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Top 5 Sites for FREE Zune Movie Downloads

Question: Where can I find free Zune movie downloads?


Contrary to popular opinion it is possible to find free Zune movie downloads online. And they are legal.

Does that sound too good to be true?

Usually when something sounds too good to be true, it is. And unfortunately this case is no different.

So while it is possible to find movies for your Zune online that are both free and legal, they are most likely not something that you really care about watching.

Were you expecting to find the latest Hollywood blockbuster release online for free? You might find it, but you can be pretty sure that if you do, it's not legal. The only free Zune movie downloads that you can find online that are legal are public domain works. Or possibly independent film makers who are still trying to make a name for themselves.

A note about the public domain…

"A public domain work is a creative work [like a movie] that is not protected by copyright and which may be freely used by everyone."
Copyright laws have continued to become stricter over the last century. This chart does a great job explaining how the year of publication of the movie controls when the work is no longer controlled by the creator and passes into the public domain. All copyrights expire eventually, just maybe not in our lifetime.

If a movie was published after 1964, you can pretty much forget about acquiring it legally for free. That pretty much rules out any movie you wanted to watch, right? Bummer!

If a movie was published before 1963, it might be part of the public domain (if a copyright extension was not filed).

It's also interesting to note that before 1923 there was no copyright law. Any movie produced before 1923 is automatically part of the public domain. Unfortunately there were hardly any movies produced before 1923 either. And even fewer that you'd care for watching!

Reference: Lolly Gasaway, University of North Carolina

Then again, you might find something that you actually care for. If you are looking for classics like Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, Alfred Hitchcock or The Little Rascals you can certainly find them for free.

Still interested in legal free Zune movie downloads?

Then continue reading...

I've filtered all the sites on the web that offer free and legal Zune movie downloads. (They'll work with an iPod or other portable media player too.) Here are the top 5…

Wait! Before I list out the sites, you should know that all of them offer the following features.

  • These sites actually allow you to download the movie. There are many sites offering streaming of movies but this won't help you if you want to watch the movie on your Zune.

  • All of these sites offer movies are in .mp4 format also. This means you can watch them on your Zune (or iPod) without having to go through any conversion.

  • No DRM - you don't have to worry about DRM interfering and causing playback issues. Plus you can burn these movies to DVD if you wish.

  • And of course, the movies are free and legal!

Ok, here are the top 5 sites in order of best to worst…

1. Internet Archive (Movie Section)

The BEST site for legal free Zune movie downloads is the Internet Archive. This site offers a HUGE collection of downloadable movies, including home movies and independent productions. For Hollywood movies jump directly to the "feature films" section of the site.

This site has the largest collection of movies of any site on this list. But it's hard to navigate. Your best bet is to use the search function at the top. Be sure to search in the "movies" category for the most relevant results.

2. iMovies Blog

At no. 2 on the list we have a blog which is a great collection of links to public domain movies. Many movies just link back to the internet archive mentioned in #1 above. It does not host any files on the site.

Movies are organized by date added to the site (it is a blog), so can be difficult to find what you are looking for. Thankfully, they've integrated Google search into the site that let's you quickly find if they have what you want.

3. Public Doman Flicks

The third  best site to find free Zune movie downloads is  Public Domain Flicks. It's a great site with lots of classic movies. The latest movie I could find was 1968's "Night of the Living Dead" and movies go as far back as the 1920's. It has a very clean and easy to use interface.

A funny thing about this site is that not all movies are downloadable. I'm not sure why they are featured on the site since they are certainly not "public domain".

4. Public Domain Torrents

No. 4 brings us Public Domain Torrents. This site is not as pretty, but it's still functional. Movies are harder to find since there is no search function. Instead they are grouped by category.

Note that any files you download are named *.mp4.torrent so you'll have to rename to .mp4 before you can watch them.

5. EzTakes

Last on the list we have EzTakes, the most professional (and commercial) site on this list. It mostly sells movies but also offers some free DVD movie downloads. It has only one page of free DVD movies. You can find them by clicking the "Free DVD Downloads" option in the left hand navigation menu.

It also offers some "cheaper" movies. The older and less popular the movie, the cheaper it is. The cheapest I saw was $3.99.

To download movies you must first install their download manager.  They also provide a "To-Go" optional plugin for the download manager that allows you to download directly in .mp4 format. But you must pay a one time fee of $9.99 for this plugin. Or you can download the movie and then use any one of a number of  video convertors to convert to a Zune compatible format.

The fact that EzTakes offers a very poor selection of free Zune movie downloads and requires you to pay for a download manager plugin in order to download in a Zune compatible format makes it score last on this list.

There is one more site that did not make the cut, but you should know about it anyways so you don't waste your time on it. It is Entertainment Magazine Online. They have a good collection of Zune movie downloads including many classic cartoons, however most of the links I tested were broken. So don't bother with it.

The 5 sites on this list will provide you with 1000's of free Zune movie downloads that are legal. Again, you're not going to find the latest Hollywood flicks here. But you may find some good stuff if you dig around.

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