It may look like a glorified vending machine but its digital offerings should perk your curiosity. Courtesy of MOD Systems, meet the Download2Go kiosks. Think of them as miniature music and movie stores, no bigger than the width of a grocery aisle. Their main function is to allow you to download movies or songs (DRM-free!) straight to your USB flash drive, SD card or MP3 player. Without DRM (Digital Rights Management) there are none of the usual guidelines or protection practices in place that limit how and where you can use the entertainment that you purchase.
The USB kiosks were beta tested in a handful of Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores with some success. As a result, movie versions of the machines popped up in 30 InMotion Entertainment stores this past summer. Now, ten Quick Chek stores in New Jersey and New York are testing the waters for the music kiosks.
According to the MOD Systems CEO, “Retailers are looking for opportunities to capture customer interest in digital entertainment or take back sales that have shifted from their stores to online. Consumers can now build their digital music collections outside the home without requiring connectivity.”
The USB movie downloads can be chosen from the kiosk’s vast collection of thousands of movies that can be easily browsed by category through a simple, intuitive search tool. You have a choice of either buying or renting titles.
Like Flix on Stix, you don’t have to worry about returns or late fees. Once you start watching your movie, you have 48 hours until the content will naturally expire on your flash drive or SD card. For the USB music downloads, you can download specific songs or entire albums. These MP3 files will play on computers, media players and can easily be transferred to other USB devices.
Downloads will take just 30 seconds to two minutes as opposed to hours experienced with some finicky home bandwidths. An added bonus to this minimum wait time is that the MOD Systems download kiosks allow you to continue watching trailers and listening to music previews while you wait.
Secure, on-site servers holding the most popular movie titles are responsible for the most speedy download times. For more obscure titles and tracks, a remote server is accessed, which may take a little longer.
The unprotected music and movies are a viable choice for those who don’t use iTunes or pay for expensive data streaming plans. Customers in locations with questionable online connectivity will benefit from such a service. For airports, (where the InMotion Entertainment stores are located) Download2Go kiosks could spare many travelers from the boredom of “hurry up and wait.”
While the flash drive entertainment kiosks are limited in availability, their initial success bodes well for the chance that you’ll see one turn up at a nearby corner. The concept is certainly appealing and it’s on the minds of multiple entrepreneurs (like Flix on Stix). Based on these factors, it just might have a winning shot at becoming a comprehensive entertainment download option.
Would you rent from a Download2Go kiosk? Comment below!