Amazon Unbox Beta

Finally, A pay per download service that doesn't require a proprietary player. The new Amazon Unbox service, which is still in beta, allows you to watch pay-per-download movies directly in your browser. The only requirement is Adobe Flash 9 and a fast internet connection. This means that Linux users now have a legal alternative to downloading torrents.

I joined the beta as soon as I heard about it, and am really impressed thus far. The video selection is better than NetFlix streaming service. Currently there are over 6,378 movies (which include new releases) and 217 TV shows. Playback was a little choppy on my Ubuntu Gutsy desktop, but it is only a p4. My T60 laptop (core2 duo) running Hardy had no problems. I inquired about the choppyness on my desktop and Amazon wrote back stating they had seen similar results on Ubuntu. I will be upgrading my desktop to a realtime priority threads kernel soon. Hopefully that will make a difference.

I am so glad to see someone finally come out with a browser/flash solution and even more happy that it is Amazon.

Screenshot of the player in action (click for larger image)

Screenshot of the video rental page (click for larger image)