Review – Streaming: Movies, Media and Instant Access

Streaming: Movies, Media and Instant Access, Wheeler Winston Dixon, 2013, ISBN 9780813142197

Like it or not, the streaming of movies and music is becoming an increasingly large portion of all internet traffic. This book gives the details.

Why shouldn’t a person be able to pay a few dollars to stream a movie at home, when going to the theater or buying the DVD costs a lot more? At the theater, does the projectionist load a film canister on a 35mm projector and turn it on? Increasingly, the answer is no. The majority of theaters have gone to all-digital systems. The movie is downloaded from the distributor, along with an electronic code. That code can be good for just one showing, on one specific day. If the right code is not available, or if it does not work properly, then there is no showing.

Fewer and fewer movies are being shot on actual film, because fewer and fewer theaters have film projectors. Unless there is an art house cinema nearby, any watching of older, or less well known, films, on actual film, is pretty much impossible. When is the last time that an older or obscure film was available at the local multi-theater megaplex? If whoever has a film copy of that older, obscure film, does not think it is lucrative enough to put it on DVD, there is little that can be done about it. Soon, the only way to watch films of any kind, will be through on-line streaming. Depending on your point of view, this is either that natural progression of technology, or it’s the end of the world.

What Netflix is doing to the movie business, Apple is doing to the music business, and Amazon is doing to book publishing. Amazon is now selling more Kindle copies of books than paper copies. Facebook is little more than a way to suck up people’s personal information, and sell it to advertisers (Google Glass, plus new facial recognition technology, will make that much easier). Facebook has created over 80 million fake accounts. The hope is that the author, for instance, will see their account already set up, and decide to use it. For that reason, the author says that he will never post on Facebook.

This is a very interesting book. For some, it may be common knowledge, but I learned a lot from it. It’s non-technical, and very easy to read. It’s also very much worth checking out.

Breaking Into the Music Industry Means Breaking Into the Money Stream First

As a young man, I lived in and around the suburbs of Los Angeles while I was building my business. Even though I wasn’t in the entertainment industry, many of my customers were, and therefore much of that free-flowing money trickled down into my little company as well. In many regards a very large number of businesses are supported or connected in some way, even if they are ancillary services to the movie and entertainment business in Southern California. It is huge.

In fact I have a relative who helps small musicians and bands get started before they are big enough to sign a record label. It’s quite competitive in the LA area, not only do you have to be good, but you need to be connected as well. If you aren’t connected you need to find a way to get connected, and the only way to do that is to prove your talents. Okay so let’s talk about this for a moment shall we because there is more than one way to break into the music industry, and to get a steady stream of income flowing in your direction.

There was an interesting article in the Los Angeles Times on March 19, 2013 titled; “Striking a Chord with Ad Agencies – More commercials are featuring original compositions, helping boost the fortunes of LA musicians who can write catchy jingles,” by Colin Stutz. Now then, this article might shock people, but it shouldn’t especially the way the royalty payments are often structured. You might write a jingle for an advertising agency and they pay you a one-time fee and you sign away your rights, or if you are wise you might make a deal to collect the royalties every time the commercial plays.

Many of the very well-known actors and actresses in Hollywood actually have made more money doing television commercials than they have doing TV series, or movies. Only the very top actors and actresses command the super-high multimillion dollar deals for being in a movie. The same is true for the music industry, and one way to get started is to write jingles and commercials, and most people know that.

Even if you have a song, but you can’t sign with the record label, someone might like that tune, or use a piece of it in a quick 30-second television commercial, radio commercial, or perhaps even a piece of it in a soundtrack. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and break into the music industry. Mostly starving musicians need to find a way to break into the money stream first. Writing jingles and commercials is one way to do that. Please consider all this and think on it.

Ways to Watch a Movie

MOVIES AT HOME: Renting

We all know the economy sucks. Everybody is cutting down on extra purchases and things they don’t necessarily need. Movies are an easily dispensable purchase. If money is tight, then of course it’s logical to cut down on a few movie outings. Well below are a few ways to watch films in a more wallet friendly way.

Redbox

Pros:

* Open 24/7
* Only cost a dollar
* Can return rented DVD to any redbox

Cons:

* Fines if forget to return DVD
* Can’t pay with cash

These are giant red boxes with a touch screen on the front. They are usually located at Super-marts such as Wal-Mart and pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens. You must to have a credit card to rent the movie. Otherwise everyone would just put a dollar bill and not return the DVD. If you forget to return it then you will be charged are fine on your credit card. I had a friend that forgot they rented a movie from Redbox and left in their car for about a month. Only remembering that they had rented a movie after they saw all the fines on their credit statements. Needless to say they got charged pretty penny for the fees/fines. So if you do go with this convenient choice for renting a movie, just make sure you read Redboxs’ policies and terms and return the DVD with 24 hours of renting it. To find a Redbox location near you check out the official Redbox website.

Library

Pros:

* Completely FREE
* What’s better than free

Cons:

* Not newest movies
* Library hours

I think people forget that you can rent movies, CDs, books for free at libraries. If you don’t belong to a library find one through Publiclibraries.com. It lists all the public libraries in the United States. Find you state, then your city; it will list all the public libraries in your city; their addresses, phone numbers, and a link to their website if they have one. Most of the time all you have to do to set up an account at a library is show them a valid address. My local library has an amazing collection of DVDs. They have rated Rs, documentaries, TV show seasons, and even some DVDs that I couldn’t find in a movie store. You can usually rent up to two weeks, that’s a whole lot better than the one-nighters from most movie renting stores. The only thing missing from a library are the late working hours. Most libraries close at 5 to 7pm on the weekdays. If you have a job then it can be a challenge to reach the library at its visiting hours, but hey who ever free didn’t come with a price.

Netflix

Pros:

* Watch movies online anytime
* Rented movies sent in mail
* Low cost

Cons:

* Only certain movies available online
* Availability changes

Netflix is a very convenient way to rent movies. You can rent movies and have them sent your address, and you just send them back when you are done. You can also sign up for Netflix online. If you get an account online you can access it anytime and stream movies instantly to your computer or TV. The only issue with the instant streaming is that some of their movies are not available to watch to stream with your computer/TV. They have a only certain amount of movies that you can watch instantly. They also rotate the movies that are available instantly. This is a good and a bad thing, for example if you want to watch a movie that you didn’t get to finish previously it might not be available anymore, but on the other hand there will always be a nice mix up and new movies available to you. I have a Netflix account and let me tell you that is an outstanding collection of movies. It is definitely worth the $8.99 a month.