iTunes 7.6: Movie Rentals & More

iTunes 7.6Apple announced iTunes 7.6 during Tuesday’s keynote. The biggest addition is support for iTunes movie rentals, a feature long rumored and a potential Netflix Watch Now/Blockbuster/Vudu killer.

Aesthetically, iTunes 7.6 looks almost identical to 7.5, but the real biggies are what it adds support for. Read along to find out what’s going on under the hood.

The iTunes store has been refreshed with movies from most of the largest Hollywood studios. It’s incredibly easy to download films, either to rent or to watch. The movies are, however, encoded with a special version of Apple’s FairPlay DRM software that restricts the amount of time you have to watch a film. Once you download the movie to rent ($2.99 or $3.99 depending upon the title), you have 30 days to watch the movie before it expires. However, once you start it, you have just 24 hours to continue it, or you have to rent it again.

iTunes Movie Rentals!

Rented movies can be transferred to iPhones, iPods, or other Apple portables that support iTunes content playback. Apple had always been opposed to the idea of “rental systems” in the past, because they didn’t think that people really wanted to “rent” their music. However, it seems like the less than stellar movie sales may have played a part in Apple’s decision to cave on the issue.

The new iTunes

The new rental system, coupled with the iTunes store availability on the new software version of the AppleTV really might be the way for Apple to invade the living room once and for all. Only time will tell how successful this new system will become, but I have a feeling that Apple may have another hit on its hands, and the ease of use is really unparalleled.

Comments

11 Responses to “iTunes 7.6: Movie Rentals & More”

  1. Tim Stringer on January 16th, 2008 11:40 am

    I have a feeling that the new rental system will be very popular – especially now that they’ve dropped the price on the Apple TV and are offering movies in HD. The 24-hour restriction matches what our local cable company places on Video On Demand movies and Apple’s prices are cheaper than what is available through cable.

    Now, if only it were available here in Canada…

  2. Jason Naylor on January 16th, 2008 2:11 pm

    I agree it will be very popular, although an XBox360 can do all of this, and more, and has for a long time.

    I noticed during the keynote Steve said that it will be available internationally ‘later this year’ and that he was excited to take it international as soon as possible.

  3. Fraser Drew on January 16th, 2008 2:23 pm

    @Jason Naylor… That comment of steve’s worried me. It made it sound as if there were NO OR VERY FEW contracts in place outside of the US. Hence, the studios are worried; and if the US is not a big money making success for them, this will not go international. It’s a service I’d love, as long as it isn’t priced ridiculously like TV shows are in the UK – If you can watch 10 movies a month for cheaper or about the same as Sky Box Office then it should be a winner.

  4. mike on January 16th, 2008 3:56 pm

    Yeah it will be huge. Even though xbox has been able to do this for some time now, it will never hit the masses for the fact that itsĀ“s a gaming console. iTunes simplicity + Apple TV is a killer kombination. Now we just need it in Europe.

  5. Sal on January 19th, 2008 6:46 pm

    As I live outside the U.S. i do not see the need to upgrade the Itunes version 7.5 to 7.6, because i can not rent a movie or something like that, and I think that this upgrade is about. What do you think? Do you suggest me to upgrade Itunes software?
    Thanks for your comments, great site to view.

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    Miller Time Stratumseind Eindhoven…

    I almost exclusively drink Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper. (Or on rare occasions, juice, milk, plain old water, or on very very rare occasions, something with a bit of alcohol in it.) Maybe it was the years of youth- oriented advertising that hooked me on …

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  8. music downloads on October 28th, 2008 2:53 pm

    music downloads…

    get into music…

  9. Pablo Harris on August 3rd, 2009 8:29 pm

    Actually Sal, you can get access to movie rentals and all that by using iTunes Gift Cards and getting a US iTunes store account. If you check out http://www.itunesaccess.com they can help you set up an account and buy US gift cards and get you up and running within a couple of hours…

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