1 February, 2007
More free films!
Last August, I linked to a site which itself collates links to online streams of old films which have fallen out of copyright. It didn't occur to me to check whether the Internet Archive offers something similar.
It does, of course, as downloads in a variety of formats and resolutions. Far more convenient than having to watch in my lunch breaks* via my employer's better-than-broadband connection.
Even though I seem to be achieving download speeds of ~160 kb/sec at present, I've gone with 256kb mpeg4, which equates to ~200 Mb for a feature film. Mpeg2 files are available too, but they're ten times larger.
Right now, my USB pen drive contains 'Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari' (1919), 'Nosferatu' (1922), 'Battleship Potemkin' (1925), 'The General' (1927), 'M' (1931) and 'The 39 Steps' (1935). As those links suggest, each is available for purchase and/or rental from Amazon, but downloading is a useful way to experience acknowledged classics which, frankly, one mightn't wish to pay to try. If I don't like'em, I don't have to watch 'em, and won't have lost anything (but time).
I hope it's clear that I'd only do this for out-of-copyright material; I'm still entirely opposed to freely downloading copyrighted music and films via BitTorrent et al., regarding that as theft.
*: Not that I tend to take lunch breaks anyway.