Remember how CDs were so much better than audio cassettes? The sound quality was better and the discs were more durable. But I think my favorite feature of the CD was the ability to jump to any song instantly. No more fast forwarding and rewinding.
Shouldn’t the move from VHS cassettes to DVDs have been just as good? It could have been, but the power-hungry media companies had to ruin it for us.
Giving the media companies control over when and where I can skip around the DVD was a horrible idea. You can hardly ever begin at the starting menu. There’s the copyright screens, title screens, previews, ads, etc. Some of the movies we’ve rented have previews before the movie and they think they’re doing us a favor by telling us we can “fast forward” through them. You can’t hit the Next Chapter or the Menu buttons, you actually have to hold down the fast forward button to get through them. Gee, thanks. Now it only takes 2 minutes just to get to the menu…much better!
At the very least, maybe these DVD limitation overlords could throw us a bone and implement “DVD cookies.” Similar to web cookies, each DVD could store a cookie on the player which will let the DVD know that yes, I’ve seen the FBI warning/previews/etc. before and don’t need to see them again. Maybe that way I wouldn’t have to hit the Next Chapter button 6 times every time I put in a DVD for my son.
I know some of the DVD players are hackable and I was intending on trying that until my cheap Apex player died 5 months after I got it. The cost to ship it and repair it under warranty was more than it cost to buy a new one. Now I’m just playing the movies on our PS2…not the greatest DVD interface but at least it’s lasted more than a year.
Hey media companies…how about giving us control over our own property? Until then, I’ll spend my money elsewhere.