Pandora's (Un)box 11 Sep 2006
Yesterday, we reported CNET and Business Week's reactions to Amazon's hotly-anticipated Unbox video download service. Today, ars technica posted a similarly scathing summary of the service. Here are a few choice quotes...
"Unbox's flaws begin and end at the Amazon Unbox Player, which would be described among highly technical types as FUBAR...The interface is abysmal. Looking for a 'File menu' with an Exit option? Nope. A Tools menu with an option to 'connect' to the store or change settings? Nope. Settings can be modified under the Help menu, which is precisely where you won't find it on other Windows applications. The application does not follow many of the typical UI design principles shared by most Windows applications."
"Connectivity to the store is a constant problem. I got disconnected for no apparent reason, and reconnecting is quite unintuitive. There is no "connect" function in the player's menus nor anywhere else in the user interface...[you] have to wait for one of the client's many 'calls home' for it to offer you the chance to sign in again."
"On another system, the downloads never worked. I bought and paid for two items, hoping to time the downloads. I never successfully downloaded either of these items! Connect, error. Connect... another error. Connecting, and the movies are now queuing for download. Error. Connecting... here we go, oh wait, what... uh... 'unable to download!' Now, you might think that there would be some more informative text with that error. There's not. Not only that, but if I check Amazon's site to see the status of my purchases, I'm told 'You have downloaded this video to all of your available clients.' That's not true, as I've not successfully downloaded these videos once."
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