Friday, February 15, 2019

Zek's Musings 8: My Official Position on Videogame Emulation


Hello, fellow penguins! It's good to be writing again! Some of you may remember this blog's earlier iteration, especially "Retro Review" when I reviewed a retro game that I played via emulation. Recently, Nintendo has been going after many different sites that provide ROMs for download, and that has caused a lot of unrest among the emulation community. Is Nintendo wrong about all of this? Where does Zek the Penguin stand on emulation? Read on!
An old screenshot of Banjo Kazooie
   I was against the idea of emulation, initially. I saw it only as an opportunity for piracy, and so I was totally against it. After all, I didn't download music that I didn't own, why would I download games I don't own? To be fair, though, I didn't understand much about emulation, as I had never actually used any emulator. Then I started using Linux in 2009, just before many games came to Linux, and emulation was one of the only ways to play games on my favorite OS. I tried a Super NES emulator out of curiosity more than anything, and it blew me away! My takeaways from the experience were: emulators are much like music players and picture-viewing software in that they are simply a way to consume media, and they often include features that enhance the experience to be had with such media; older games can be revived for younger generations with emulation; there needs to be a good, safe, and legal way to access such media. These three positions have not changed in my mind.
A favorite NES game!
   Clementine and Mupen64 are both ways to consume media: one being music files like .mp3 and .ogg, and the other n64 roms. The key difference? I can put a CD in my computer and rip it to whatever file format I wish, even copying it to multiple devices, and I can play the music on whatever player or device I wish... meanwhile, I cannot rip an N64 cartridge, nor can I play the media on whatever player or hardware I wish. Why?! What makes videogames (or movies, for that matter) so much more special than music?
   There have been many concerns over piracy for generations of newer mediums for music, movies, pictures, and games. VHS piracy used to be a huge concern... then, eventually, EVERYONE taped their favorite shows and movies without batting an eye, and Hollywood didn't miss a penny! Most of those who recorded a movie or show eventually purchased a higher-quality copy (with no commercials)! Hey Nintendo! Listen! The emulation community is the largest reason that retro games are still a viable market!
   Interestingly, even with pirates hocking illegal ROMs everywhere, the NES classic sold out... which brings me to my point: Nintendo SHOULD open an online store where people can purchase legal ROMs! Emulators aren't illegal, and there are plenty of people out there that will gladly pay Nintendo (again) for a safe, legal copy of their favorite games! It would be even cooler if those games could be fed into the NES classic to be added to the 30 games it came with! Or, like with music players, customers can opt to use their own emulators to play ROMs in order to add saves, online multiplayer, and HD upscaling with no cost to Nintendo and no need to remake a classic game AGAIN!
   Currently, Nintendo has had to remake many of their older titles in order to bring them to younger generations using newer consoles. (Let's face it, younger generations are NOT going to pay collector prices for older tech and older games.) However, many of them would drop $2 or $5 to add a classic game to their Nintendo library on their Switch, DS, or PC. I definitely would! Just food for thought, Nintendo, Sega, and others.
   What about piracy? That's a tricky issue for me. Part of me would like to say that it can provide a means of preserving games that will NEVER be re-released, and I would be okay with that. However, I see no need for piracy if there is a legal way to get ROMs that you are free to use as you would any other media you own. That's my wish for the future! I want to have the freedom to consume my music, pictures, movies, ebooks, and videogames using whatever software and hardware that I choose: no artificial boundaries and limitations! GOG.com has already figured this out with the games they sell, and my business will likewise go to other video, music, and ebook stores that also give me such freedom!
   So, to summarize: I'm a fan of emulation, as most emulators are superior ways to enjoy classic games; I'm NOT a fan of Nintendo attacking sites instead of providing a better service; I long for the day when piracy is only necessary to preserve media that would otherwise be lost to the sands of time; I'm perfectly happy to buy legal, safe media that I can consume as I see fit.
What do you think? Do you think everything should be free? If so, how would any game development be paid for? If you are okay with buying games, are you also okay with being limited to specific hardware? Let me know.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Zek's Musings 7: Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Hey penguins,
   I gotta be honest with you, I do NOT like the topic for today. However, I feel it needs to be addressed by as many voices as possible. Linus Torvalds took a short sabbatical a few months ago in order to get some help with how to interact with people in a more professional way, and I was all for it! Considering Linus' position with the Linux Foundation, the way that Linus conducted himself in years past seemed to me to be a very bad way to represent a foundation (and by extension an OS and community).
   Shortly after that announcement, the Linux Foundation implemented a code of conduct, which resulted in a LOT of controversy! Many railed against the "Code of Conflict", arguing that it was just another way social justice warriors were trying to control people. Still others felt a code of conduct would do no harm... Personally, I'm somewhere in between the two extremes: I believe code should be accepted based solely upon the quality of the code, since my computer doesn't care about the political leanings of the one doing the coding, but I also believe that being good at coding isn't a license to be a dickhead.
   Then Linux.org was hacked and defaced (picture from motherboard.com)... In addition to the ridiculous words written on the site, it also reveals personal information for the person that wrote the Contributor's Covenant, upon which the LF's Code of Conflict is based. Also, a nasty picture.
   This is why we can't have nice things! How hard is it to not be a dick to other people?!
   The natural reaction of many to this hacker's childish behavior has been to vindicate and support a code of conduct! A podcast I listen to addressed this topic, and the host noted that this shows a code of conduct may be necessary since some people don't know how to act! (Way to go, genius!) Gotta admit, the thought crossed my mind. Maybe there are people out there that should NOT be associated with the operating system I love and use on a daily basis. Then it occurred to me that such a thought could turn ugly if what is 'unacceptable' was redefined, and I came back to my senses.
   Folks, this is the internet; there are good people here, but also bad people, mean people, and childish people who hurt others just for kicks. None of this is new, and it would be silly to assume that any sort of COC would truly eliminate any of it. Moreover, I don't want to give such power to a body that could eventually decide that specific colors, genders, creeds, religions, etc were also 'bad' and suddenly remove those individuals too, regardless of how they conduct themselves. The best part about Open Source is the freedom it gives to the user, and I believe it should stay that way! That said, I believe we should all do our part to be better people, including better software users.
   To that end, I personally condemn this hacker's behavior; I condemn the COC for trying to control and limit contributors, which could make Linux weaker overall (let's face it, your feelings don't change bad code into good code); I commend Linus for seeking out ways to grow in how he communicates and collaborates with people. I think we all would do well to follow Linus' example and reassess how we treat each other. If we did that, a COC wouldn't even be necessary in the first place.

Rant over,
Zek the Penguin

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Penguin's Progress 8: Working with Two Screens

Hey penguins!
Went with a Zelda theme
   Wanted to write again so bad, so here I am! I've built myself a Ryzen 5 rig, and I've moved from Mint to Xubuntu to KDE Neon! Gotta say, I'm loving Neon! Another new development is that I've now got a second screen in the form of an older 720p TV mounted above my normal monitor. This leaves me with a resolution of 1440x900 on my monitor and 1366x768 on the TV above.
   Setting up two monitors on Xubuntu was fairly easy, although I struggled to find a way to stretch a wallpaper across the two desktops. Switching to KDE Neon, I found a similar experience, with both screens working well except for the wallpaper problem. Hopefully this will change, as it is something that Windows 10 handles well, and Linux should be better than Win10 in that regard!
   The overall application of my two screens is to have my monitor as the main display I use for computing with the TV above being used for games and shows. It's really nice when it works. However, I've had issues with games launching on the wrong screen. Also, my extended desktop switches to a mirrored desktop when a game launches with a different resolution. Weird quirk, but it's one I've noticed.
Playing some Dirt Rally!
Watching YouTube as I write.

I've been pleasantly surprised by how well my R7 250x handles both screens, even when gaming! Even so, a newer graphics card is definitely at the top of my shopping list (hopefully an RX570)! Then I'll look to improve my displays to take advantage of a stronger card.

   I remember the days when doing multiple displays on Linux was a chore, which makes me very appreciative of how easy the same task is today. Still, some changes I hope to see on Linux are as follows:
     * An improved GUI for setting up displays. While both Xubuntu and KDE Neon did an admirable job with making an intuitive GUI for setting up two or more monitors, the experience still felt a bit bare bones.
     * Better support for stretching wallpapers across screens. This is something that Windows does really well, provided you use a wallpaper with a resolution that CAN stretch. Perhaps this is my lack of knowledge, but it seems as though this feature doesn't exist on Linux yet. If it does, then the GUI does a poor job of making such a feature apparent.
     * Screen assignments that don't have to fight Steam. I've looked into a neat feature that KDE has that allows one to set which display a program launches on, in addition to other rules for a program. However, I haven't gotten it to work properly with Steam games, for which I blame Steam.

Those are my only real gripes. In general, I'm having a blast with my new two-screen setup! If you have some helpful information about any of the issues I've had, please share in the comments below!

Stay frosty,
Zek the Penguin

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Zek's Musings 6: How to Reinvigorate Steam Machines!

Fellow penguins,

   It's good to be writing you all again! I recently spoke with one of you about Valve's Steam machines and SteamOS, particularly about what missteps were made in their launch and what can be done to create a more successful relaunch! So, I will be highlighting the major mistakes I believe kept Steam machines from succeeding and how to best shore those weaknesses up. Here we go!

1. Unfocused approach.
   This has been touched on by many, but this was a multi-faceted problem facing the Steam machines' launch. To summarize, it seems as though Steam machines were trying to appeal to PC gamers and console gamers both, while introducing a new controller paradigm at the same time! The new controller, cost, and number of hardware choices were too much for console gamers who are used to having one kind of Xbox per generation that costs less than $400. Meanwhile, the strange controller didn't resonate with PC gamers, and the hardware costs were hard to justify to a crowd that regularly builds its own gaming machines.

A standard case makes Xbox easy to identify.
Better idea: Pick a market, create a brand, and set standards.
   There are many different colors of Xbox, yet they are each easy to recognize as an Xbox: this is due largely to the same case being used for every Xbox, which creates a signature look that marks the Xbox One brand. This is something that console gamers are used to, and it is far less confusing than having drastically different machines all being touted as Steam Machines. I make this point because I believe that console gaming is the market Steam Machines should vie for. Steam machines are bringing games to the couch: console territory! Playing on the couch is the only thing that Steam machines have to offer PC gamers, but a console gamer would be drawn by a console that launches with thousands of games that can also be played on their PC! Thing is, you need to appeal to console gamers on terms that they're used to. Valve should make the Steam Machine case for all vendors so that there is a standard. Also, there should be a minimum hardware requirement set so that every machine can play all Steam titles! This would ensure a minimum standard without limiting vendors' choices on the top end. Valve should also create an Xbox-like controller to ship with the consoles and offer the Steam Controller on the side. This gives players a control paradigm they're used to that isn't created by the competition while leaving the door open for curious and/or adventurous gamers to check out the different Steam Controller.

2. Marketing?
   To be honest, I don't remember a single Steam Machine ad that existed outside of Steam and its website, which leads one to question HOW Valve expected to draw gamers' attention! Doing a little digging, it seems there were a few ads for the Alienware machine, which came after the Alienware Alpha that totally shot Steam machine sales in the foot.

Better idea: Reach out to your market!
   If Valve were to focus on console gaming, then putting ads in various gaming magazines would be a logical first step. They can tout the fact that their console has thousand of available titles at launch, Steam cloud saves, PC cross-platform play, etc. Valve could make a splash if they focused their ads on what Steam machines can do that Xbox and Playstation cannot, especially when those ads are memorable... Valve should hire an advertiser to create their ads! I still remember Sega and Nintendo ads from the '90s because of how well they were crafted to grab attention!

Cheesy, but it worked.

3. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight!
   Consoles are more than game machines these days. In fact, I know some people who bought an Xbox 360 just to watch Netflix and Hulu! SteamOS, in comparison, offers local mp3 playback, video streaming from Steam's library, and that's it! Steam machine hardware is simply that of a computer, yet SteamOS does little to take advantage of the flexibility and power that it has over console operating systems!

Better idea: Improve SteamOS features!
   I use Linux every day, and I know that it is capable of doing so much more than SteamOS does out of the box! Moreover, there are some streaming services that MUST be offered by a new device if it hopes to be competitive. First, Valve should make sure SteamOS can offer Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and a music streaming service like Spotify. Even if Valve improved its own music and video catalog to rival (or even surpass) Netflix or Spotify, it does not have the brand recognition that those services do! If Steam Machines were to add such services and offer additional features and services that consoles do not have, the machines would be poised to gain buyer interest. Valve should also consider teaming up with Kodi to create a smooth interface for playing local media, which is something that current consoles have largely neglected. Kodi has provided such a service for many years, and it is still a very popular application to add to the Shield devices for the very purpose of playing local media. Valve should also consider working with Canonical to provide a more robust selection of games and applications on SteamOS. Steam is already a huge repository, so why not improve its selection of free software? It would give Steam Machines more to offer out of the box and could buy some good will from the Open Source community.
4. Content, content, content!
 While it's fair to say that Steam Machines offered more games at launch than other consoles have, it is also fair to say that gamers expect to play all of latest and greatest titles that are not exclusive to specific consoles. It's why one sees Call of Duty and other hot games on most consoles. Guitar Hero III even had a unique control scheme that required a special peripheral, and it still made it onto every console of its day. SteamOS has not done this, despite valiant work done by Feral and Aspyr.
Better Idea: Offer more incentives to developers for porting titles, and create exclusives.
   There have been many suggestions to have developers create new titles for Linux, which seems obvious. However, there are many titles out now that would immediately garner attention for Steam Machines if they were offered. Perhaps a more generous split of profit would make porting titles a priority for more developers.
   Another expectation that console gamers have is that of exclusive titles. One buys Nintendo consoles to play Mario and Pokemon titles, Xbox for the latest Halo games, and Playstation for Uncharted and Metal Gear titles... yet Steam Machines had nothing that its competition didn't! Valve should fix that by offering some exclusive titles. Even if they release majority of their games on all platforms, Steam Machines need to have some titles to call their own as part of carving out a niche and creating a lasting brand.

I know this post comes VERY late in the whole Steam Machine debate, but my recent conversations have left the topic very much on my mind. What do you think, dear reader?

Zek the Penguin

  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Software Hunter 5: Battle of the Office Suites!

Hi folks! Hope this blog post finds you all well! Some of you know that I'm a big fan of LibreOffice, and that I write quite frequently. Before I discovered LibreOffice, I was an avid user of OpenOffice, and I used Abiword before that. I recently have begun a love-affair with KDE, partly because of the full compliment of programs that comes with it, and so when I heard that the Calligra Office Suite was part of that I had to try it out. So, below you will find my thoughts on comparing LibreOffice with Calligra. (By the way, if you want to check out Calligra, make sure you have the appropriate Qt libraries installed. Using Mint 17.3, I simply installed KDE from the software manager and that took care of it.)
Calligra Suite
LibreOffice


Don't judge my trackpad drawing!

The three main parts I'll be looking at in each suite will be the document writer, the spreadsheet, and the presentation program, but I will also add/remove points for the remainder of the suite. To begin with, the naming scheme of both suites is very minimalistic and intuitive. Calligra has Words, Sheets, and Stage where LibreOffice has Writer, Calc, and Impress. Anyway, ON TO THE WRITING PROGRAMS!

Calligra Words VS LibreOffice Writer!!!!

I've placed each competing program side by side for comparison. As you can see above, each program has a very different way of organizing your menus and/or tools. LibreOffice sticks with a much more familiar layout, to be sure, but the longer I used Calligra the more I came to appreciate its menu. Words' menu can be resized and moved around, as with anything in KDE. Both writers have a wealth of options and can save in a number of formats. In time, it's quite possible that I would prefer Calligra's drastically different menu, but at present I'm more at home on LibreOffice Writer. Moreover, the number of file formats Writer offers by default is better. Point for LibreOffice!

Calligra Sheets VS LibreOffice Calc!!!

Neat little opening page on Calligra Sheets.

 Next up is the spreadsheet program to be found in each suite, and it was a much closer battle than that fought between the writing programs! Firstly, I've noticed that each of Calligra's programs have an initial screen that lets you choose a template option, and it's cool to be given that choice right from the jumping-off point. Much like Words, Calligra Sheets offers a much larger menu to the right of the workspace. With this spreadsheet, I found the menu to be much more useful and less intrusive than with Words, especially since the large menu can be moved and resized. (Think of this menu like the toolbars in GIMP.) Naturally, I'm right at home using LibreOffice Calc, and it has gotten better and better. I will say these two programs would serve anybody well, and the menu is really a matter of preference here. Spreadsheet apps are at a draw!

Calligra Stage VS LibreOffice Impress!!!
Finally, we'll take a look at the presentation program to be had with each suite. I don't really do presentations at all any more, so I must say that Calligra and LibreOffice started off on an even footing with me when it came down to presentation programs. As with other Calligra programs, Stage has a large menue that takes up the right 1/2 of the window. This can be resized, and there are a number of templates and even fun backgrounds to be had. Impress was surpisingly naughty when I attempted to resize the window. Considering my tests were done on Cinnamon (a Gnome variant), I would have expected to have more visual problems with the Qt-based Calligra on Cinnamon than the office program that ships with Mint by default. Oh well! Aside from the resizing issue, Impress performs admirably at full-screen. It offers a number of features and is very easy to use to put together a presentation. Out of the two, however, I was more taken with Stage. I struggled a bit at first, but putting a presentation together on Stage was pretty smooth overall. Point Calligra!
I don't want you thinking that I'll leave this duel at a draw. Let's look at the extras a little more closely! Aside from the three programs reviewed, LibreOffice offers Base, which is a database program, and Draw, a vector graphics program, and Math, which allows for writing equations. Meanwhile, Calligra offers Kexi, a database, Plan, a project management app, Braindump, a note-taking app with a great name, Flow, a flowchart app, Karbon, a vector graphics program, Krita, a fantastic drawing/painting program, and Author, an e-book writing app. One-to-one, LibreOffice's apps have better quality overall, but the sheer number of apps gives Calligra the edge. Calligra wins!
I whole-heartedly recommend giving either of these fine suites a try! If you're a KDE fan, you can't go wrong with Calligra.

Stay frosty,
Zek the Penguin

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Software Hunter 4: Tryin' Some Tasty DeaDBeeF!

        Hello fellow penguins! Welcome to another Software Hunter. I was recently exploring more of what is available by default on the latest Puppy Linux, including the music player DeaDBeeF. I had never heard of DeaDBeeF before, so I looked it up and learned a few things: 1. 'Deadbeef' is a way to refer to a crash or deadlock in an embedded system. (see here for more info on that, because it's a bigger can of worms than I'd prefer to get into) 2. It's pretty old in internet years. The oldest mention of the music player in a non-alpha state that I can find is on SourceForge.net dated 08/23/2009. That's almost exactly how long I've been using Linux altogether, and to think of how much has happened in tech since makes this program seem ancient! I know there are many other programs that are older, but I salute any program that stays alive past 5 years. 3. I couldn't really suss out why they capitalize the consonants only in the name of this program. 4. It plays 'moosic'.... yes, I know.... 5. It's fun to mess with!
         So, what exactly IS DeaDBeeF? Well, it's a very simplistic music player that can be customized like crazy. The current release is version 0.7.2.
This is all there is at first!
Yep. Pretty simple...
 As you can see on the left, there is really nothing to the player upon firing it up for the first time. Once you add your music folder, it isn't much more complicated, providing a simple playlist, as seen on the right. The overall quality of the sound is quite good, I must say, especially after using the built-in equalizer to set your sound levels just right. The menus in the bar above offer quite expected options to load music, create playlists, etc. However, in the 'View' section one finds a 'Designer Mode,' and that option is equally intriguing and infuriating! Often customizing media players requires a bit more file-tweaking than I prefer to deal with, so this mostly-intuitive option was very exciting to me!
This is what developer mode looks like after making a few panes.
        Upon entering Designer Mode, you have the option to right-click on any part of the player and customize it. You can add panes of various kinds, although you must be careful not to add too many by accident. It took a while to discover that right-clicking on the dividing lines of panes is how you get rid of them... after accidentally creating three panes inside of a lower quadrant that I had and then again in one of those small panes... let's just say it took some time to undo all of it!
However, with some perseverance I came up with an interesting layout that looked quite different from the original DeaDBeeF player! I also looked into add-ons, and there are quite a few interesting options. I personally tried and enjoy a song info add-on that provides the lyrics to the song that is currently playing.
Album art? Check. Sound levels? Check. Controls at the bottom? Yep.
A few snags: That snazzy lyrics add-on is missing from 0.7.2 by default. Finding and downloading the add-on was quite simple, but extracting the files to the right place proved a bit challenging because majority of the instructions I found were incorrect for Linux Mint! (For those wondering, you need to put add-ons in /opt/deadbeef/lib/deadbeef, and no, I have no idea why they needed to put a folder called 'deadbeef' inside a folder of the same name!) Anyway, after accomplishing this, the 'infobar' was selectable as a pane option while in Designer Mode. Another issue I found is that this is one of the few music players I've tried on Mint that doesn't integrate its controls with the volume settings in Cinnamon. Not a huge deal, but it's still a bit annoying. I also noticed that after I had set my panes just the way I wanted them, I found I had to resize them after reopening the player. This seems to have righted itself somehow, as the past few times I've opened it everything was fine. Finally, it is a player only! Don't expect to manage your music and album art with DeaDBeeF! It will play your library all day, but that is the extent of its capability.
My final DeaDBeeF layout!
      So, would I recommend DeaDBeeF? Yes, for those who want a very light player that they can use on ANY system. If you have a live USB of Puppy Linux that you use on an ancient Pentium 3, this will work, especially in its default form. If you have a nice rig with plenty of RAM, you can add bells and whistles galore and have quite a nice little player too. However, if you like to rip discs using your player, track down album info and artwork, etc., you would be better-served by looking into Clementine, Amarok, or Banshee.
      Well, that is my two cents on this strangely-named music player; hope it helps. Give it a go and tell me what you think! Also, if you are an expert in the ways of DeaDBeeF, please comment below with some tips!

Stay Frosty,
Zek the Penguin

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Software Hunter 3: Checking Out Steam's Video Service



What the? That's new!

Small store, for now.
How's it going fellow penguins? It's been a while since I've written about software, so I thought I'd share about a phenomenon that I recently noticed on Steam: it has a video service now! Steam has had a few videos on it about as long as it has offered non-game software. However, there has been no individual entry in the store until recently. I had just purchased Skullgirls (yes, there will be a review) when I noticed the new 'videos' tab. I had heard rumors that Valve was planning to expand SteamOS to include video-streaming services. Steam has offered gameplay videos of each entry in its catalog for some time, so it seems a natural extension to offer lengthier, more robust films. This is, no doubt, an attempt to combat the many video options that PS4 and Xbox users enjoy, and really it is in non-game media that SteamOS really falls flat right now. Personally, I'm still hoping Valve simply partners with Kodi to provide a seamless video option that can also handle personal media in addition to streamed media... but that's probably a pipe dream... alas...
Rent for a quarter of the price. Hmm.
In browsing the selection of films available, one finds mostly independent works. The only popular options to be found are Mad Max and Naruto. Pricing, it seems, includes the option to purchase a film and also an option to pay a bit less and rent the film. I haven't purchased or rented a film yet, but I did play one of the free options to see how well the movie player worked.
Good options, just sparse.
It seems the movie player is simply a pop-up browser window. The controls are quite minimal, yet sufficient for the purpose of playing movies. If you're looking for fancy menus, look elsewhere. Still, the settings do allow for different languages and playback speeds, and the caption options are pretty good. I clicked around to different parts of the movie and was pleased to find that there was no freezing or stuttering, and the full-screen button provides a simple, clean viewing experience. Sound options were also lacking, but the overall quality of sound was pretty good. There were some entries that I could see purchasing, so I'll be sure to provide a comment below with a follow-up on the options for film you own.
Good player, just sparse.
At this point, I would not recommend the video service because of a lack of content and features. However, I'm excited to think of Valve contending with Amazon and Youtube in the video space. Steam's video player is solid and simply needs features, and their store simply needs a bigger selection.
So, to recap:
Video Quality - Really quite good. Two wings up!
Audio Quality - Again, good. Two wings up!
Library - Lacking, both in selection and also what you can do with what you buy. Gotta give this one two wings down.
Player Features - Also lacking. The features offered work well, but there just aren't enough of them. One wing up.
Final Verdict - 1.5 wings up. Seriously, folks, this service could be great, it just needs some work to get there.
The main concern I have is this: Amazon's and Youtube's biggest mistake is locking down the content they are selling, and I hope that Valve doesn't repeat this mistake. Amazon movies can only be played on Amazon's player, and that player doesn't work on Linux... Youtube isn't really any better either, and their war against content creators is disconcerting as well.
How cool would it be if we could use movies purchased on Steam the same way we can use soundtracks?! Imagine being able to stream our movies AND/OR downloading them into our video libraries to play in our Kodi HTPCs. If this was the case Steam would quickly become my first choice for purchasing movies, not because I enjoy piracy, but because I like being able to choose how I use media that I legally own. I'll be starting a thread on Steam about this very topic. Feel free to log in and provide your two cents as well.

Stay Frosty,
Zek the Penguin