Shop Talk: The Cloud Part 4
By David Mumpower
August 8, 2012
In today’s installment of The Cloud, I will operate under the assumption that you are at least somewhat curious about populating your video library. The discussion becomes the service that delivers the best movie catalog right now. This is Ultraviolet, a studio-driven cloud film catalog. I have been using Ultraviolet since its inception. During these nine months, I have developed a keen understanding of what works about Ultraviolet as well as what needs improvement. Today’s conversation will focus upon these issues.
I am confident you are aware of the Ultraviolet service, at least somewhat. If you have read a detailed account of Ultraviolet from various technology sites, I also believe you probably have a misconception about the quality of the service. Despite the fact that the studios have their fingerprints all over Ultraviolet, I quite like this system. This is not the herd mentality on the subject, but this speaks to the negative nature of online media coverage rather than the quality of Ultraviolet itself.
Why do I advocate Ultraviolet? As a stated packrat as well as the founder of a movie web site, I have two key reasons for wanting a vast film collection at my fingertips. I will not attempt to sell you further on the advantages of the cloud. If you are not intrigued by now, I doubt you have read this far anyway. Instead, I will entail the reasons why Ultraviolet is a net positive for me. I will also identify a couple of key sticking points of the service that need improvement.
The Ultraviolet home page describes their version of the cloud as follows: “UltraViolet is an all-new way to collect, access and enjoy your movies and TV shows in the cloud – brought to you by a growing list of companies building UltraViolet into their online stores, video apps and devices.” You have to love corporate copy. Lots of words somehow say little. Here is your takeaway from Ultraviolet. You buy a digital copy of a movie, you own the title forever.
The implementation can be aggravating, yet the end result is quite satisfying. Ultraviolet requires the user to create an account at UVVU.com. There is a needless added level of complexity wherein the user must also create an account somewhere else rather than using the Ultraviolet account. The two user IDs work in tandem rather than exist in isolation. The locations where you are most likely to need an account are Flixster and Vudu. I will explain the why of this in a bit. What is undeniable is that demanding multiple accounts for service is awkward and annoying.
Once you have your Ultraviolet account created, you do not need to do anything else immediately. Instead, you can focus on what having said account means. Go to the Ultraviolet site and log in (first creating an account if you have not already done so). Ignore the “Our Collection” tab for now and instead focus upon “Our Account.” This is a key selling point of the service. Note that there are six different eligible members for each Ultraviolet account.