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Ghostbusters Becomes First Movie Released on USB Memory
September 3, 2008
Thomas Mennecke
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Sony Entertainment and PNY Technologies have teamed up to become the first to distribute a movie (legally) on a USB flash drive. PNY Technologies, developers and manufactures of all kinds of memory devices such as USB sticks, SD cards, computer memory and so on, announced the arrival of the original "Ghostbusters" movie on a 2 gigabyte USB drive.

Some immediate questions may be: what's the price, is there DRM, and is there any space left over? So far, the USB drive is available on the UK online retailer Argos for £29.99, or about $53.30. That's a pricey USB stick, considering a Ghostbusters DVD is selling for less than $15 on Amazon. A new USB drive on Newegg sells for less than $20.00.

As for DRM, you bet there is. According to Custom PC, the end user can download the movie onto their computer, however, the USB stick must be inserted in order for the movie to play.

"They have DRM protection," a PNY spokesperson told Custom PC, "so customers can download the movie onto their laptop or PC if they wish, but they have to have the USB drive plugged in to watch the movie, as the DRM is locked in the USB drive."

To make the price tag a bit more palatable, there is plenty of room left over on the USB stick for personal items. According to PNY's press release, the memory device has 2 gigabytes of space, which equates to "12 hours of video play, 33 hours of music and 1080 pictures", even with the movie installed. It's a bit unclear if the USB drive still provides 2 gigabytes of memory with Ghostbusters, or whether the movie consumes a portion of the 2 gigabytes.

So, over 50 bucks for Ghostbusters...most will scratch their heads at the offer and move along. However, the move has come at an interesting time. Andy Griffiths, director of consumer electronic of Samsung (founding member of the Blu-ray Disc Association), told Pocket Lint "I think it [Blu-ray] has 5 years left, I certainly wouldn't give it 10." Blu-Ray wont be around forever, as DVDs and upconverting hardware continue to hamper this format's entry into the mainstream. High capacity alternatives, such as USB and SD cards, are perfectly capable of playing HD media, let alone standard media, and today's announcement could be a glimpse into the future.

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