|Posted on May 20, 2014 at 1:10 PM|
Saying that “a great part of owning movies and TV shows is sharing your collection,” this past week Vudu announced a new service titled “Share My Movies.” By enabling sharing and adding the email addresses of up to five friends, users will now be able to digitally share their collections of UltraViolet movies and TV shows for free. What’s more, the shared content can be streamed up to three times simultaneously, meaning you can finally have that remote Hobbit viewing party to really get in some deep conversation to hash out as to exactly why Tom Bombadil couldn’t make a 9 hour cut of the film.
When I heard Vudu’s news, I chuckled to myself. Not because it isn’t a cool idea, but because it reminded me of a conversation I had with Kaleidescape’s founder and then CEO, Michael Malcolm, a few years ago.
When it comes to collecting movies and TV shows, who is more rabid than a Kaleidescape owner? The average system owner has 380 films in their collection, and tends to add 50 movies a year; far more than the typical movie buff. I postulated to Malcolm about the possibility of a Kaleidescape owner loaning content to another owner. Beyond being cool, I thought this would be a terrific way to help develop a community amongst owners who love and enjoy movies and would probably be thrilled with the opportunity to share their collections and explore beloved gems from someone else.
This seemed like a natural extension of a feature that Kaleidescape already allows, giving owners the ability to share bookmarked favorite scenes and scripts (a script is a series of multiple actions, say, show cover art, play a scene, show another cover art, play another scene, etc.) with other owners. (Sharing scenes and scripts requires that both owners already own the movies.)
My reasoning with Malcolm was that I can loan a physical copy of a disc to any of my friends at any time, what if I could digitally loan a copy of that disc to another Kaleidescape owner? Maybe it’s a classic Twilight Zone episode, or an obscure foreign title like Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, or a concert, or just the latest blockbuster that someone was on the fence about purchasing. Or maybe it’s just one of those classics in your collection that you love and want to share with another.
The technology is totally in place for Kaleidescape to handle this since it is just a matter of shuttling data from one server up to the cloud and then back down to another server, something they’ve proven they can reliably and securely do with their download store. And just like loaning a physical disc, the disc could even be unavailable for local viewing when it is out on loan. The benefits of this kind of loan, of course, are that you don’t have to worry about the disc being lost or damaged or otherwise Bogarted by your “friend” or that you’ll have to worry about that awkward moment when you’ve got to be all, “Yo. Bro. Dude. Give me my frickin’ Indiana Jones trilogy back already!”