Monthly Archives: July 2006

No More UMD Movies?

No more UMD movies?

All right so I knew that some studios had stopped…or were going to stop releasing films in the UMD format…and that there were some Target stores that were taking UMD movies off their shelves and sending them back to Sony–somewhere along those lines but I couldn’t verify that.

Sony discontinuing the UMD movie format and relying solely on a Memory Stick for ‘movie portability’…?

Okay so I did see some advertising for such a thing–wherein one would buy a DVD and then a code was provided wherein one could rip/download the DVD to the memory stick.

Yet the question is brought up–“Why would consumers pay for an additional copy of their favorite movies in a UMD format if they already own the DVD to rip and transfer to their PSPs?”

The answer: People don’t want to be dealing with renaming of files, bit rates, long encoding times–sometimes in excess of 2 hours, decrypting of DVDs, VOB files, Video_TS Files, un-fluid video, lapse of audio in sync with video, crummy video quality, etc.

My Brother and I both have a PSP–both have a 512MB Memory Stick, which has about a 483MB Formatted Capacity.

I have a 1.5 GHzPowerbook w/ Mac OS X Tiger and 512MB of RAM and (un)fortunate to also have a PC w/ an AMD Athlon Processor and 512MB of RAM.

On the Windows Machine it takes my Brother depending on which program he uses–anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, give or take with something like an 10 to 18 minutes to decrypt a DVD–again the decrypting of the DVD is dependent upon the program. Be it DVD X Copy or PSP Video 9 w/ DVD Decrypter or another decryption program depending on the DVD.

On the Mac it takes me anywhere from 3 to 4 hours again give or take with something like a 18 to 20 minute to decrypt a DVD with Mac the Ripper if I use iPSP. If I use Instant Handbrake I don’t need to decrypt a DVD but again the encoding can take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours give or take on either program. Instant Handbrake is freeware yet iPSP is not and cost like $25 to register. If not you can only convert like 10 minutes of anything–be it a file or a DVD.

Also both on the Windows and Mac 1 in 10 DVDs will be rendered with either a lapse in audio, a problem with fluidness, a crummy picture, no audio at all, or on a rare occasion audio in a different language in spite of having configured it to be in English or all of these.

It is extremely frustrating to have waited anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to be met with such results.

With a UMD movie you just go to the store an buy it. At times it’ll be around the same price of a DVD or just a slight bit more but still in the range of other DVDs.

Now, Memory Sticks–someone tell me the price of a Memory stick–the price tag is on average $30 to 40 bucks for like 512MB, $80 to 100 for 1GB, $120 to 140 for 2GB.

They’re going to be selling movies on Memory Sticks?

The physical size of a Memory Stick for the PSP is about the size of quarter yet much thinner. I can’t imagine carrying around a bunch of these Memory Sticks with movies on it. They’d more than likely have a high rate of getting lost.

But going back to: buying a DVD and then having a code provided wherein one could rip/download the DVD to the memory stick which I said in the beginning. It would still take some time if it involved a computer–and most likely with no Mac version if there is an in between. So if they’re going to do this–the memory stick should come preloaded with the movie.

Yet again one has to remember–how much does a Memory Stick cost? This would no doubt raise the price of the DVD drastically to accommodate the cost of manufacturing of the Memory Stick.

So as far as Sony discontinuing the UMD movie format and relying solely on a Memory Stick for ‘movie portability’…it’s a very bad idea as far as cost and making a profit. If Sony is discontinuing the UMD format due to sales suffering they’re only going to suffer even more on the Memory Stick. That is unless they lower the price of Memory sticks. This is the only way that this is possible.