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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Midwest Tape Now Offers Warner Bros. Archive Movies on Demand

In an effort to show continued dedication to film preservation, Warner Bros. has made Hollywood’s largest film vault available to the public in the form of the Warner Archive Collection¹. Through our partnership with Warner Bros., we now offer this collection, which currently consists of over 300 titles with additional titles added each month.

The Warner Archive Collection provides classic titles, most of which may have never been offered for sale through retail vendors due to the high cost of remastering, producing, and promoting², from over 60 years of Warner Bros. Studio history.  The titles—all from pre-1986 MGM, RKO Radio Pictures, and Warner Bros. films, such as Once upon a Honeymoon, I Was a Communist for the FBI, and Sunrise at Campobello—are made available through DVD on-demand¹.

What is DVD on-demand?
According to Warner Bros., “DVDs produced on-demand are similar to, but not quite [the] same as, DVDs you'd buy at the local video store. DVD movies you buy at the local video outlet are manufactured from a mold via a stamping process whereas on-demand DVDs are 'burned.' Each carries information read by the DVD player; [however], the physical properties of the two are different”³. Therefore, Archive Collection titles are individually burned based on order, rather than churned out in bulk amounts and disseminated to retailers and media distributors. 

Warner Bros. continues, explaining that their “on-demand DVDs are manufactured using the most widely accepted [DVD] format, DVD-R”³.  As noted in an earlier News & Views post (DVD-R vs. DVD+R), DVD-Rs are developed through duplication (disc burning) with retail DVDs that are manufactured with a cost-effective violet dye, thus creating the violet or blue disc bottoms.  Almost all contemporary DVD players can read the DVD-R format.

How can I find this collection at Midwest Tape online?
There are several ways you can access Midwest Tape’s “Warner Archive” collection via the Midwest Tape website:
  • Select “Warner Archive” while browsing DVD collections via Browse.
  • Search via SmartBrowse stock number prefix WDO to access all available Warner Archive Collection titles.  
  • Select the “Warner Archive” collection displayed on the Midwest Tape homepage.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Playaway Changes How They Package Audio Players

Playaway is making a change to the way they package all Playaway audio players.  Starting January 1, 2010, all Playaway audio players will be shipped with the batteries uninstalled.  A battery will still ship with each Playaway; however, it will now be located inside the case rather than inside the unit.

Findaway, the creator of Playaway, devised this solution after receiving a great deal of customer feedback regarding battery issues, namely excessive battery drain.  Leaving the battery outside of the product during shipping ensures longer battery life.

Does your library circulate Playaway audio players?  What feedback have you received about Playaway from your patrons?  Share your Playaway feedback and experiences here as comments. 

If you have any questions regarding Playaway’s change in product handling or Playaway products in general, please contact Customer Service at 1.800.875.2785. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Midwest Tape’s Normal Cart is Back!

Based on customer feedback, we’ve made a few changes to our website.  Now customers can transition between the SmartCart and Normal Cart with a simple click.  To transition from SmartCart to the Normal Cart view, simply click the “Normal Cart” icon in the top menu bar (see below; click image to see a larger view).

And to transition from the normal cart view to SmartCart, simply click the icon on the top right-hand side of the normal cart screen (see below; click image to see a larger view).

Your comments fuel our development as a company and the continuous improvement of our online tools; please share your feedback about or post any questions regarding our cart functions here as comments.

Additionally, if you have any questions regarding the Smart Cart or Normal Cart, please contact Customer Service at 1.800.875.2785.

Have a happy holiday!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Described Video Now on Select Sony Box Office Films

In an article in Home Video Magazine, Chris Tribbey notes that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the latest studio to release DVDs with described video, or Descriptive Video Service (DVS)¹.  DVS—pioneered by WGBH Media Access Group—provides audio descriptions of key visual elements within such visual media formats as TV and film to visually impaired and blind audiences².  WGBH, the Public Broadcasting Station in Boston, Massachusetts, developed its Media Access Group roughly 30 years ago with the mission of creating and delivering captioned and described media “to people in their homes, classrooms, at work, and in the community”³.  With over 20 million people in the U.S.—12 million of them movie watchers—possessing some form of significant visual impairment, major studios are stepping up to enhance the public’s media-viewing experience⁴.

Such studios as PBS Home Video and Universal Studios Home Entertainment provide described video on select DVD titles.  Now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will provide described video on select DVD and Blu-ray Disc™ releases of box office feature films, starting with The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and followed by such hits as District 9, The Ugly Truth, and Julie & Julia⁴.

According to Home Video Magazine, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment lists the described video feature as an audio option in the languages menu of their DVDs and Blu-rays¹.  And while some studios simply state “Described Video Services” or “SAP” on the packaging of any titles that feature described video, others note the option on their packaging with symbols (examples below).

When looking for titles that feature described video on the Midwest Tape website, search via SmartBrowse™ keyword “described video” to view the DVD (and now Blu-ray) titles we’ve categorized as having the described video feature.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Year End is Around the Corner and Midwest Tape is Standing By

Our superior customer service is free.
We understand your needs as a library, and it is our goal to make this process as manageable as possible. We are offering assistance to make your year end experience successful and stress-free.

Here's how we can help:
  • We can provide product in hand and invoiced by a specified date.
  • We can offer the necessary information to reconcile what you’ve already spent.
  • Our collection development team can aid you in fulfilling remaining budgets.
Let us help you. Call ahead and speak to one of our customer service representatives. It is important to give your representative time to handle your inquiries and requests.

Contact us today at 800.875.2785.  Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Incorrect October Billing Statements Issued

It has come to our attention that customers received an incorrect billing statement for the month of October (dated November 1, 2009). Unfortunately, our vendor processed the prior month’s file which caused them to send a duplication of all September statements.

For those who receive their invoices from us via email, these invoices were issued correctly. If you would like to receive your invoice via email or would like to receive an updated copy, please call 800.875.2785 or e-mail your request to Heidi McGaha at We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Friday, November 13, 2009

“Above and Beyoncé” Shifts to DVD Format and Becomes a Retail Exclusive

According to the distributor, the upcoming release for Beyoncé’s “Above and Beyoncé: Video Collection & Dance Mixes” (CMM679126C) is now a retail exclusive. Additionally, Columbia is no longer soliciting this title as a music CD but rather a DVD with a bonus CD. Its price has been adjusted to reflect this format change.

As a courtesy to our customers, Midwest Tape will carry this title despite it being an exclusive. In light of the aforementioned changes, however, we’ve canceled all orders for this title. If you would like to order the new version of this title (EONSON214766D), please contact Customer Service at 1.800.875.2785 or visit us online at  Additionally, you can post any feedback or questions here as comments.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Midwest Tape Introduces Customers to the New SmartCart™

In an effort to increase usability and functionality, Midwest Tape has developed a revolutionary new SmartCart™.  This new cart will serve as the quintessential selection and acquisition function for Midwest Tape customers.


On Saturday November 7th, 2009, Midwest Tape will transition all current SmartCart users to the new SmartCart.  As one of these users, when you view your cart, you’ll receive an informational pop-up (see below) that introduces users to the new SmartCart and also details where users can find a helpful PDF guide and video tutorial.  (Please note that through this transition all your current carts and data will remain intact.)

Following this initial transition, we’ll work in stages to shift all users over to the new SmartCart.  If you’re a Normal Cart user and you’d like to transition to the new SmartCart yourself, simply click the icon shown below, which is now located in the upper right-hand corner of your Normal Cart. (All your current cart data will remain intact when you make the switch.)

With the new SmartCart, you’ll be able to:

Customize your columns
You can select which columns you want to see and which ones you don’t.  Additionally, we’ve added new columns: Artist/Author, Fund, Shopper, MARC Brief, Subtotal, etc.

Transition titles to different carts
We’ve added a column of check boxes that allows users to manipulate more than one item at a time. Previously, a user had to change titles one at a time or all at once. This column will now allow a user to delete, move, or copy (with more utilities to come) any number of titles in an easy-to-use grid interface.

Arrow through titles on your keyboard
With this function, you can key through titles using the up and down arrow keys without having to click on each individual product line.

Select from a wide array of options in the Menu Toolbar
We’ve organized art, product, and cataloging options into structured dropdown menus, so you can make changes to your cart efficiently.

Complete your Selection and Acquisition process more quickly
We’ve increased the speed of the SmartCart feature and also eliminated restrictions on the size of your carts.  The new SmartCart allows for any size cart.

We invite you to log onto our website today to see how these changes create a more efficient and effective online shopping experience.  As always, please share your thoughts with us and other libraries by posting your feedback here as comments.  You may also contact our Customer Service department with any comments or questions (1.800.875.2785).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Midwest Tape Offers New Customized Standing Order Plans for Audiobooks

To better serve our customers, we’re now offering three new Customized Standing Order plans for audiobooks.  In addition to our popular New York Times Best Selling Titles and Critics' Picks Titles plans, libraries are now able to select three new Hot New Genre Fiction plans: Romance (featuring such top selling authors as Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, and Christina Dodd), Mystery (featuring such hit authors as Kate Wilhelm, Jim Stovall, and Ruth Downie), and African-American (featuring such groundbreaking authors Sonny F. Black, Sapphire, and Hassan Johnson).

The Romance and Mystery plans both feature ten titles per month, while the African American plan offers five per month.  All three plans contain a mixture of new, new-to-audio, and simultaneous releases.

For more information on these audiobook standing order plans or others, please reference the PDF brochure here, or contact Kate Krisjanis at 1.800.875.2785 to sign up.

We developed these new plans in response to suggestions from customers like you.  What new standing order programs would you like to see?  Leave your comments here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Disney Offers Product Exchanges and Refunds for Baby Einstein™ DVDs

Focusing on ensuring the satisfaction of their customers, Disney is offering product exchanges and retail value refunds for Baby Einstein™ DVD titles.  From now until March 4, 2010, customers who purchased Baby Einstein DVD products between June 5, 2004 and September 4, 2009 and are looking to exchange or receive a refund for their products may do so by visiting  This link also provides complete details on Disney’s Baby Einstein™ DVD Guarantee/Upgrade Offer, including participation guidelines.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blu-ray Combo Packs: Midwest Tape Needs Your Feedback

The Blu-ray Disc™ versions of Gran Torino, Snow White, 17 Again, Hannah Montana: The Movie, and an array of Disney titles all come with a DVD version of the film within their Blu-ray packaging (some for only a limited time).  We understand that these alternative packaging schemes (i.e., Blu-ray “Combo Packs”) can disrupt normal processing and cataloging workflows.  Therefore, we’d love to hear your feedback, particularly to the following two questions:

How do you deal with Blu-ray Combo Packs within your library?

Would you wait to order the Blu-ray version of a title if you knew it would be available later without the additional DVD?

Please include the question(s) you're responding to as well as your contact information in your comment.  Thanks. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Moon Street Date Bumps Up, Available This Friday

Due to intense anticipation from diehard Twilight Saga fans, Atlantic Records has pushed the release date of the New Moon Motion Picture Soundtrack (WEM965692C) up to this coming Friday, October 16th, 2009.  The album (which features such top artists as Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers, and Thom Yorke) was previously scheduled to hit shelves on October 20th.  However, an increase in buzz, along with an early internet leak last weekend, triggered the bump in street date.

If you have already received your copies of the soundtrack, you can display them starting on Friday, October 16th, 2009 instead of waiting until Tuesday.  Please post any questions you have as comments, or call Customer Service at 1.800.875.2785.

Friday, October 9, 2009

20th Century Fox Distributing Rental Editions of DVD Titles

As studios look to maintain revenues during these tough economic times, more and more of them are offering rental and retail editions of select DVD titles.  Rental editions are meant for any organization that loans their materials, whether home video rental businesses or libraries.  Retail editions are meant for the home video consumer marketplace.

Similar to Paramount’s two-tiered releasing strategy (“Paramount Experiments with Two-Tiered Pricing on Upcoming DVD Releases”), 20th Century Fox will also now offer rental and retail editions of select DVD titles.  However, Fox’s strategy differs in that both the rental and retail editions of their titles will feature the exact same edits of the films and will be the same price.  Additionally, rental editions will not contain any bonus features, but they will contain additional movie trailers and previews. Retail editions will have bonus features.

Libraries ordering rental versions will receive their orders before street date.  Because shipping dates for retail editions from Fox can vary, customers who order the retail edition of a title are not guaranteed to receive it before street date.  Midwest Tape recommends that libraries purchase the rental edition of Fox’s DVDs in order to receive them before street date.

As more studios follow suit in releasing different editions of select DVD titles, we’re developing ways to make these different versions even more apparent on our website.  Starting today (Friday, October 9, 2009), when users search on, any DVD titles that have retail and rental editions will be marked with corresponding symbols.  Similar to our cart symbol, when a user mouses over the retail/rental symbols, text boxes will appear that provide general information of that particular studio’s rental/retail DVD release strategies.  Additionally, the titles will feature in parentheses whether they’re retail or rental editions in their title lines.  Please reference the screenshots below to view examples of these symbols and title line labels.

Retail Edition of Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian

Retail Edition of Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian with mouseover text

Rental Edition of Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian

Rental Edition of Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian with mouseover text

Below is a list of the current rental editions provided by Fox.  We have moved all Fox retail edition orders to the rental editions to ensure deliveries before street dates.  If you would like the retail versions of any of these titles instead, please contact Customer Service at 800.875.2785.

Stock Number
Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs
Rental: TWT2262514D
Retail: TWT2262512D
Aliens In The Attic
Rental: TWT2261098D
Retail: TWT2261096D
I Love You, Beth Cooper
Rental: TWT2261078D
Retail: TWT2261076D
Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian
Rental: TWT2262590D
Retail: TWT2262588D
500 Days Of Summer
Rental: TWT2263464D
Retail: TWT2263462D

If you have any questions regarding Fox’s (or any studio’s) two-type DVD strategy, the content of retail and rental editions, and/or the updates we’ve made to our website in regards to these two DVD types, please post them here as comments or contact our Customer Service Department at 800.875.2785.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Paramount Experiments with Two-Tiered Pricing on Upcoming DVD Releases

Paramount Home Entertainment has introduced a two-tiered pricing model on select titles.  Paramount is releasing some small box office as well as straight-to-DVD titles as rental versions.  After unveiling the rental editions, Paramount will then release retail versions for the consumer marketplace.

The differences between retail and rental editions vary per title.  While all rental versions are higher-priced and have earlier release dates than retail editions, some rental versions lack any bonus or special features.  Additionally, ratings can differ between both editions.  In some cases, Paramount releases Blu-ray editions for retail purchase on the same day as the rental edition.

Video Business notes that Paramount individually evaluates their titles and implements this pricing and releasing strategy on a case-by-case basis¹. Furthermore, as Paramount experiments with two-tiered pricing and releasing, other studios might test similar strategies as well.  For instance, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment tried this strategy with one title, The Maiden Heist, a $20,000 box office title starring Morgan Freeman and Christopher Walken.  When any studio experiments with this strategy, we’ll be sure to keep our customers informed.

Paramount first began this two-tiered pricing model on the small box office feature film, Dance Flick.  On September 8th, 2009, Paramount released the Blu-ray edition and rental edition of Dance Flick.  The rental edition did not include director commentary or bonus features.  Intended for video rental, this higher-priced edition was not available for purchase in retail stores and had a limited availability.  Roughly six weeks later, the retail DVD edition of this title—which features extras and commentary and is unrated—will hit retailers’ shelves on October 6, 2009.

In the future, Paramount will release a handful of other feature films using this staggered-release, two-tiered pricing model.  Please reference the chart below for the titles Paramount is releasing under this strategy; (this chart also features Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s one title).

Stock Numbers
Street Dates
Key Differences
Dance Flick
Rental: PAR352604D
Rental: $32.99
Rental: 09/08/2009
Retail edition is unrated and has bonus features. Blu-ray edition releases with Rental edition.
Retail: PAR352604RD
Retail: $19.99
Retail: 10/06/2009
Imagine That
Rental: PAR7906806D
Rental: $32.99
Rental: 10/06/2009
Both versions feature the theatrical edit of the film. Blu-ray edition releases with Rental edition.
Retail: PAR7906806RD
Retail: $19.99
Retail: 11/24/2009
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Rental: PAR7906726D
Rental: $28.49
Rental: 11/10/2009
No corresponding Blu-ray release. 
Retail: PAR7906726RD
Retail: $17.24
Retail: 12/15/2009
The Marc Pease
Rental: PAR7906104D
Rental: $26.99
Rental: 11/03/2009
Straight-to-DVD title. No corresponding Blu-ray release. 
Retail: PAR7906104RD
Retail: $14.99
Retail: 12/08/2009
Wrong Turn at Tahoe
Rental: PAR7906708D
Rental: $26.99
Rental: 11/17/2009
Straight-to-DVD title. No corresponding Blu-ray release.  Retail edition will include a “making-of” bonus feature.
Retail: PAR7906708RD
Retail: $14.99
Retail: 01/05/2010
Rental: PAR7907485D
Rental: $32.99
Rental: 11/24/2009
Straight-to-DVD title. No corresponding Blu-ray release. 
Retail: PAR7907458RD
Retail: $19.99
Retail: 12/22/2009
The Maiden Heist
(Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Rental: COL30915D
Rental: $34.99
Rental: 10/27/2009
Straight-to-DVD title. No corresponding Blu-ray release. Both versions have special features.
Retail: COL30913D
Retail: $16.99
Retail: 11/24/2009

Considering how this pricing and releasing experimentation affects our customers, we’d like to highlight a few points:

Customer Choice
While most customers prefer to obtain the limited-quantity, earlier-released rental version, others may wish to wait and receive the lower-priced retail version.  No matter what route customers go, we offer both retail and rental editions of any title affected by Paramount’s two-tiered model.

Cataloging (MARC) Issue 
Because these titles are different versions, rental and retail editions carry different stock numbers, ISBNs, and OCLC numbers.  For questions regarding cataloging one or both versions, please contact our MARC Records department at 1.800.875.2785.

Limited Availability for Rental Edition
Quantities are limited for Paramount’s rental editions.  Therefore, customers interested in this version need to pre-order titles as early as possible.  After street date, there’s no guarantee that orders placed for rental editions will be filled.

The Difference on Web, Customized Standing Orders, and Catalogs
We will list both versions of any title affected by Paramount’s two-tiered pricing model in our catalogs (see snapshot below), and customers can view both editions on our website.  However, because rental editions hit the market first, our customized standing orders feature this version.

If you have any questions regarding Paramount’s two-tiered pricing model and/or the content of retail and rental editions, please post them here as comments or contact our Customer Service Department at 1.800.875.2785.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Midwest Tape's Website Developing Beyond the Capabilities of IE6

With the Internet developing at a rapid pace, Internet technology companies must continuously release new versions as well as updates for their web browsers. Using outdated browsers not only makes users susceptible to a slew of security vulnerabilities, but also limits them in regards to the most contemporary and interactive web features. Here, we discuss how using current web browsers relates to Midwest Tape (Midwest Tape & You), detail the three most prominent web browsers in use (Major Browsers), and explain the importance of always using the most up-to-date browser (The Importance of Updating).

Midwest Tape & You
Midwest Tape’s website has received much praise over the years for its helpful features and ease of use. And we have even greater features planned for the future; however, these elements will not function with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6.

In order to deliver our next round of updated features, we will be unable to support Internet Explorer 6 in the very near future. Many leading websites in other industries are reaching the same conclusion and discontinuing support for Internet Explorer 6 as well.

Major Browsers
Internet Explorer
Used en masse since the release of Windows 95, Internet Explorer (IE) is perhaps the most popular web browser in the world. Internet Explorer comes pre-installed on all Windows-based computers and updates through the Windows Update service. Still in wide circulation, Internet Explorer 6 was originally released with Windows XP. However, Microsoft has since released Internet Explorer 7 and 8, which should be compatible with any machine still using IE6.

Mozilla Firefox
Released in 2004, Firefox has quickly become a heavyweight in the web browser market. As of 2009, it made up over 22% of the recorded usage of web browsers¹. Firefox goes through routine updates, automatically downloading them and prompting users to restart their browsers.

Safari is a web browser developed by Apple Inc. and was first released with Mac OS X. Much like Internet Explorer on Windows systems, Safari comes pre-installed on Mac computers and automatically updates with the operating system.

The Importance of Updating
One of the key reasons to always use the most up-to-date web browser is to ensure effective use of today’s foremost web features, which rely on current web browsers for proper functionality. For example, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 6 in 2001, and the now outdated browser does not support many of the current standards used in developing today’s leading web applications.

In addition to web applications, updated web browsers ensure the security of computers and their networks. For instance, since releasing Internet Explorer 7 in 2006 and Internet Explorer 8 in 2009, Microsoft has stopped creating updates for Internet Explorer 6. According to Secunia, a leader in Web security, Internet Explorer 6 contains 142 vulnerabilities that leave your computers at risk. Of those 142 vulnerabilities, 22 remain unresolved and pose a serious security risk.

The easiest way to correct these security issues is to upgrade your outdated browser to the most current one available, for instance, Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla Firefox 3, or Safari 4.

Where to Update

If you have any questions or feedback about updating your browser or the Midwest Tape website, please post them here as comments or contact our Customer Service Department at 1.800.875.2785.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's Up With Blu-ray?

Nearly a decade after DVDs gobbled up the VHS market share, consumers once again face a format change. Fortunately, the transition from DVD to Blu-ray won’t be nearly as drastic or as expensive; (Blu-ray Disc players can play both Blu-ray products and DVDs). Still, many consumers might be hesitant to invest in the new players, while others may not understand the differences between DVDs and Blu-ray. Let’s break it down:

Difference Between the Two Formats
Standard DVDs are read with a red laser, allowing each disc to hold between 4.7 and 8.55 gigabytes of video. Blu-rays, on the other hand, are read with a low-frequency blue-violet laser which allows each Blu-ray disc to contain up to six times more storage (25 to 50 gigabytes of video). Consequently, Blu-ray discs contain higher quality pictures than DVDs and offer superior extras and functionality.

Introduced in 2003, Blu-ray faced stiff competition to become the premier next-generation media. However, after winning out over Toshiba’s HD DVD in 2007, Blu-ray started gaining steam in the market. And while the brand struggled with sales through late 2008, Blu-ray has maintained its niche in the movie rental and retail industry with a 16% market share (early 2009 statistics)¹. Furthermore, studios continue to release more and more titles in the Blu-ray format, piquing consumer interest and making Blu-ray a more mainstream format for libraries to consider.

Blu-Ray Disc Association companies (Sony, Apple Inc., Hewlett Packard, Intel Corporation, Samsung, Walt Disney, and 20th Century Fox) continue to make updates and improvements to their products and services. For example, BD-Live enables viewers to upload additional exclusive features for their movies—like looking up a particular actor’s background while the film is playing—all from their Internet-connected Blu-ray Disc player ². Additionally, Apple Inc. offers applications that enable iPhone and iPod Touch users to control interactive content on their Web-connected Blu-ray Disc players³.

Blu-ray titles on average cost $10 more than standard DVDs (early 2009 statistics), and Blu-ray Disc players (priced between $100-200) remain significantly higher than budget DVD players (priced as low as $30). However, every Blu-ray Disc player is backwards compatible with DVDs, meaning DVD titles will play in Blu-ray Disc players. Furthermore, PlayStation 3 video game consoles can play Blu-ray titles, thus enhancing the appeal not only of the video game platform, but of Blu-ray products as well.

At an Entertainment Supply Chain Association conference, Futuresource postulated that by 2012 Blu-ray will consist of roughly 50% of the home video sales market⁴. With consumer demand for improved sound and picture quality intensifying and companies competing to manufacture cost-effective players, Blu-ray seems headed for dominance in the home video marketplace. However, only time will ultimately tell how Blu-ray will fare in the digital age.

Blu-ray Pros
Blu-ray Cons
Higher storage capacity
More expensive than DVDs
Higher quality picture and sound
The Blu-ray format is still evolving
Loads of extras as well as additional special features through BD-Live
Blu-ray players require regular software updates via an internet connection
Blu-ray players can play DVDs
Fewer titles available compared to DVDs

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Roc Nation Bumps Up Release Date for New Jay-Z Album

The music industry’s fourth quarter is shaping up to be its biggest in several years, and while the releases will be plentiful, many are seeing last-minute street date changes. For instance, Roc Nation has moved Jay-Z’s eagerly anticipated release The Blueprint 3 from its intended September 11th date to a September 8th street date. Additionally, Jay-Z will perform a 9/11 tribute show at Madison Square Garden to coincide with the release.

So what does this earlier-than-expected release date mean for you?
If you have already received your copies of the disc, you can display them immediately instead of waiting until Friday.

If you have any questions, please post them here as comments or contact our Customer Service Department at 1.800.875.2785.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Have you ever wondered why some DVDs have purplish-blue (or violet) bottoms while other discs have gold or silver bottoms? Let us explain…
Most DVDs are created through either Replication or Duplication processes. Replication refers to creating mass quantities of the same DVD for commercial purposes. The hardware necessary to produce such a large amount of discs in a practical amount of time requires a specific laser frequency, which in turn calls for the discs to contain a specific dye. This causes the DVDs’ bottoms to appear silver or gold.

In contrast, Duplication refers to making small quantities of discs for either personal or small commercial purposes. These types of DVDs are often created one at a time or in small numbers with a personal computer. The equipment used to create these DVDs is inexpensive and does not require premium discs. As a result, small publishers opt to use common retail DVDs that are manufactured with a cost-effective violet dye.

So what’s the deal?
Many of these blue-bottom DVDs¹ may not include menus or chapter partitioning in order to minimize production costs and time constraints. Also, many of these discs are DVD-R format as opposed to DVD+R. Some DVD-Rs may not play in older DVD players or in some computers manufactured before 2005. However, nowadays almost all DVD players are backwards compatible and can read both formats.

¹Please note that these DVDs are entirely different from Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray product will always feature the Blu-ray packaging and label.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rental & Retail Editions of Imagine That

As Paramount experiments with their two-tiered pricing model, they’ll release a rental edition of Imagine That (stock #: PAR7906806D) on October 6, 2009, which will feature the theatrical edit of the PG-rated film. This higher-priced edition will not be available in retail stores and is meant for video rental businesses. Because availability is limited, please pre-order this edition as soon as possible.

Paramount will also release a retail edition of Imagine That (stock #: PAR7906806RD) on November 24, 2009, which will feature the same PG-rated theatrical edit of the film as the rental edition. However, this lower-priced version will hit retail outlets nationwide approximately seven weeks after Paramount releases the Blu-ray and rental editions. Therefore, customers who order this item will not receive it until the retail release date of November 24, 2009.

If you have any questions about the differences between available editions of Imagine That, please post them here as comments or contact our Customer Service Department at 1.800.875.2785.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Girlfriend Experience Includes Bonus Unrated Edition

Magnolia Home Entertainment has informed us that The Girlfriend Experience in the standard DVD (Stock #: MGP10212D) and Blu-Ray (stock #: MGP10213B) editions will feature an alternate unrated cut of the film as a part of the special features. This unrated version will be on the same disc as the theatrical R-rated film.

If you have a current order for this title and would like to cancel it, please call customer service at 1.800.875.2785. Additionally, if you have any questions, please post them here as comments or call our customer service department.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dance Flick Issue

Paramount Home Entertainment will release a PG-13 edition of Dance Flick (stock # PAR352604D) on September 8th, 2009. This version will not include director commentary or bonus features. This higher-priced edition will also not be available in retail stores and has a limited availability. Because of these reasons, we advise customers who wish to order this edition to do so as soon as possible to ensure availability.

Paramount Home Entertainment will also release an unrated edition of Dance Flick (stock # PAR352604RD) on October 6th, 2009, which we’ll carry as well. This lower-priced version will be available at retail outlets nationwide and will contain director commentary and bonus features.

If you have questions about the differences between available editions, please post your questions here as comments or call our Customer Service Department at 1.800.875.2785.

17 Again (Blu-Ray Edition) Features Digital Copy and Standard DVD

Customers who purchased the Blu-Ray edition of 17 Again (Stock #: NLV1000045437B) will notice that it contains two discs. The first disc features the Blu-Ray edition of the film. The second disc contains not only a digital copy (a one-time-use file for both Macs and PCs¹), but also a DVD version of the film, which one can play repeatedly on a standard DVD player.

The label on the bottom of the bonus disc prominently reads "Digital Copy.” And although a small DVD logo indicates the presence of the standard DVD version on the disc, some people may mistakenly believe it contains only the digital copy.

This should work fine as part of your Blu-Ray collection and provide a DVD copy as well. However, if you have received this title and would like to send it back or would like to cancel your current order, please call customer service at 1.800.875.2785.
¹Upon loading the digital copy on a Mac or PC, the user can watch that file repeatedly from that specific computer—and on that computer only.