Downloading video still strains the series of tubes hooked up to our homes, let alone any wireless connections. I’m really excited about the addition of the video marketplace to the Xbox 360 (Video Marketplace now live – Major Nelson ) but the breaker is going to be antici… … …pation to get the download there. HD video ain’t small, no matter what kind of magic the fantastic WMV codec might be able to do.

How about a pre-download?

Well, what I mean is a download. But one that hasn’t been officially paid for and unlocked yet.

Ideally, it would be a feature of the 360. I mark some upcoming titles I’m interested in, either through the blade interface or via another portal, and the 360 would begin the download when possible (and it would be great if it could be part of a mesh, but that’s another bag of worms). A poor man’s DVR (a poor man that can afford a high-def video game console, that is).

Or you could have Windows Media Player 11 do it as an add-in. One night you log on to your 360, find out that the new content has been pre-downloaded for you, would you like to buy it and play it now?

Instant gratification! With, you know, some planning.

You could imagine giving the 360 a pointer to your Netflix queue RSS feed or your IMDB favorites. It could look through it and note that it could go ahead and pre-download some of those items for you to watch in between getting your disks delivered (because baby, if you’re getting HD-DVD, you’re going to be waiting between disks).

Anyway. The Video Marketplace is a great step. I hope they add something later to help make the download process at least *seem* faster so that you’re inclined to surrender the points.

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