In a move that will surely set the news blog replicators afire, Amazon announced that they are allowing Amazon Prime Video viewers download Prime videos to their iOS and Android devices for offline viewing.
This is, quite frankly, an awesome move and a game changer for the cord cutting set. Portable devices are a big part of our lives now and being able to take video with us provides real value. Kudos to Amazon for the change.
Ah, Yes, The Fine Print
Now that all the great applause for Amazon’s bold step forward in streaming video is handled, there’s a few details to discuss. Some fine print, if you will. Only some videos will be available for download because of contracts, agreements, and lawyerly business stuff.
And, wait. What is this? Is this a caution that you can only wander away from the internet for 48 hrs after starting a show before the video becomes unavailable? It could be… Best watch it in a timely way if you plan to wander away from the precious, precious internet for an extended period of time.
Additionally, only 25 videos may be downloaded at a time and downloaded videos need to be watched within 30 days of downloading.
The Test Drive
Finally, to take this downloading trick for a test drive. After grabbing the updated Amazon Instant Video app to my iPad, I fire it up and get treated with the new feature disclaimer.
Amazon provides easy access to indicate which shows you want to download via buttons added to their show selection. For TV shows, they use the cute download icon following each episode.
For movies, the Download button is very clear. That said, I ding Amazon for inconsistent GUI queues. The same icon or button should be used in both cases.
Now the rub comes in finding your downloaded content. That wasn’t so easy. Select your library using the bottom menu clicks. Use the Refine button in the upper-right hand corner to select “On Device” instead of “Cloud.” You’ll now be able to see (and delete) downloaded content.
For the curious, the 1 hr and 14 minute episode of Band Of Brothers took about 1.2 GB to store. This should help drive storage demand on tablets. Video quality shows compression artifacts on the HBO introduction white noise but was otherwise solid and crisp looking.
Well Done Amazon
As I mentioned before, I got to hand it to Amazon for the game changer. I think the app GUI could use some polish, but that does not in any way diminish the added value they’ve just brought to Amazon Prime. Netflix, your move.