Apple's preps iTunes 7.6 with support for movie rentals

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple Inc. at the Macworld conference next week will show off a new version of its iTunes jukebox software that bundles support for a digital movie rental service slated for an introduction at the same time, AppleInsider has been able to confirm.



Currently labeled iTunes 7.6, the software will let iTunes Store shoppers buy into the new rental service, which is expected to serve up digital movie downloads from the catalogs of motion picture studios Walt Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, and others.



Reports have suggested that individual rentals will fetch between $2 and $5 depending on their stature, but last only 24 hours from the time they're downloaded to the time they'll expire and become unplayable.



Apple's foray into digital rentals may also be complemented by a move on the opposite end of the spectrum, whereby studios participating in the iTunes rental service will also begin shipping physical copies of their movies with iPod-compatible versions included on the same DVD.



A tipster speaking to MacRumors recently noted that his copy of Family Guy - Blue Harvest arrived early and that an iPod-compatible version of the flick -- labeled "Fox Digital Copy file" -- was included on the disc.



The Twentieth Century Fox film is due for release on January 15th, the same day Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is expected to introduce the iTunes movie rental service to a crowd of thousands at the Macworld Expo and Conference in San Francisco.



Like the rental service, iPod-comptable digital film files that will be included on future DVD discs will also require the presence of iTunes 7.6.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 90
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,368member
    A poster on ARs said that this was more spreading of Apple's DRM.



    Oh well, if it has to be someone's...
  • Reply 2 of 90
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,750member
    I like the idea of portable copies with physical sales. It will get the studios used to digital copies being around.



    And at least it appears that Apple will be getting a consession with their limited rental duration--24 hours is useless for most iPod usage...
  • Reply 3 of 90
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,750member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    A poster on ARs said that this was more spreading of Apple's DRM.



    Oh well, if it has to be someone's...



    Does this imply that the included copy would only work on iPods?

    That would be huge for Apple, I suppose.
  • Reply 4 of 90
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,368member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    Does this imply that the included copy would only work on iPods?

    That would be huge for Apple, I suppose.



    Exactly! Though possibly it would work on Mac's as well, since the DRM is the same, just like with music and Tv shows now, etc.



    After all, this is a deal with APPLE, not the general download industry.
  • Reply 5 of 90
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,750member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Exactly! Though possibly it would work on Mac's as well, since the DRM is the same, just like with music and Tv shows now, etc.



    After all, this is a deal with APPLE, not the general download industry.



    WOW.



    Quote:

    ...will also require the presence of iTunes 7.6



    I see it now.



    Surely there will be a Zune version included too...
  • Reply 6 of 90
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Exactly! Though possibly it would work on Mac's as well, since the DRM is the same, just like with music and Tv shows now, etc.



    After all, this is a deal with APPLE, not the general download industry.



    Im fairly certain that it would work on any machine that can run iTunes - since thats what the requirements state on the image - that would include windows based machines.
  • Reply 7 of 90
    BRILLIANT



    Bring it on baby. Finally AppleTV will be more then what is now - my digital hub
  • Reply 8 of 90
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Exactly! Though possibly it would work on Mac's as well, since the DRM is the same, just like with music and Tv shows now, etc.



    After all, this is a deal with APPLE, not the general download industry.



    I agree with FreeState. The logical conclusion that is that it will work with iTunes 7.6. That means connected iPods and AppleTVs will also be able to use these supplementary DVD videos.



    I do wonder if there is a digital signature for each video on each DVD that will require each of these videos to be tied to an iTunes account. This would meant that the supplementary DVD video can only be tied to one iTunes account. This seems like to much effort and overhead, but I figure Apple has been desperate to get more studios online, therefore may have jmped through a few hoops.... but I doubt it.



    I am certain that rental DVDs will not have these additional files on them so don't start looking.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    And at least it appears that Apple will be getting a consession with their limited rental duration--24 hours is useless for most iPod usage...



    I can't imagine that it will disappear after 24 hours on the iPod. i would think that iPod software is not intelligent enough to determine this. After all, it doen't currently determine which iTunes Store content it can play; iTunes tells it when you are syncing your media. I assume that the media on iDevices will be playable until you re-sync with iTunes, at which time it will determines if your rented media is out of date.
  • Reply 9 of 90
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:

    but last only 24 hours from the time they're downloaded to the time they'll expire and become unplayable.



    I sure hope the timer starts when I first play the file, not when it's first downloaded.



    If that's the case, I'll stick with Unbox on my TiVo.



    CUE: Apple TV slowly fading into the distance...
  • Reply 10 of 90
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I can't imagine that it will disappear after 24 hours on the iPod. i would think that iPod software is not intelligent enough to determine this. After all, it doen't currently determine which iTunes Store content it can play; iTunes tells it when you are syncing your media. I assume that the media on iDevices will be playable until you re-sync with iTunes, at which time it will determines if your rented media is out of date.



    Unless Apple releases an update to all ipods/iphones...requiring you to update in order to play rental movies. They could then implement some sort of time monitoring software.



    The article also states "but last only 24 hours from the time they're downloaded to the time they'll expire and become unplayable."



    To have the rental start before you've even started watching it seems a little unfair, especially with such a short rental period. If it was a week rental that would make sense, but for some people they will fire off the download either overnight or when they are at work, and you'll lose precious viewing time. Also doesn't make a whole lot of sense for business travelers, who will be gone for a couple days, and only have the first day to watch their rental.



    Time-shifting has got a whole lot more complicated, now you have to know when you want to watch, and work backwards from that.
  • Reply 11 of 90
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,368member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I am certain that rental DVDs will not have these additional files on them so don't start looking.



    That's a very interesting point. I hadn't even thought of that!



    Quote:

    I can't imagine that it will disappear after 24 hours on the iPod. i would think that iPod software is not intelligent enough to determine this. After all, it doen't currently determine which iTunes Store content it can play; iTunes tells it when you are syncing your media. I assume that the media on iDevices will be playable until you re-sync with iTunes, at which time it will determines if your rented media is out of date.



    The download itself could be timed. Isn't there a clock of sorts in iPods?
  • Reply 12 of 90
    I'd only be interested if there is an option to download an HD version that makes the AppleTV experience worthwhile. Renting a low-res iPod compatible version and playing it on an HDTV is incredibly stupid. I already have access to low-res video thanks to YouTube. Why would I want to pay for it?





    Stan



    www.pollywogtheater.com
  • Reply 13 of 90
    lifinolifino Posts: 38member
    If you read the macrumors blurb, in the link on the appleinsider new site you will see the line: However, indications are that both WMV and H.264 (iPod/iPhone compatible) digital copies will be distributed.





    I take it that this is NOT an iPod only deal, and not strictly tied to iTunes - with the fud about the apple-monopoly that would just add fuel to the fire. Rather the movie industry (unlike other industries which I won't name here)(RIAA ) has enough sense to recognise that most of the people who would use this feature use iTunes to manage thier content and probably run it on an iPod...



    How long will it be till some agency stands up and says, "Screw all established Fair Use Policies, it is ILLEGAL to import this converted copy of the movie you purchased onto any device, such as a computer, iPod, iPhone, iPod enabled refridgerator (did you see that thing?)"
  • Reply 14 of 90
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,368member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stan_Timek View Post


    I'd only be interested if there is an option to download an HD version that makes the AppleTV experience worthwhile. Renting a low-res iPod compatible version and playing it on an HDTV is incredibly stupid. I already have access to low-res video thanks to YouTube. Why would I want to pay for it?





    Stan



    www.pollywogtheater.com



    It depends on what you mean by low rez. Right now, video on iTunes is 640 x 480 for 4:3, and 640 by whatever, depending on the aspect.



    That's not quite DVD.



    Hopefully, we will see, at least, 720 x 480.
  • Reply 15 of 90
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,368member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lifino View Post


    If you read the macrumors blurb, in the link on the appleinsider new site you will see the line: However, indications are that both WMV and H.264 (iPod/iPhone compatible) digital copies will be distributed.





    I take it that this is NOT an iPod only deal, and not strictly tied to iTunes - with the fud about the apple-monopoly that would just add fuel to the fire. Rather the movie industry (unlike other industries which I won't name here)(RIAA ) has enough sense to recognise that most of the people who would use this feature use iTunes to manage thier content and probably run it on an iPod...



    How long will it be till some agency stands up and says, "Screw all established Fair Use Policies, it is ILLEGAL to import this converted copy of the movie you purchased onto any device, such as a computer, iPod, iPhone, iPod enabled refridgerator (did you see that thing?)"



    Everything I;ve read so far has said that the deal was to have a file that would also play on "your iPod".



    I haven't yet read anything different.



    I suppose we'll see shortly.



    But I read a post by someone who said that the iPod file was on the copy of the Family Guy he just received. He didn't mention a WMV file.[/quote]



    Ok, responding to my own post—a first for me.



    Ok, I found this. It does seem as though both formats are on the DVD's. Too bad.



    http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/08/...igital-copies/
  • Reply 16 of 90
    technotechno Posts: 691member
    48 hours would be more appropriate. A weekend to watch the movie is not unreasonable. 24 hours, too short.
  • Reply 17 of 90
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    The download itself could be timed. Isn't there a clock of sorts in iPods?



    It could, but since Apple has kept the iPod simple for 6 years I think that they may still continue down that path. I guess we'll find out for sure next week.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stan_Timek View Post


    I'd only be interested if there is an option to download an HD version that makes the AppleTV experience worthwhile. Renting a low-res iPod compatible version and playing it on an HDTV is incredibly stupid. I already have access to low-res video thanks to YouTube. Why would I want to pay for it?



    Are you implying that video purchased on iTS is comparable to YouTube video?
    • DVD video is 720x480

    • iTS video is 640x480

    • YouTube is 320x240 (I believe)
    I recall reading that YouTube is ~360kbps and iTS video is ~1.5Mbps. That is huge difference between the two.
  • Reply 18 of 90
    tmedia1tmedia1 Posts: 104member
    24 hours? Are kidding me? for crappy looking highly compressed content? I can rent dvd's 2 blocks from my house for $2 and keep it for 2-7 days AND the quality will be great. They should allow unlimited watching in a 7 day period, minimum.
  • Reply 19 of 90
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by techno View Post


    48 hours would be more appropriate. A weekend to watch the movie is not unreasonable. 24 hours, too short.



    Personally, I think any kind of timed exploding file is a bad idea. And it would necessitate making the iPod and Apple TV DRM scheme more complicated, etc.



    I really, really hope all these reports are wrong, and that the rentals are subscription-based, like Netflix. Otherwise, I'll be largely uninterested. At the very least, I'll be keeping my Netflix account for most of my rental needs.
  • Reply 20 of 90
    tmedia1tmedia1 Posts: 104member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    It depends on what you mean by low rez. Right now, video on iTunes is 640 x 480 for 4:3, and 640 by whatever, depending on the aspect.



    That's not quite DVD.



    Hopefully, we will see, at least, 720 x 480.



    Pixel ratio might be 640x480 but it's HIGHLY compressed video, meaning it's NO WHERE NEAR DVD quality. Pixel ratio alone does NOT = high picture quality.
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