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Google Video Store Now Open

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About 72 hours or so after it was first announced the Google Video Store is now live on the Google Video site. To accomodate the launch, the Google Video home page has also been tweaked.

It's now divided up into three categories.
+ Google Video Store
Also browsable at: http://video.google.com/videostore
+ Popular Video
+ Random Picks

Material from the Google Video Store can also be browsed by genre or show name. At the moment, three main categories are listed:
+ NBA Basketball Games
+ Movies
+ Music Videos

as well as the titles to purchase and download episodes of the following programs:

+ Brady Bunch
+ Charlie Rose
Talk about from one extreme to the other. (-:
+ CSI
+ Ed Sullivan Show
+ Have Gun Will Travel
+ I Love Lucy
+ MacGyver
+ NCIS
+ Star Trek Deep Space Nine
+ Star Trek Voyager
+ Survivor Guatemala
+ Twilight Zone
You can also browse these CBS programs here.

A quick look at some of the CBS programs available shows that 15 episodes of I Love Lucy are currently available to purchase for $1.99. Three episodes of Star Trek Voyager ($1.99) and 5 episodes of The Twilight Zone (1.99).

Btw, you can view a 30 second clip (no Google Video Player required) before making a decision if you want to purchase or rent the material. After you make your first purchase, you'll be prompted to download the video player (if required) if it's not already on your system. Remember, material that's not copy-protected can be viewed on any media player that can handle .avi files. They can also be downloaded to your iPod or PSP.

A new section Google Video FAQ offer info and assistance in downloading material and explanations of a buying a "Day Pass" for a video (24 hour viewing period) and purchasing a video. You can also read about how to tell if if a video is copy-protected?

Also, a simple Google Video search results pages now allows you to not only view your results in a grid or list, but also quickly limit your results to free video or video for sale by just clicking. You can also click to sort by the length of the material (Long - Medium - Short). Results can be also be sorted by relevance, date uploaded, and title.

As Danny pointed out the other day, at the moment Google Video content for purchase or rental is only available to those with credit cards with a US address. The Google Video Player is only available for Windows 2000 and Windows XP machines. Mac and Linux versions are in the works. After downloading the Google Video Player I was prompted with a box (here's a screen cap) that was pre-checked or pre-ticked to change the default search provider on IE to Google. Is this something new that Google is doing when downloading software?

Finally, to learn more about the new store, take a look at Marketwatch.com video interview or read a pseudo transcript of an interview with Jennifer Feikin, the director of Google Video that I posted earlier today.

Want to discuss? Check out the thread: Google Opens Video Store, in the SEW Forums.

Postscript 1: A bit confused. In our chat with Google's Peter Chane last week, we were told that Charlie Rose interviews would not be copy-protected and could be viewed on a myriad of devices. I just purchased and downloaded a Charlie Rose interview and was told that it DOES require the Google Video Player. Here's a screen cap of the page that appeared after I paid to download the program. Google's Jennifer Feikin also uses Charlie Rose as an example of material that would not be copy-protected in the interview she gave to Marketwatch.com.

Update: Well, I went and downloaded the file again and now get several download options (screen cap). In fact, the show can be downloaded to an iPod or PSP as an MP4 format file. Even more confusing is the Windows/Mac option that downloads the file in the Google .gvp format and requires the Google Video Player. Why is this confusing? Because there is no Google Video Player for the Mac as of today. In fact, Google's documentation makes that point very clear.

Let me end this update by saying that I've now downloaded the video after paying $.99, installed the player, and still can't watch the video. Why? It seems that at the moment (2 am EST) I'm unable get my Google account to authenticate so I'm unable to view the show. I keep receiving an error message. I'm told to go to video.google.com/support but I can't find anything about authentication problems. Yes, I know, Google Video is a beta. (-:

Postscript 2: It looks as if the Google Video Player problem/authorization issue was on my end, some sort of compatibilty issue with my system. I dowloaded the player and video on another computer and watched my video. If you're having issues, try doing the same thing (assuming you have more than one computer).

Postscript 3: If you like to read the small print, you'll notice on the Terms of Service page that payments for Google Video are being handled by the Google Payment Corporation, a company Google set-up last year. The privacy page was unavailable when I checked the link a few minutes ago.

Postscript 4:
If you're a Rocky and Bullwinkle fan (I am) you'll be happy to learn that the video store is home to 8 downloadable episodes.

Postscript 5: To get the Google Video Player, you need to search for any file, then click download, then a window should prompt to install it. No luck? Here's a direct link to the file.

Postscript 6
Just off the phone with Google. Some answers to my questions.
1) Look for the privacy link to work soon.
2) Why the Windows/Mac option? This appears because the Charlie Rose program is not copy-protected. A Mac user would be able to downoad an .AVI file that would play on their machine. The .avi file topic is discussed (it could be a bit more clear) on a video search help page. Google said they would try to make this more understandable on both the video download page and on the help page.
3) As of now, the first time you download from Google Video it will download a video player to your computer. That's why I was told I needed the player. Google said they are looking into how this is worded and might make a tweak or two.


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