Feeds

Google and CBS release embarrassment of a video store

I know Apple, and you're no Apple

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Review "This is a truly historical meeting of the established and new media," said Les Moonves, the head of CBS, about his network's new video partnership with Google. Um, no, Les. So far, it's just a really crap web site.

If, like us, you expected the new and improved Google Video service to rival something like Apple's iTunes store, then do yourself a favor and don't visit the Google shop for a few months. Google has done nothing to celebrate its unique access to shows such as CSI, Survivor and Star Trek. Instead, the company has buried CBS's shows beneath a dismal interface wrapped in a shambles of a delivery mechanism.

Think we're being too harsh? Have a a look for yourself.

Most of Google's exclusive, premium content from the likes of CBS, the NBA and the Charlie Rose show is trapped in a primitive pulldown menu. That might not be so bad were it not for the thin, hopeless pulldowns.

Take CSI, for example. If you highlight it, only one show appears at the time of writing - an episode called "Werewolves." Even MacGyver gets five episodes.

There's a whopping two pages of basketball games and just two more pages of Brady Bunch episodes - not that the latter is a huge loss.

The Charlie Rose collection is the most impressive and at 99 cents a pop, it's looking pretty good. The only problem is that all 176 episodes are described as "Charlie Rose" and provide no information in the initial search about who is interviewed. If you have a Charlie Rose fetish, that's probably not so bad, but the rest of us aren't impressed.

Incidentally, if you do an episode search for "God," the last entry is an interview with WSJ hack Walt Mossberg. So, it's pretty clear that the Google Video search has been infected by the same blog noise as the regular Google search engine.

"Each of us needs each other to take the next leap forward," Moonves also said at last week's CES conference in Las Vegas when the new Google Video was announced.

We wonder though if CBS isn't regretting its decision. Did it buy into the same Google hype as everyone else? ABC must be laughing all the way to the bank as it rides iTunes to millions of sales.

Google has done some nice things such as providing fairly lengthy preview clips at the start of each video. And, of course, this isn't a big media only thing. Anyone can load their video onto the Google store and charge almost anything they want. They can infect their files with the mysterious Google DRM or not.

Google, however, seems to have made the same mistake as companies such as Dell when competing with an Apple or a Sony. It's not enough to throw out some cheap MP3 player or web site and expect the standard rules of business to apply to consumers. The Average Joe is willing to pay a bit more for quality in the consumer world rather than mess with some basic, hard-to-use product or service.

Google Video will no doubt improve over time. Coming out with such a poor initial service though is a huge mistake. Google would have done better to refine its product and release something that comes close to being Apple's red-headed stepchild.

We're not even sure what life form Google Video is. It's certainly not human. ®

Bootnote

We've been waiting more than three hours for our purchase of a Charlie Rose show to go through. Had to boot up a Windows box just to wait. Great stuff.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.