I must have been a glutton for punishment last night.
Yesterday, Ann picked up the 15th anniversary, limited-edition, super-special digitally enhanced version of Tim Burton’s emo classic The Nightmare Before Christmas. (Note: I’m not emo; I just dig the movie.)
At any rate, the movie comes packed with three discs: the movie, the bonus content, and a disc with Disney’s latest innovation called Disney File Digital Copy which allows you to rip the movie to your PC for transfer to your iPod or viewing on your computer.
If you intend to view it on your iPod, the process is a snap. Simply insert the DVD into your drive, wait for it to read, then enter some information. Once completed, you choose which format you desire: iTunes of Windows Media Video. Because I have no use for WMV format I wisely chose iTunes.
Within a minute, iTunes opened and the disc was recognized. From there all you need to do it enter the validation code, rip it to your iTunes library and transfer it to your iPod. The process worked flawlessly and I watched some of it on the train ride to work.
Then, for some reason, I thought I’d try to copy it in WMV format. What a dumbass I am.
I started the process over and chose WMV format. I was then greeted by so many damned messages it was unfunny.
First it told me I had to update my Windows Media Player so I did, only to find out that my version of Vista is running the latest version of Windows Media Player. I did this multiple times and each was a waste.
From there I thought I’d be smart and explore the DVD contents in order to find the WMV files. I found them and clicked on them and they didn’t play. WMP told me I had to download some Security Update in order to play DRM material. I also copied the WMV files to my hard drive. So I downloaded the updated and…still nothing.
I then figured that I’d come this far and maybe some troubleshooting info would help. This is when I threw my hands in the air and began to curse Bill Gates and Company. To see what I mean, visit the Disney File Web site and click on Help & FAQ at the top. From there, scroll down to the last two questions and just sit with your mouth agape at the answers.
Holy Catshit, Batman! WTF?! While by no means a nerd, I consider myself a bit tech-savvy: I’ve installed DVD burners, authored DVDs at home, done all sorts of neat stuff with the computer. But Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, there was no way in Hell I was going to even bother tackling this.
Just imagine how somebody a bit less tech-savvy will feel.
In a world where copying DVDs to iPods has become so buggy and painful, I have to salute Disney for creating such an innovative product and Apple for making the process easy. Bravo to both, and I hope that this is only the tip of the iceberg for Disney File. Let’s hope other studios catch on.