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Movies In The Cloud

The news yesterday that Amazon.com is launching a new streaming video service is sure to get a big thumbs up from tech-savvy film buffs.
The news yesterday that Amazon.com is launching a new streaming video service is sure to get a big thumbs up from tech-savvy film buffs.Amazon's original video store, Amazon Unbox, is similar to Apple's iTunes where you shop online and then download the files to your computer in order to watch them in Amazon's proprietary media player. As of Thursday, Amazon Video on Demand will be accessible to a limited number of invited Amazon.com customers before it opens more broadly to other users later this summer.

"We can support both streaming and downloading," Bill Carr, Amazon's VP for digital media told the New York Times. "Our goal is to continue to establish partnerships with all companies who have a connected device." The Video on Demand service Carr describes will let users buy one of the 40,000 TV shows or movies in the company's virtual video library without actually downloading the video file to their PC's hard drive.

This content also should be available to Amazon Web Services (AWS), the collection of Internet utility services such as storage (S3) and virtualization (EC2) that Amazon launched in 2002. Thousands of independent sites currently incorporate Amazon's product data and programming tools using Ruby on Rails and other popular open source Web services toolsets via the AWS API. One example of an innovative media-related Web site that uses Amazon Web Services is TuneCore, which lets indie musicians upload and deliver their music for a flat fee to iTunes, Amazon MP3, and a dozen other digital retailers. (You pay a small yearly maintenance fee, which can include an online merchandise store to sell CDs, T-shirts, and voila! You're ready to put your college garage band back together again.) If movie content becomes available to techies via AWS, then it's only a matter of time before indie movie makers set up their directors' chairs next to all those indie musicians.

Editor's Choice
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Astrid Gobardhan, Data Privacy Officer, VFS Global
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing