Print 15 comment(s) - last by ChugokuOtaku.. on Sep 13 at 11:42 AM

It was inevitable

Apple today announced an upgraded service to its popular iTunes music store that will allow users to offiicially start purchasing full length movies and shows. The new service will be integrated into iTunes, which means users can browse both music and movies in one interface. Movies from a wide array of major studios will be available along with independent film makers.

At first however, Apple will be offering movies from Miramax, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Walt Disney Studios. Along with TV shows, the movies will be available for $9.99 per movie. New releases will be priced at $14.99 but if users pre-order them, they can grab pre-releases for a discounted price of $12.99.

The movies will be encoded at 640x480 resolution and Apple claims the movies will be near DVD quality, although DVD resolution is officially 720x480. Audio in the movies will also be encoded with Dolby Digital encoding, offering surround sound during playback. Currently, the new video purchase extension to iTunes is available to North American customers and users only. Apple says that International audiences will be able to purchase movies in 2007 although this will depend on certain criteria.

Analysts expect the new iTunes service to drive up sales of Apple's iPods well through the holiday season. Along with the new iTunes movie service, Apple today also announced a refresh to its iPod Video. Throughout 2006, the majority of Apple's announcements have been about its transition over to Intel processors and new notebook and desktop launches.

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So can they be burned to a disk?
By s12033722 on 9/12/2006 3:00:44 PM , Rating: 4
The price is a little high for sub-DVD quality, but I might be willing to live with that as long as I can burn them to a DVD and play them in a set-top DVD player. Without that option, I am not interested.

RE: So can they be burned to a disk?
By CU on 9/12/2006 4:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
You cannot burn them to disk.

By puffpio on 9/12/2006 7:55:28 PM , Rating: 2
Although DVDs are encoded at 720x480 (for a full screen 4:3), the pixels are not square shaped as they are destined for TV, thus 640x480 is perfectly analagous if the pixels were square. so you lose some horizontal resolution, but get square's not THAT bad

anamorphic widescreen is another basket altogether

RE: resolution
By Ringold on 9/12/2006 11:12:30 PM , Rating: 1
Unfortunately, since bittorrent has 720p and 1080p of many shows now, and DVD rips (can't get any better than that short of the real DVD), Apple still wont get the tech elite crowd.

But they'll still get a billion n00bs, so they'll still be rich and we'll still be complaining. :)

RE: resolution
By ChugokuOtaku on 9/13/2006 11:42:29 AM , Rating: 2
the lack of original widescreen resolution is a real disappointment. who the hell would pay that kinda money for sub-DVD quality cropped video!?

By adamfilipo on 9/12/2006 6:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that the sub dvd quality (only slightly) is disapointing
but im betting the re-endoding into H.264 will give a better picture then a dvd with Mpg2

RE: h264
By Vertigo101 on 9/12/2006 10:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
You can't creat new detail from a re-encode man.

Not competitive with Amazon
By androticus on 9/12/2006 4:28:26 PM , Rating: 3
It seems this offering from Apple is not competitive with that from Amazon, which is disappointing. I believe the Amazon movies have higher resolution, and also include a mini version for your portable player (but Microsoft DRM only.) Or maybe Apple is including an iPod-optimized version along with the regular version?

VERY disappointing that the resolution is sub-par to DVD, and seemingly not in an optimized wide-screen format.

By therealnickdanger on 9/12/2006 2:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it's dumb to even ask... but it wasn't mentioned in the article.

By Alphafox78 on 9/12/2006 2:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
Not DVD quality + DRM = No Thanks

so ..
By otispunkmeyer on 9/13/2006 7:35:25 AM , Rating: 2
i presume that they will then expect you to shell out for the new iTV box so u can watch the sub-dvd quality movies on your telly, so you wont be able to burn them to DVD's. if you could then no one would buy the set top box

(btw.. iTV might not stick. we have a long standing TV channel here in the UK also named ITV)

with the numerous DVD offers places like Virgin megastore, HMV and (they have high street stores too) have.. 9.99 may be abit too much and 14.99 is too much

By SakuraChan on 9/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: V___V
By rklaver on 9/12/2006 4:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
create something that would benefit mankind....

That's easy enough, the fact is innovation is stifled by corporate greed and patent protection.

Sadly asking for a legal way to download a movie and then burn it to DVD, is a pipe dream.

RE: V___V
By therealnickdanger on 9/12/2006 4:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
Innovation is typically stifled by exhorbent taxation, not greed. Innovation is what leads to cheaper manufacturing and more efficiency, which creates more profit. Companies not bound by excessive taxes tend to use much more money in R&D, leading to greater competition and fairer prices for the masses.

RE: V___V
By Ringold on 9/12/2006 11:09:19 PM , Rating: 2
Don't feed the socialist trolls. They'll just tell your capitalism is a sham and somehow proceed to justify how if you labored for years for a cure for cancer, or were just plain brilliant enough to figure it out over night, you somehow should not be richly rewarded for your hard work; oh no, make it 'open source'! Telling them that that doesn't exactly inspire anyone except for hippies to so much as get out of bed in the morning doesn't penetrate. (Not that doctors always expect to be richly rewarded, but the finance guys that let them drop millions on research DO expect it, and they make the world spin.) Don't bother. :)

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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