I've been giving a lot of thought recently to cloud services and their use for the consumer, particularly to deliver media experiences. There's a significant disconnect in the way we're using different kinds of service, particular when music or books is compared to video.
Music has been incredibly easy to manage. I have a clear option for purchasing music, MP3, which works on any device that I want. I then have options for streaming it as well, such as Pandora, Spotify, and streaming for options when I want to stream music. I can convert any music I have into MP3 too, meaning that I have a standard format to move music to. The streaming services seem to work on just about any device I have too.
Books have proven pretty easy as well, particularly embracing Amazon. Kindle, iPad, iPhone, they all seem to work -- Amazon has positioned itself well as a platform for this media. Regardless of device, I've got a way to put Kindle content on it.
Video has proven to be much more difficult.
I divide video into two categories -- owned versus streamed.
Let's start with the devices I have. Because broadcast TV will always be part of the mix, i have TiVo boxes all throughout my house. TiVo recorded content moves nicely between TiVo devices, but is a pain to move anywhere else. I have a single Apple TV in my main system, and I have a Roku too. I also now have Xbox 360 devices on all the TVs in the house too.
Like music, there is something to "owning" video, certain movies, that I like to have. Ideally, I want to find a system or format that displays on everything. I have a pile of DVDs -- I'm not against converting them to some standard format too. Of course, this isn't the way to handle HD content, which I want to get in some HD enabled format I can watch on TVs and portable devices. However, what format plays on everything? And how?
For streamed, I don't want to "rent" content. Frankly, I don't want to think about having to pay a dollar or two every time I watch a show, but instead want to just pay for a service, and have content available when I want it.
I've always embraced TiVo devices for my TV use. However, Amazon's streaming content and Apple content don't work here.
Hulu isn't bad, but it's TV only. Doesn't help on the movie front.
Having a mismatch of services doesn't really help.
Anyone got an idea here?