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back to article Google to let Chromebookers take video content OFFLINE

Google has released a plugin for its Chrome OS platform that will allow users to view video content from the Play Store without the need for an internet connection. The company said that the Google Play Movies & TV Chrome app will now support local storage and playback of video, allowing users to view content from the Play …

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"The update will allow Chromebook owners to enjoy the offline video feature that rival platforms such as iTunes offer to users who purchase and download their video content."

It's nice to know that offline viewing is now a video file feature. Next time I download an MKV or MP4 file I'll be sure to consult a features table to remind myself it is indeed suitable for offline viewing.

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Do you have someone who looks after you?

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Anonymous Coward

Returned my Chromebook within 7 days and got a proper laptop for not much more. Chromebooks are near useless junk.

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"got a proper laptop for not much more"

Remind me again, how much does your sister earn every month for just a few hours working on her laptop?

No, seriously, "Chromebooks are near useless junk" is incorrect. You can get a basic Windows 8 laptop for very little more - if you don't mind "refurbished", for considerably less - but that isn't really the point. If you don't like them don't buy them, but if the use case suits you they are good value for money. I use one mainly for charting, writing and web browsing, iPlayer and a few odds and ends, and I find the big tin is getting fired up only once or twice a week for other stuff. So, no, it's not my only computer. But, you know what? I have two cars and a bicycle. Nobody said that I have to have one thing to meet every application-area use case, or it's no good.

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"Returned my Chromebook within 7 days and got a proper laptop"

So, a Macbook running OSX?

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Re: "got a proper laptop for not much more"

"You can get a basic Windows 8 laptop for very little more - if you don't mind "refurbished", for considerably less - but that isn't really the point."

And it's running Windows 8. That's trading in a Civic for a Lada and calling it an upgrade.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "got a proper laptop for not much more"

"And it's running Windows 8. That's trading in a Civic for a Lada and calling it an upgrade."

I would rather have a Lada than a civic with only three wheels (which is what having an online only OS is the equivalent of). With this update they have managed to fit a space saver wheel. So the Lada is still a better bet for anything but the most basic of tasks.

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Re: "got a proper laptop for not much more"

Most people only need the most basic of tasks. Chromebooks are a mass market item. For everything else, there's OSX.

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must be for a reason

My bet is that they've thrown in the towel with their "patent-free" vp6 (or whatever it's called) and decided that if they can't control the patents behind the codecs, they'll damned well be sure they make a play for being the #1 conduit to rival iTunes, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon and all the other delivery guys. They don't have a media store for nothing...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: must be for a reason

You heard about that YouTube thing that Google own? Trust me, it's going to catch on, so get on it now.

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Excellent

If future, ChromeDebianbooks will have plenty of internal flash.

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Do as I say...

It wasn't very long ago at all that Google were insisting that the Windows Phone YouTube client wasn't allowed to do this. And in that case it wasn't even proper local storage, it was just a cached version like you do with any online images or content.

Nothing so fine as being able to leverage your dominance in one market (online video) to push your products in a different (OS, mobile devices).

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Re: Do as I say...

Don't people ever question whether they're doing the right thing in downvoting actual verifiable facts?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do as I say...

"t wasn't very long ago at all that Google were insisting that the Windows Phone YouTube client wasn't allowed to do this."

At my last reading of it a month or two ago, the Google Play EULA for my Samsung phone said that I had to stream stuff rather than downloading it.

I declined the EULA on those grounds because my broadband isn't up to the job.

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Re: Do as I say...

"Don't people ever question whether they're doing the right thing in downvoting actual verifiable facts?"

You're not quoting verifiable facts, you're quoting opinion. At least, that's their story, and they're sticking to it.

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Re: Do as I say...

>>"You're not quoting verifiable facts, you're quoting opinion. At least, that's their story, and they're sticking to it."

Personally, if I don't know if something is true or not, I refrain from downvoting someone for saying so. Russell's teapot not withstanding. I suspect you are being over-generous in allowing that people have downvoted because they think it is not true. They're downvoting because it makes Google look hypocritical.

Anyway, unless Ars Technica is no longer a reputable news source, here's a citation:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/08/microsoftgoogle-bring-back-the-good-youtube-windows-phone-app/

I said it was easily verifiable, didn't I?

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Re: Do as I say...

"Fact": [Google's] dominance in...online video

Verification: None.

But it's possible the downvotes were because the analogy makes no sense. Google provides no way to download Youtube videos on Chrome OS, and Google Movies is a separate product. It would make more sense to point out that Google hasn't made a Google Movies client for Windows phone, or that their public API (if they had one) doesn't allow downloads.

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Re: Do as I say...

>>"and Google Movies is a separate produc"

Ah, in that case downvote away. I misread the article and thought this was covering YouTube. Apologies to all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do as I say...

I think it was because you used "leverage" as a verb. At least that's why I did.

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Re: Do as I say...

Yeah, going to go with downvoted due to {"Fact": [Google's] dominance in...online video}.

There is plenty of rich competition in the online video field, even if we are talking about Youtube. Youtube isn't exactly a competitor to Netflix, and Movies is an afterthought compared to them, or to iTunes. Youtube owns the cat video market, but even there had good competition.

Google is nowhere near being able to leverage a "monopoly" or even a "dominant position" in online video to do much of anything. Certainly not to make an OS dominant. This is not Microsoft leveraging an OS monopoly to force a shitty browser down everyone's throat.

Not yet, anyways.

Google has Netflix, Apple, Amazon and even Microsoft to content with yet, and the battle hasn't even begun, let alone is anywhere close to over.

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Re: Do as I say...

"It wasn't very long ago at all that Google were insisting that the Windows Phone YouTube client wasn't allowed to do this..."

Downvoted because Google own/control YouTube and the Chromebook and ChromeOS. If they want to have a paid service that removes ads from YouTube for instance, they can. Doesn't mean that Microsoft can also charge a customer for access to YouTube and then strip the ads off it?

On their own service they don't need to have a licensing agreement or are restricted by IP rights, but obviously a third party is going to be. If you take a photo you might be annoyed if someone used it in their magazine without paying or contacting you. However that doesn't make you a hypocrite if you decide to donate a copy of the picture to a magazine yourself.

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Does the locally stored/cached video have DRM?

I would assume it does. The article doesn't say.

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But no network shares

But where do you store it? Still no support for NAS and network shares. Which I find ridiculous. It's not as if linux support for Samba/SMB/CIFS/NFS is exactly experimental or new.

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Re: But no network shares

Where do you store it? Wherever your copy of DownloadHelper saved it...

/Firefox, what don't it do, eh?

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PJI
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Re: But no network shares

The whole point of this operating system is that the computer is just an interface to data and programmes stored on the network, in the Cloud if you like.

Personally, I always thought, still think, this is a daft way to work unless you work only at home with a good internet connection or in restaurants, offices or schools with such (and free). As soon as you are not in that, usually, urban situation the whole model collapses, quite apart from questions of privacy, response time and supplier stability. So, as I saw when accompanying a friend away from home, rather quickly the machine becomes just a dead weight of no practical use, on which you can not even install software of your choice as it is supposed to be supplied, maintained and admired across the ether.

Even my mobile telephone (iphone in my case, whatever you like in yours) has got the ability to run locally installed programmes even with no internet or telecomms access e.g. camera, Solitaire, notes, Filemaker, music, books, locally installed maps, e.g. Tomtom, Peakfinder and more.

So now film buffs can store copies of films locally on Chromebooks, subject to the usual space constraints. Hmm. Next it will be full office programmes, then development suites …. MS will abandon its net version of Office. Google fans will prate about how wonderful is the new functionality and the rest of us will be surprised only that it ever happened at all.

What a wonderful world.

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Re: But no network shares

The last time I did any work where there was no internet connection was 2008. That was on a train, and trains now have wifi. If you want to work without a connection, just sync the files you need beforehand (the files you most recently viewed will sync automatically). You can edit Google Docs and Word Docs (presumably spreadsheets and presentations too) offline, and there are many other offline apps available. There may not be as wide a selection as you can get on a phone, so if you live somewhere that bans you from having 2 devices and you really need to have cached maps, get a phone. If you want books, music, videos etc offline then a Chromebook will suffice.

If you want to install your software of choice, just drag the .crx file from the Downloads folder (it doesn't work from the Drive folder for some reason) to your Extensions page. And you can install from source code too, obviously.

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Re: But no network shares @Craigness

"The last time I did any work where there was no internet connection was 2008. That was on a train, and trains now have wifi."

Good for you.

1. My home connection has had flaky moments at times. But perhaps I'm the only one...

2. Aeroplanes don't have wifi.

3. Commercial ferries may have but the connection is generally pitiful. See 4.

4. Maritime satcom in general is slow. And flaky.

5. Wifi isn't a problem in urban areas. At times I work in areas where all I have is GPRS or EDGE. Syncing anything through that these days is infuriating.

6. My PHB hates my cellular roaming costs.

But the foremost practical reason why I couldn't work with a Chromebook is that I need configuration/diagnostics software that isn't available for anything else but Windows.

"If you want books, music, videos etc offline then a Chromebook will suffice."

So everything I throw at VLC works with Chromebook too? Good to hear.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But no network shares

The whole point of this operating system is that the computer is just an interface to data and programmes stored on the network, in the Cloud if you like.

Hey grandad it's time to take that old XP machine of yours out the back and shoot it... They are called apps now not programmes

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Re: But no network shares

"That was on a train, and trains now have wifi."

Your so right, you can.

Pay through the nose, for an OK connection

Share the free wifi with he rabble and have 100 people contend with a 56k link (sure feels like that)

Make sure to choose a route that is clear of valleys, countryside and tunnels.

Avoid local communiting trains outside of major cities, as many of these barely have electricity, let alone wifi.

Or just give up.

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Re: But no network shares @Craigness

>The last time I did any work where there was no internet connection was 2008. That was on a train, and trains now have wifi.

Suggest you need to get out more; reality is different to the marketing hype, even in the UK ...

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Re: But no network shares @Craigness

@Sandtitz you're obviously one of the people who is banned from having more than one device, or is forced to use a Chromebook. There's no need to be angry at Chromebooks, it's the system you should hate! Aeroplanes not having wifi has nothing to do with the price of fish! If you need wifi to work, then don't use panes? Chrome OS is not an issue because it DOES NOT REQUIRE WIFI! That is something I pointed out to the OP, who was dissing something he clearly knew nothing about. I'm here to educate you, so pay attention. Do not let ignorance make you fearful.

@Roland6 the train I was on now has wifi, so quit your anti-marketing hype.

Most of my work is on databases, and if I can't connect then I can't work. It doesn't matter if I'm using Windows, Android or anything - no connection = no work. Fortunately I am representative of about 99% of the UK and am always connected. For the rest of you, move to a country which lets you not use Chromebooks, and Calm Down because the rest of us are just fine!

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Re: But no network shares @Craigness

I'm glad the train you use has WiFi of sufficient quality to enable you to work or stream videos, however, if you actually travelled a little more widely, you would discover that not all trains have WiFi etc.

There is a difference between using your chromebook or ipad etc. for real work eg. DBAdmin and/or development and making use of it whilst on the move. I suggest like others that Google have realised they need to make the Chromebook into something more than a dumb terminal, hence why they have introduced the offline video plugin. With my iPad I can use iPlayer and download programmes that I can then watch without having to pay and worry about the 'joys' of on-train wifi - my usual line has several long tunnels... This doesn't mean I don't use the on-train WiFi, only I don't depend on it working.

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Re: But no network shares @Craigness

@Roland, you really should try a Chromebook for a while before criticising. You say you can download media to your ipad, so you don't rely on wifi, but you can actually do exactly the same on a Chromebook, because they work fine offline. But it's not just mp3s and movie files, there was a Register article not too long ago about the Google Play Movies app being upgraded with an offline feature. I'll see if I can find a link...

More to the point though, if you need to be online to work then nothing will let you work where there is no connection. Chromebooks do not require a connection in order to work, so the claim above about Chromebooks being "a daft way to work unless you work only at home with a good internet connection" was in desperate need of being called out. I did call it out, and unless you can show that Chromebooks DO need to be online whilst you work, or that you CAN'T install apps from non-cloud sources, just give it a rest.

If it really bothers you that Chromebooks work fine offline, you might find some comfort in the fact I use my tablet for media stuff. It's just easier to hold. But I'm fortunate enough to live somewhere that doesn't force me to have a Chromebook, and I'm allowed more than one device. That freedom, and the fact that Chromebooks don't need a connection, seem to have people confused and full of hate.

Did I mention Chromebooks can be used offline?

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Why did it take so long?

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"Why did it take so long?"

Not really. Self-standing media players have been around for only 25+ years or so. Or maybe a bit more, who's counting... Either way, it's a mere blink of an eye.

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Gasp.

Google have just discovered the hard drive.

Well fucking done.

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Angel

"Google to let Chromebookers take video content OFFLINE"

At last! I'm going to buy one of these, to see if they finally take offline that video with the goat*. I was young, and I needed the money!.

* Whitey, if you're reading this comment, please come back with me! Everything is forgiven!

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I used this feature this weekend so I could watch a movie on the train. It does work but it seems a little cranky on the download part. Took me 7 tries to finally get it completely downloaded.

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Wow! Play allows you to watch content you've paid for?

What a novel concept!

Let's hope it catches on.

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