Archives for September 2, 2015

Amazon Prime: Download Shows and Movies, View Offline For Free

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Amazon has announced that Amazon Prime members can download select movies and TV episodes for offline viewing, at no additional charge. This works on all Apple iPhones, iPads, and Android-based devices. You may need to update your apps to the most recent version to enable this feature (iOS / Android). Here is their announcement page and the official press release.

Most people agree that Amazon’s catalog is not as good as Netflix, but this is a perfect backup for all those times you don’t have access to WiFi or want to use up mobile data. This would include commutes on public transportation, airplane trips, car rides, or international travel. I always keep a bunch of videos for the kids on our phones and on their iPads.

Here are some sample movies that are eligible for download:

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Captive, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and The Wolf of Wall Street, in addition to exclusives such as Life After Beth, Palo Alto, Starred Up, The Bling Ring, If I Stay, and The Spectacular Now

I am an Amazon Prime member and was happy to see that Sesame Street was eligible for download. This is much easier and cheaper than buying an episode on DVD and ripping it. I downloaded an episode and confirmed that it would play offline in Airplane mode. For the curious, a 1 hour episode at “Better” quality (the middle option) took up 600 mb of space. Here are some screenshots (click to enlarge):

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One concern is that the videos that you download aren’t there “forever”. Thanks to commenters below for sharing this link and this link. Combining the information from both:

You’ll typically have 15 to 30 days to begin watching the video and once you start watching it, you’ll typically have 48 hours to finish watching it. We’ll usually notify you when the viewing period for a title is close to expiring.

You’ll need to connect to WiFi in order to reset that 48-hour clock. Some people report having trouble when in a foreign country, while others were able to reset without issue. I suspect it matters which country? In the end, it might not be as convenient for international travel or when you don’t have occasional WiFi access.

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