June 23, 2012

How YouTube Helped Me Get My LOTR Digital Copy

LOTR Blu-Ray Extended Edition

Gather ’round, gentle readers. I am here to present to you the tale of how YouTube helped me get the Digital Copy of LOTR (Lord of the Rings, ‘natch) before the codes expired.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — thank goodness that there are people with time on their hands who like to post videos to YouTube. Usually when I say that I’m referring to folks who take the time to post scenes from old TV shows online. When I’m researching articles for Snakkle, these folks are invaluable.

This time I’m grateful that a YouTuber using the handle Blucollection posted this video of his unboxing of the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-Ray box set.


You would be forgiven for asking why I am offering props for this action. Let me be clear — I am not only offering props, I am offering MAD props. For without Blucollection’s video, I might have missed out on the Digital Copies of all three LOTR films.
How is this possible, you may ask. Doesn’t the description of the product clearly state that a Digital Copy of each film is included with the purchase of the Extended Edition? Yes. Yes it does. It also states that consumers are required to redeem said Digital Copies before June 26, 2012.
Which I realized yesterday is, like, really soon.
I’m a bit of a cheapskate. Not that I won’t buy things. After all, I bought the LOTR box set, although I admit that I did so only because it was on sale. When I do spend money, I want everything that I’m entitled to. I love the idea of the DVD combo pack because it allows consumers to watch movies that they have purchased in multiple ways. While it is possible to rip a DVD and convert the resulting files so that they can be played on a tablet or cell phone, it’s a pain in the butt and involves breaking the copy protection on the disc, which you’re not allowed to do. While I’m sure movie companies would love it if everybody were willing to pay for movies multiple times, once on DVD and/or Blu-Ray and again for the privilege of watching a film on a 4-inch screen, this isn’t realistic. Thus was born the notion of including a code that allows consumers to download a copy of the movie they bought on disc.
In my experience the digital copy is included on a disc and then transferred to your computer. With the LOTR Extended Edition Blu-Ray box set, you are given codes for each of the three films. These codes need to be entered on a website, which then launches iTunes or Windows Media Player. (You have to pick one or the other, so choose wisely, young hobbit.) You might be able to enter the codes directly in iTunes or WMP, I haven’t tried yet.
Still with me? Good, because this is the good part.
Nowhere on the packaging did I see any instructions about how to get the Digital Copies. I did see the expiration date of June 26, 2012, which was helpful. But that’s all. Lest you think I’m the only one with this problem, let me prove that I am not. Here’s a comment that was left on TheOneRing.net 2 months ago that is still unanswered:
I bought the set last week here in New Zealand, and am pretty happy with it. I am up to the last film. One thing though – there is no mention of a digital download anywhere in the box or any sort of code. How do I claim that? It is definitely the same box set.
So ha! Other people had the same problem. Google searches using terms such as “lord of the rings extended blu ray digital copy code” yielded similar unanswered queries about the supposedly included Digital Copies.
Luckily, those same searches also brought me to Blucollection’s helpful video. I admit that I didn’t watch the whole thing; I skipped around until I found what I was looking for. It turns out that there is a flyer in the box that contains the necessary download codes, one for each movie. In fact, the instructions state that you have to visit a specific URL for every download. That’s probably just a marketing thing.
Somehow I didn’t notice the flyer in the box. This is odd because I looked. I don’t think the Eye of Sauron was watching me whilst I perused my purchase and mystically hid the flyer from view. But I didn’t find the flyer until I knew that’s what I was looking for.
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video
Thanks to Blucollection‘s YouTube video I was able to figure out how to get what I paid for without missing the download deadline. This makes me happy. The fact that there is a deadline to download digital copies of DVDs is something I’ll address at another time. Right now I’ve got some codes to enter.
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