After what Yale officials described as a successful trial during the spring of 2004, Yale has fully adopted the Cdigix — formerly Cflix — online media distribution platform to allow students and faculty access to a vast library of educational and entertaining film and music over the school network.
Officially launched Sept. 18, students can sign up for the music download service Ctrax by accessing http://media.cdigix.com and following the instructions on the page. Clabs, the educational branch of Cdigix, will allow professors to upload educational films for students to watch online in a few weeks. Cflix, which allows students to download films for personal use, will launch on or around Oct. 1, according to Cdigix Founder and President Brett Goldberg.
Users can choose to either subscribe to Ctrax and Cflix or pay for individual downloads from them. According to ITS Director of Academic Media and Technology Chuck Powell, a subscription to Ctrax’s one million songs will cost $2.95 per month and allow students to lease songs for as long as the subscription remains paid. Both subscribers and nonsubscribers can permanently download singles for $0.89 each.
According to Powell, a Cflix subscription will cost $12.99 per month, while individual movie downloads will cost between $1.99 and $3.99, depending on when the movie was released. Cdigix will “tether” all movie downloads, so students can only view a movie for a limited time after ordering it.
Students can pay with MasterCard or Visa. Powell said although Yale and Cdigix have discussed bursar card payments, they are not yet an option.
Students will not pay for movies distributed through Clabs, Powell said. The school will pay an annual fee for the program’s use. While not naming a price, Powell did say it will be “significantly cheaper” than alternative services.
Powell said last semester that the University tried out Cdigix because of its appealing “dual functionality” as both an educational and entertainment media provider. This year, the University will fully integrate the program because student and faculty feedback was “overwhelmingly positive over negative” after the trial, Powell said.
Goldberg said the relationship between his company and the University has met all his expectations, especially in the educational services offered by Cdigix
“[The relationship] has been great,” Goldberg said. “Yale has been a significant driving force behind the educational services.”
Professors of courses “all over the map,” ranging from French to American studies to the sciences, have expressed interest in the program, Powell said. Students have responded positively about Clab’s potential in the classroom, he said. “I believe this will have a great impact on the classroom experience at Yale,” Kevin Bock ’08 said.
Last year, Macintosh computers could not use Cdigix because the service still required Windows Media Player. This year, Powell said he is “absolutely convinced” that Clabs, after switching to Real Payer, will work with Macs. Cdigix has not fixed this problem with Ctrax or Cflix, but the company is working on a solution, Goldberg said.
Cdigix has contacted Disney, Touchstone, Miramax, and Warner Brothers. At least one of these studios will release first-run movies on Cflix this fall, Goldberg said.
Besides Yale, eight other schools have adopted Cdigix, including Wake Forest, Tulane, and Purdue. Four more have unofficially expressed interest, Goldberg said.