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iPhone rumored to get wireless movie, TV downloads

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
A new rumor, complete with supposed screenshots, maintains that Apple is on the verge of allowing movie and TV show downloads directly from an iPhone or iPod touch.

According to the blogger reporting the purported find, a friend who downloaded the latest version of the iPhone app TwitterFon claims to have discovered three mobile ads from Apple that pointed to "iTunes Movies," "iTunes Movie Rentals" and "iTunes TV."

Rather than take the visitor to a website, however, tapping one of the ads is said to switch to the mobile iTunes client and shows what appears to be a work-in-progress video section of Apple's mobile store. Viewers can browse genres and see featured items, but tapping the actual videos themselves produces a notice that the content is "not available." Promos for episodes and movies are missing.

The section was reportedly in a rough enough state when viewed that a navigation bar used to filter by music videos, movies and TV shows wasn't there at one point in the day and appeared the next. It's possible that Apple was building the portal in a live environment, the report suggests.

A video store would signal a loosening of the restrictions surrounding video downloads on the iPhone. Since adding the podcast section to the iTunes Store, Apple has allowed downloading video podcasts whenever one of its handheld devices is connected through Wi-Fi but has never permitted paid video downloads, in part because of the lengthy wait to download hundreds of megabytes of content.





While the authenticity of the rumor hasn't been corroborated outside of the seemingly real screenshots taken to show the new store portal's existence, its appearance comes just as Apple is poised to introduce 802.11n WiFi to its handhelds. The wireless standard is about four times faster than the 802.11g the iPhone and iPod touch use today and would significantly shorten the time spent waiting for downloads that would otherwise be interminable with fast-enough Internet connections or less-than-ideal WiFi reception.

The blogger's friend didn't make any assertions as to whether or not videos would work over 3G, though carrier concerns about overloading the network would most likely keep paid content restricted to WiFi in the same way that video podcasts are restricted today.

The testing would also come just a few weeks before Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
post #2 of 68
When does the name of this place get changed to iphoneinsider.com?

post #3 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new rumor, complete with supposed screenshots, maintains that Apple is on the verge of allowing movie and TV show downloads directly from an iPhone or iPod touch. ...

Sounds cool, but unless the carriers get on board with it, it won't be of much use.

I got bit by this just this morning. My computer is down so I had to use direct download from the iPhone to get today's podcasts (which are handled the same way as these movies and shows would be.) Since I only had a half hour before I left for work, I got within seconds of finishing the download but had to leave anyway, and since the carriers don't allow podcast downloads over 3G, I couldn't finish the download until 40 minutes later when I got to work. Needless to say this ruins the whole point of being to download movies and podcasts on the fly.

Maybe things will change with the new contracts, but if they don't, these kinds of features won't be of much use.
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post #4 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Sounds cool, but unless the carriers get on board with it, it won't be of much use.

I got bit by this just this morning. My computer is down so I had to use direct download from the iPhone to get today's podcasts (which are handled the same way as these movies and shows would be.) Since I only had a half hour before I left for work, I got within seconds of finishing the download but had to leave anyway, and since the carriers don't allow podcast downloads over 3G, I couldn't finish the download until 40 minutes later when I got to work. Needless to say this ruins the whole point of being to download movies and podcasts on the fly.

Maybe things will change with the new contracts, but if they don't, these kinds of features won't be of much use.

I think the article is implying that this will be WiFi only.
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post #5 of 68
I look forward to serving our new iTunes downloading overlords ... oops, for a sec I thought I was back on Slashdot...

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post #6 of 68
"ts appearance comes just as Apple is poised to introduce 802.11n WiFi to its handhelds. The wireless standard is about four times faster than the 802.11g the iPhone and iPod touch use today and would significantly shorten the time spent waiting for downloads"

Who actually has an internet connection as fast as 802.11b? 20Mbit services are not all that common yet and I certainly can't imagine any home user's internet would be limited by a 802.11g wifi connection. On the iPod/iPhone the speed of loading a page seems to me to be more limited by the processor not the speed of connection. 802.11n is only useful on the iPod/iPhone if you have an existing home file/sharing network and don't want to have g devices on it too.
post #7 of 68
Perhaps 802.11n will finally introduce full (mobileme and multimedia) wireless sync, although I can't say this matters too much to me personally.

Aside from fast LANs, many locales do have access to 20 Mbps or better broadband.

Tiered 3G data plans might coincide with AT&T-sanctioned 3G access to more video sources (along with the micropurchase capability available with iPhone OS 3.0).
post #8 of 68
I personally would find this move very... unexpected and unlikely.
post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

I personally would find this move very... unexpected and unlikely.

How come?
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post #10 of 68
Whether or not this is indicative of new functionality coming in a future release, anyone with an iPhone can already access the areas shown in the screenshots.

If you click on the link to the TV show section on your iPhone (http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/M...iewGenre?id=32), it will launch the iTunes Mobile app and bring you to the TV Shows section. I did it (in iPhone OS 2.2.1) and it looks exactly like the posted screenshots.

As the story says, they are unfinished and do not allow anything to be downloaded. It's possible that this is a bug (abeit a rather large one) in the iTunes Mobile app.
post #11 of 68
iPhone rumored to get wireless movie, TV downloads


And bandwidth penny pinching greedy AT&T is going along with this?

Oh wait, wireless.

Yea baby. Yea.
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post #12 of 68
Sounds great! This must also mean a significant capacity update too no? I mean, movies are around 1.25 - 2.0GB each on the iTS. Unless they're going to provide specially encoded versions for the iPhone - which I don't see them doing, then that space could get eaten up really quickly.

Couple movie downloads with AV-Out and you've got yourself one pretty awesome mobile entertainment device though...

Jimzip
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post #13 of 68
Well they wouldn't go to the effort of formatting the TV shows section to work on the iPhone for nothing would they? Seems a bit pointless. Especially as in one screenshot part of the interface is missing and in the next it's there suggests they are actively working on this.

Yes most people don't have a broadband connection cable of using N wireless but some certainly do, especially in some places in Europe and Asia. Virgin Media in the UK are on 50Mbit and testing 200Mbit already. Plus with g wireless you don't actually get 54Mbit out of it, real world performance is a lot less. The N wireless chip could help not just in speed but also draw lower power.

Also remember Apple already encode their shows and movies with an iPhone / iPod version which will be a lower res and hence smaller file size than the full downloads. Say you go to work and remember you've missed an episode of a TV show. You could set it downloading while you work so you could watch it in your lunch break. As long as the power draw is quite low it wouldn't be a big deal if it took an hour. Other point is your much more likely to be able to charge your iPod / iPhone at work but your computer with iTunes on which you sync with is probably at home.

Even if it's not used by many I still don't see any harm in Apple adding it as they have the requirements to make this happen in place anyway. It'll be useful to some.
post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

How come?

Several reasons:

First - Apple supposedly spent a great deal of time negotiating with the carriers and music labels to move their iTunes WiFi Store to be the iTunes Music Store on iPhone - specifically, to remove the requirement for Wifi. Apple is very strong about not creating situations in iPhone apps where they work some of the time - if it requires Wifi or network access, it should be very plain and clear and not unpredicatable throughout the app. This goes against the mobile HIG to do this type of thing (unless you somehow believe the carriers will allow you to download a movie over 3G)

Second - the App doesn't WORK that way. They're saying the segmented control was there some of the time, some of the time it wasn't? That's a default piece that is there all the time... UI pieces hardcoded into an app don't just randomly disappear and reappear at will, or whenever Apple flicks switches. From an iPhone developer's perspective, it sounds fishy.

Third - Apple isn't just about function. They won't chuck in a kitchen sink. If you can't download something over wifi in 5 minutes, Apple won't do it. The WiFi store was built for coffee-shop downloading. It's not for heavy lifting. Mobile apps aren't all about features. They're about what is reasonable in the scenario. Expecting someone to stay in the vicinity of a hotspot for an hour to get a movie doesn't fit with the HIG, nor anything that was said at last year's WWDC - in fact it violates quite a few of the conceptual ideas they tried to impress upon developers.

Its possible this is true - but it just doesn't seem like something Apple would do considering their position on the platform. If you can do it, it has to be convenient. Thats what the device is all about.
post #15 of 68
Well an AT&T Mobile Manager I spoke with last week said they would "Soon" be releasing their AT&T U-Verse Remote and U-Verse DVR streaming to iPhone (ala SlingBox) but it would be allowed over 3G. I have U-verse so that would be too cool, but I will believe it when I see it. They had Whole House DVR slated to go live for a year or two before it actually did.

So who knows, if they feel it will please apple and the actual 3G network is actually almost in place, they may allow the movie downloads of 3G. Movie downloads and Streaming Video still sound like big bandwidth hogs for their network.
post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Several reasons:

First - Apple supposedly spent a great deal of time negotiating with the carriers and music labels to move their iTunes WiFi Store to be the iTunes Music Store on iPhone - specifically, to remove the requirement for Wifi. Apple is very strong about not creating situations in iPhone apps where they work some of the time - if it requires Wifi or network access, it should be very plain and clear and not unpredicatable throughout the app. This goes against the mobile HIG to do this type of this (unless you somehow believe the carriers will allow you to download a movie over 3G)

Second - the App doesn't WORK that way. They're saying the segmented control was there some of the time, some of the time it wasn't? That's a default piece that is there all the time... UI pieces hardcoded into an app don't just randomly disappear and reappear at will, or whenever Apple flicks switches. From an iPhone developer's perspective, it sounds fishy.

Third - Apple isn't just about function. They won't chuck in a kitchen sink. If you can't download something over wifi in 5 minutes, Apple won't do it. The WiFi store was built for coffee-shop downloading. It's not for heavy lifting. Mobile apps aren't all about features. They're about what is reasonable in the scenario. Expecting someone to stay in the vicinity of a hotspot for an hour to get a movie doesn't fit with the HIG, nor anything that was said at last year's WWDC - in fact it violates quite a few of the conceptual ideas they tried to impress upon developers.

Its possible this is true - but it just doesn't seem like something Apple would do considering their position on the platform. If you can do it, it has to be convenient. Thats what the device is all about.

Very goods points, all.
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post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanc View Post

Whether or not this is indicative of new functionality coming in a future release, anyone with an iPhone can already access the areas shown in the screenshots.

If you click on the link to the TV show section on your iPhone (http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/M...iewGenre?id=32), it will launch the iTunes Mobile app and bring you to the TV Shows section. I did it (in iPhone OS 2.2.1) and it looks exactly like the posted screenshots.

As the story says, they are unfinished and do not allow anything to be downloaded. It's possible that this is a bug (abeit a rather large one) in the iTunes Mobile app.

It doesn't work for me on iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

How come?

Photoshop and/or having access to the iPhone SDK makes something like this quite easy to manufacture.
post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

It doesn't work for me on iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5

Perhaps they closed that loophole in 3.0?
post #20 of 68
Also quite true, Crees. I could whip this up in no time. In fact, I have been making apps all day that look just like this lol...
post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I think the article is implying that this will be WiFi only.

That's what I meant. What I'm saying is that based on my experience with this same thing already available for podcasts, that it will not be of much use in any practical sense.

Maybe if you live in New York or something there is a ton of wireless around, but for most, there is wireless at home, and maybe at the office. The entire point of paying $70 a month is so that you can have "always on" access, so if this is for wireless only it's pretty much more of a whiz-bang feature for advertisements than it is a useful add-on.

Another problem with this model (also exhibited with the current podcasts), is that if you download a podcast to your iPhone, (and presumably this will be the same with the shows and movies), when you finally get back to your computer, the sync is almost twice as long.

First the iPod/iPhone has to download the podcast you got "on the go" to the iTunes library, then it re-copies it back onto the phone as part of the regular sync. The first time I saw it doing that I thought WTF? Then I remembered that Apple has a long history of sucking when it comes to syncing technology in particular. Sadly, (and I hate to say it) MS has always been better at that.

I'm not trying to be too critical, it's great that Apple is adding more features etc., but on a simply practical level, the ability to download stuff "on the go" is not that useful and not very well thought out by Apple in general. At least the current implementation.

I just think this is more of a PR move than part of their master plan for helping out consumers. You know, they announce the new video capable iPhone and then tell us how we can get video on the go send it to the cloud on the go etc. and these features are all part of that fabric etc. Just don't expect it to be that useful.
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post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanc View Post

Perhaps they closed that loophole in 3.0?

Doubtful. If they're going to implement something on iPhone do you think they're going to disallow it in a later build - one coming out closer to the release date?

The iTunes app loads up - it has to because any web address called with itunes.apple.com will automatically load that app. However the page direct doesn't work.

If it is real, the Apple may have put the video content page restrictions onto the app. We already know they have the ability to block access to parts of the store in certain scenarios - thats how they blocked everyone except on wifi until MacWorld, and all of a sudden, the Wifi store was released to non-wifi without a software update.

Apple has control over the content shown in the app and can return errors to the device when the app requests a disallowed page.
post #23 of 68
Also good points!

After initially thinking, "Sure, why not?" I've been persuaded it's a bad idea. Which doesn't mean that Apple isn't going to do it anyway.
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post #24 of 68
*post deleted*
post #25 of 68
If this is true, and Apple pull sit off right (which i expect), it'll be huge.
post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimzip View Post

Sounds great! This must also mean a significant capacity update too no? I mean, movies are around 1.25 - 2.0GB each on the iTS. Unless they're going to provide specially encoded versions for the iPhone - which I don't see them doing...

I believe movies downloaded from iTMS already come as bundles containing a full-screen version + an iPhone version. When syncing in iTunes, only the smaller iPhone version gets copied to the device. Only the same smaller version would need to be downloaded over 3G.
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

That's what I meant. What I'm saying is that based on my experience with this same thing already available for podcasts, that it will not be of much use in any practical sense.

Maybe if you live in New York or something there is a ton of wireless around, but for most, there is wireless at home, and maybe at the office. The entire point of paying $70 a month is so that you can have "always on" access, so if this is for wireless only it's pretty much more of a whiz-bang feature for advertisements than it is a useful add-on.

Another problem with this model (also exhibited with the current podcasts), is that if you download a podcast to your iPhone, (and presumably this will be the same with the shows and movies), when you finally get back to your computer, the sync is almost twice as long.

First the iPod/iPhone has to download the podcast you got "on the go" to the iTunes library, then it re-copies it back onto the phone as part of the regular sync. The first time I saw it doing that I thought WTF? Then I remembered that Apple has a long history of sucking when it comes to syncing technology in particular. Sadly, (and I hate to say it) MS has always been better at that.


I'm not trying to be too critical, it's great that Apple is adding more features etc., but on a simply practical level, the ability to download stuff "on the go" is not that useful and not very well thought out by Apple in general. At least the current implementation.

I just think this is more of a PR move than part of their master plan for helping out consumers. You know, they announce the new video capable iPhone and then tell us how we can get video on the go send it to the cloud on the go etc. and these features are all part of that fabric etc. Just don't expect it to be that useful.

Mifi could be answer; its a little bigger than a credit card and gives you wifi access almost everywhere. I just got it this week - use it with my mbp.
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

When does the name of this place get changed to iphoneinsider.com?


You got that right- I've been asking the same thing for the last 2 years. It's very tiresome.
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

I personally would find this move very... unexpected and unlikely.

Why? I find it extremely inconvenient that I can't presently download these items on my Touch right now.
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post

Who actually has an internet connection as fast as 802.11b? 20Mbit services are not all that common yet and I certainly can't imagine any home user's internet would be limited by a 802.11g wifi connection. On the iPod/iPhone the speed of loading a page seems to me to be more limited by the processor not the speed of connection. 802.11n is only useful on the iPod/iPhone if you have an existing home file/sharing network and don't want to have g devices on it too.

I am looking forward to being able to have a LAN with all the devices on a 5GHz 802.11n without it downgrading to the fastest common connection.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BTBlomberg View Post

Well an AT&T Mobile Manager I spoke with last week said they would "Soon" be releasing their AT&T U-Verse Remote and U-Verse DVR streaming to iPhone (ala SlingBox) but it would be allowed over 3G.

In my experience, retail employees know nothing about the companys goings-ons. They only hear some faint hints here and there and some get built up, but people that follow tech will have a lot more knowledge than they will. In other words, you are more likely to know what AT&T is doing technically then he is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

Photoshop and/or having access to the iPhone SDK makes something like this quite easy to manufacture.

While true, it doesnt mean its a fake and the evidence does point to this being real. I just really want AudioBooks to be downloadable on the iPhone over the carriers network.



Off topic: The voice memo app in v3.0 is very nice. It has trim features and syncs with iTunes which puts them into their own playlist and labeled with the date and time they were recorded. However, you can only email up to a 2 minute clip. It makes you trim it. I understand if I was trying to send via MMS (though that feature is not enabled yet and I refuse to use it unless its free). Part of the issue may be the way it encodes the audio. Instead of using AAC it used Apple Lossless which makes a 2 minute recording about 10MB. Id like to be able to use a codec and bit rate of my choice for that.
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post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

... Part of the issue may be the way it encodes the audio. Instead of using AAC it used Apple Lossless which makes a 2 minute recording about 10MB. Id like to be able to use a codec and bit rate of my choice for that.

This sounds suspiciously similar to the 10MB limit for downloading stuff to the iPhone over 3G and is rather distressing for that reason. If the cell carrier won't budge on the 10MB limit even for a voice memo, it's not likely to do so for video, tv shows, or movies. Perhaps the "video iPhone" we keep hearing about will require a special contract (i.e. much more money) before they allow you to use it on 3G.

Granted this is all speculation, but I find this whole thing very depressing. It sounds (at this writing), as if the cell providers are firmly in the drivers seat and dictating terms to Apple in regards how much traffic they will allow over 3G. Given that most of us are paying exorbitant amounts of money for supposedly "unlimited" access this is ridiculous.

Sounds like we are going back to the 90's.
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post #32 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Sounds cool, but unless the carriers get on board with it, it won't be of much use.

I got bit by t d since the carriers don't allow podcast downloads over 3G, I couldn't finish the download until 40 minutes later when I got to work. Needless to say this ruins the whole point of be


why no podcast on the 3g ???
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post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

This sounds suspiciously similar to the 10MB limit for downloading stuff to the iPhone over 3G and is rather distressing for that reason. If the cell carrier won't budge on the 10MB limit even for a voice memo, it's not likely to do so for video, tv shows, or movies. Perhaps the "video iPhone" we keep hearing about will require a special contract (i.e. much more money) before they allow you to use it on 3G.

Granted this is all speculation, but I find this whole thing very depressing. It sounds (at this writing), as if the cell providers are firmly in the drivers seat and dictating terms to Apple in regards how much traffic they will allow over 3G. Given that most of us are paying exorbitant amounts of money for supposedly "unlimited" access this is ridiculous.

Sounds like we are going back to the 90's.

That's funny - I've been recording and MMSing videos for the last 2 years to friends- just like everyone else in the digital world for the last 2 years or more. \
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post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimzip View Post

Sounds great! This must also mean a significant capacity update too no? I mean, movies are around 1.25 - 2.0GB each on the iTS. Unless they're going to provide specially encoded versions for the iPhone - which I don't see them doing, then that space could get eaten up really quickly.

Couple movie downloads with AV-Out and you've got yourself one pretty awesome mobile entertainment device though...

Jimzip

since its for playback ona tiny tiny screen i am sure the file sizes will be reduced greatly .
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post #35 of 68
edit .
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post #36 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForceQuit View Post

Mifi could be answer; its a little bigger than a credit card and gives you wifi access almost everywhere. I just got it this week - use it with my mbp.

can you watch hulu on your mifi ??
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post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimzip View Post

Sounds great! This must also mean a significant capacity update too no? I mean, movies are around 1.25 - 2.0GB each on the iTS. Unless they're going to provide specially encoded versions for the iPhone - which I don't see them doing, then that space could get eaten up really quickly.

Couple movie downloads with AV-Out and you've got yourself one pretty awesome mobile entertainment device though...

Jimzip

They already do have special versions for iphone.
post #38 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

Photoshop and/or having access to the iPhone SDK makes something like this quite easy to manufacture.

Who the heck would want to manufacture this, I mean seriously.
post #39 of 68
Fake!
post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Why? I find it extremely inconvenient that I can't presently download these items on my Touch right now.

Agreed. How about when traveling, you find you'd like to catch up with the latest episode of a TV show and don't have your computer near you. Your hotel (or airport) has WiFi, so you pay the $1.99 to download the video and watch it on the flight home. That's why I'd like to see this...

As for support for wireless N, I'd like that just so I can use my iPhone while streaming HD content down to my Apple TV. As soon as my iPhone connects to my (previous generation) Airport Extreme, the thing downgrades itself to G.

Of course it'd be cheaper to replace the Airport than it would be to replace the iPhone...
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