Jaman – an update

I last wrote about Jaman, the internet movie site, almost a year and a half ago. Despite excellent picture quality and a good collection of NFDC movies, I had pretty much passed up on the site because of the small library of Bollywood films.

In the past year, though, Jaman’s movie collection has improved significantly. There are now over a 150 Indian films available now, including some really popular ones like Devdas and Seeta aur Geeta. The rental price varies from 99 cents to $2.99 and the rental expires in 7 dys from the moment you click play and 30 days from the day you rent.

I spoke to Geetanjali Dhillon, the Executive Producer for South Asia. She was reluctant to share growth numbers and financial data( a financing deal is in the works probably) but seemed upbeat and confident about Jaman’s prospects in a Hulu/Itunes world. Certainly the company has been constantly updating the technology to emphasize the social networking component that is Jaman’s USP.

One such development is the Cinemaslots, a randomizer widget that lets you pick and share a movie with friends via social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace or by email. Then there is the Subtitler, which offers clips from movies that you can then subtitle and pass along to your friends( reminds me of the hilarious Telegu/Tamil song subtitled songs on YouTube, except it is up to your creativity.) One feature that has been discontinued is the sale of movies..I guess it just wasn’t very popular. But now there are a number of movies that are being streamed free.

Tie-ups with Eros and Shemaroo have boosted the Bollywood content and more Indian movies are in the works. “Bollywood is one of our most popular genres,” admits Geetanjali. The appeal is across country and mother tongue. Rentals still take a while to download but if you are in a hurry to watch the movie, you can get started right away – the progressive download feature makes this a breeze. The picture quality is as good as the original print of the movie ( better than DVD for sure). I had deleted my Jaman Player sometime over the last year and reinstalling took just a couple of minutes.

The Jaman team has been adding so many features and promotions it is hard to find them all on the website. Use the links in this article to make your way to the widgets. And if you are interested in a couple of free movies when you sign up, click here. It is a great way to carry some movies with you on your vacation and if you want to watch a movie this Friday with the family, an S-cable from the laptop to your big-screen TV can do the trick.( Or so I’m told!)

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