Everyone but Apple joins new "buy once, play anywhere" group

Ars: Buying a movie online is simple; it's watching it on the device you want that's hard. The movie studios have been reluctant to allow DVD burning from online stores (and when they do, it doesn't always work), spawning a whole cottage industry of creative solutions for getting digital downloads onto the TV set. And slapping that newly-purchased Sopranos episode onto your iPod or PSP or Zune for a bit of mobile entertainment? Fuggedaboutit.

When pirates offer a better product, one that actually plays where consumers want their video to play, it's hard for digital download stores to compete, and the entire ecosystem of companies knows it. That's why movie studios joined retailers like Best Buy, consumer electronics companies like Sony and Philips, Intel, Microsoft, and others in a new acronym-ready alliance that will, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, put the consumer "at the center of the universe."

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