon, or iTunes and the movies will appear on all of the services. Therefore, it is a good idea to see where the movie is the least inexpensive and available on Movies Anywhere. You can see which movies are available on Movies Anywhere by doing a search from the homepage.

Final Thoughts

If you like looking for deals and prefer to be able to search any of the participating web stores, but still want to watch your content wherever you want, then Movies Anywhere is a good service to sign up for. The fact that Amazon, Apple and Google Play all participate means that a vast majority of users will be covered. If someone in 2007 said that you could purchase a movie on one platform and watch it on another, they would think that you were insane. However, in 2017, it is the case, and you can do just that with Movies Anywhere. If you have a Disney Movies Anywhere account, I highly recommend moving your collection over to Movies Anywhere, sooner rather than later.

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Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 07/03/2013: Evening Edition

Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

Recalls

General News

International

Politics

Obits

Health

Science/Space

Financial

Gaming

Law

Internet

Mobile

Rumors

Software/Apps

London/Britain/UK

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 40

Look for more stories tomorrow.

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Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 07/03/2013: Morning Edition

Here is this morning’s Daily Run Down.

Social Issues/Human Interest

General News

International

Politics

Science/Space

Financial

Gadgets

Patents

Technology

Internet

Mobile

Rumors

Security

London/Britain/UK

Funny

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT CHARLIE

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 47

Look for more news stories this evening.

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Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 07/02/2013: Evening Edition

Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

Recalls

Social Issues/Human Interest

General News

International

Politics

Obits

Health

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Gaming

Gadgets

Reviews

Law

Technology

Internet

Mobile

Software/Apps

Security

London/Britain/UK

Personal

Odd

Funny

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT CHARLIE

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 82

Look for more stories tomorrow.