Once upon a time, Amazon had a product called Unbox that let its customers download rented and purchased movies to their desktop and play them, even when offline. It was a convenient way for travelers to consume content when on the go since you usually can't stream video on a plane or train.
Then last month, Amazon seemed to start shifting away from Unbox and over to it's Instant Video platform. Links to download Unbox vanished from the website, and CSRs provided conflicting information on whether it was available or not. Today the mystery is over: Amazon is shutting down the service completely on March 29th and customers will no longer be able to view purchased content offline after that date.
The news isn't all bleak though. In an email sent out to Unbox customers today, Amazon details steps that can be taken to download purchased content and play it through Windows Media Player, even offline. However, if you don't take steps to download your purchased material by Unbox's drop dead date, the content will be forever lost to you from an offline viewing perspective.
As someone who has used Amazon Unbox, we want to let you know about important upcoming changes to the application.
Amazon Unbox will no longer be available after March 29, 2015. This means you won't be able to use Unbox to view or download videos after this date. You can however continue to watch the movies and TV episodes you've purchased and previously downloaded on your PC after this date by fol
lowing the steps below.
Important: The following two-step process will give you access to your purchased and downloaded videos through Windows Media Player, a standard media player included with most PCs. If you need to download or re-install Windows Media Player please go to Microsoft Support (https://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/download-windows-media-player).
1. Update the Amazon Unbox application to the latest version. This version includes a one-time license conversion that will make your videos available within Windows Media Player. Open the Unbox application and there will be an "Upgrade" notification you can use to do this. You can also click the "Settings" option in the Unbox menu and select "Check for Amazon Unbox Upgrades."
2. Use Unbox to download all purchased videos you wish to view offline on your PC by March 29, 2015.
Once you've completed these two steps, your downloaded videos will be available through Windows Media Player on your PC, and you can uninstall Amazon Unbox without losing access to them. If you don't download your purchased videos onto your PC and install the latest version of Unbox by this date, you won't be able to watch your purchased videos offline on your PC.
As always, you can also stream your purchased movies and TV episodes on your PC through your web browser as well as on hundreds of compatible devices, including Smart TV's, game consoles, iOS, Android, and Fire OS devices.
For more information about ways to watch, go to:
It's sad to see customers losing choices, and it's unclear why Amazon is shuttering the Unbox service. We suspect that the movie studios don't like the idea of customers having content stored on personal devices, but there's been no official explanation.