Print 39 comment(s) - last by Phynaz.. on Aug 21 at 12:31 PM

iTunes movie downloads coming by year's end

Apple's patriarch, Steve Jobs, isn't too keen on product leaks and goes after employees who spill the beans with a vengeance. It's likely that Jobs isn't too happy over the latest leak, there's not much he can do about this one. Lions Gate Studios announced in a quarterly conference call that it is signed on with Apple to provide digital movie downloads to iTunes before the end of this year.

CEO Jon Feltheimer also went on to say that the studio has announcements planned with at least two other heavy hitters in the industry. For all we know, one of them could be Microsoft as it has been rumored that the Redmond-based companies has been trying to lure movie studios to provide content for its Zune portable media player.

It has already been reported that Steve Jobs has been pushing for movie studios to stick to a $9.99 price model for movie downloads. Some studios have been hesitant to agree to a fixed-price download model, but Jobs' $0.99 cent music downloads have proven to be a success and attempts to raise the price have met with failure due to the steadfastness of Jobs.

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Too expensive. Period.
By RyanM on 8/18/2006 7:00:25 PM , Rating: 5
I will not pay $9.99 for a crappy 480p movie download. I will not pay $9.99 for a crappy 720p movie download. I can go to the store and buy DVDs for $4.99 to $7.99, some which have only been out 3 months or less.

These DVDs must be stamped, packaged, shipped, and sold at markup, and yet they cost less than a movie download which is 100% profit past the bandwidth needed for transfer?

Exquise me? Blow me, Apple. Wank off, MPAA.

I'll buy my DVD, rip it to my computer, share it on my LAN, play it on my HTPC, and you can take your movie downloads and stick them up your asses sideways.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By mendocinosummit on 8/18/06, Rating: 0
RE: Too expensive. Period.
By Wahsapa on 8/18/2006 8:27:20 PM , Rating: 4
so i guess the only option left for you is 1080p at $8.99?

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By michael2k on 8/18/2006 10:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
What about $9.99 the week after the movies are released in theaters?

Then the choice is:
$8 per person ($24 for a family of three) + $12 in drinks and snacks = $36 in a theater
$10 for a download the following week + $3 in drinks and snacks = $13 at home

And then you can get the DVD four months later.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By bunnyfubbles on 8/18/2006 11:22:52 PM , Rating: 1
A. I bet the movie quality isn't anything special (something like Sony's UMD)

B. Way to be anti social, the theater experience is hard to beat with its atmosphere. (I guess I could understand if you only have crap theaters to go to)

C. I'd still want to go to IMAX releases - you just can't match it with a HT setup.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By Samus on 8/19/2006 12:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely with bunny, the quality isn't even going to be near-dvd, forget 480p and 720p.

It's designed to play on a portable device. Perhaps Jobs has a ace up his sleeve and will have higher quality content that is compressed down in real time while its transfered to your iPod. The new Mac's are, after all, powerful as all hell and can real-time recompress mpeg4 at near USB transfer speed.

Additionally, nothing has, or ever will, beat out the theatre experience. Where else are you going to get a 40'x160' screen with 15000-watt's of audio power?

Being a student (well, I still have my ID) every movie costs me $6, and I bring my own pibb and red vines.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By michael2k on 8/19/06, Rating: 0
RE: Too expensive. Period.
By jarman on 8/20/2006 4:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
IMAX is the biggest pile of over-hyped crap ever. If you do not get seats near the center of the theater (which leaves out about 75% of viewers), then the concave screen makes the movie look horrible.

Again, IMAX = Garbage.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By RyanM on 8/19/2006 1:43:32 AM , Rating: 4
Perhaps, but I guarantee you this won't be the situation. It'll be $19.99 for movies just released on DVD.

The fact is the movie studios are setting this up to fail so that they can claim piracy is impacting them more, allowing them to crack down with even more draconian DRM in whatever next-gen movie disc format they're pushing in 3 or 4 years.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By michael2k on 8/19/06, Rating: 0
RE: Too expensive. Period.
By goatfajitas on 8/19/2006 3:37:55 PM , Rating: 4
Of course... Apple can do no wrong. ;)

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By michael2k on 8/19/2006 8:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
You are too cynical. The only reason Apple would do a good job has nothing to do with the fact that I am an Apple stockholder, but because:
1) They want to sell more iPods
2) They want to control the online movie business
3) They want to make money doing so.

They can't sell video iPods without video content. They can't control the online movie business if others have more customers. and they can't make money if no one wants to purchase from them.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By goku on 8/19/2006 5:32:12 PM , Rating: 1
Great, a $1 for a track with 128K bitrate, talk about exploiting the ignorant. $1 or $10 for an album, it's a rip off, it's a ripoff because it's got DRM, it's a ripoff because the quality sucks, it's a ripoff because you don't own your music, therefore allowing you to only use it on a limited number of devices.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By michael2k on 8/19/2006 8:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
1) DVDs have DRM too
2) DVDs have poor quality too, at least compared to HD video. Three hours of video on a 5GB disk really pushes the MPEG2 codec into artifact territory
3) DVDs are a medium only, you don't have the legal right to transcode or back up due to the DMCA
4) DVDs can only legally be played back in licensed players

Despite all that DVDs have taken off like wildfire. In comparison

1) iTMS music has DRM much more lax than on DVDs
2) Quality sucks as much as you can hear it.
3) You own the music as much as you can in any other format; at least, unlike DVD, you can transcode from AAC to CD, and from CD to MP3 or FLAC or unprotected AAC, and you can burn to as many CDs, audio OR data, as you want.
4) If you count limited as 5 PCs, any number of iPods, and any number (unlimited really) of CDs.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By killerroach on 8/20/2006 12:56:34 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno... anymore, seeing a CD for $10 in a store is called a "fire sale". Even if the quality is worse, $9.99 for an album on iTunes that's of at least relatively good quality (128Kbit AAC is nothing to sneeze at) still beats $12.99 - $17.99 for an album in the store. I'm not an audiophile; heck, my speakers aren't good enough to do much of anything. But it is nice to have a relatively easy way to get music at a more attractive price point (also, last I knew, there's no sales tax on iTunes downloads, which would save another dollar or so).

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By MonkeyPaw on 8/20/2006 10:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
I use ITMS to buy singles off Ablums otherwise loaded with crap. Why pay $10-15 for a CD, when you really only wanted 2-3 songs? If there's an album out that is really good, I go out and buy it. Otherwise, it's just lost money and more stuff piling up at home. I don't mind the "cut-down" quality of ITMS, because I'm fortunate enough to not have the hearing perception of a German Shepherd. I'm not deaf by any means, and 128bit ACC sounds just fine to me. I'm sure someone will tell me I'm missing out though.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By rrsurfer1 on 8/21/2006 8:51:06 AM , Rating: 2
I actually am moderately hearing impaired - but I can definitely hear the difference between 128 bit and 192 bit compression. It's noticable, and one of the reasons I've never purchased anything on iTMS. They should at least give you a choice.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By hiscross on 8/19/2006 11:17:39 AM , Rating: 2
Let' see, Apple hasn't announced anything yet. So what you are reading and responding to is web news. Yep, that's a great place to read and find the truth. Maybe Dan Rather has a scope (of course after a little Photoshop touch-up) or O’Reilly. I'm amazed at the thinking of some people.

RE: Too expensive. Period.
By Motley on 8/21/2006 2:39:06 AM , Rating: 2
Don't but it then. Give me a 480p movie a week after it hits the theaters, and let me watch it on my PC for #9.99, and I'll watch a lot more movies.

Movies? On the small screen?
By dagamer34 on 8/18/2006 7:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
I can halfway understand music videos on an iPod but movies?? Before movies can ever become popular on the iPod, they'd have to be at LEAST 480p if not higher, something the 5G iPod can't handle. Steve and co. need to release the REAL video iPod before they will get customers to jump on the iTunes movie store bandwagon.

RE: Movies? On the small screen?
By tmp8000 on 8/18/2006 7:35:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well it's not like the movie store has launched yet. I have good money on the fact that the new "real" video ipod will launch on the same day as the itunes movie releases.

RE: Movies? On the small screen?
By Havocgm on 8/18/2006 7:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe that's what they are doing...

RE: Movies? On the small screen?
By Questar on 8/19/2006 12:27:53 AM , Rating: 3
So you want an iPod to have greater resolution that a DVD?

RE: Movies? On the small screen?
By Burning Bridges on 8/19/2006 1:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
wtf bbq ?

RE: Movies? On the small screen?
By Phynaz on 8/21/2006 12:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
DVD video is 480i. 480p is twice the resolution.

Depends what you want
By Bob4 on 8/19/2006 8:28:20 AM , Rating: 2
We will buy the movies, because we prefer convenience over quality. For instance, digital cameras don't match the resolution and responsiveness of film, but there are no processing fees. We chose digital. Cellular phones crackle and cut off as land-based lines never did, BUT you can carry them anywhere. We chose cellular. The iPod plays compressed audio at only "near-CD" quality... but you can carry around your whole collection in your pocket. We chose iPod. Will these movies match the experience of a true big screen? No. Not unless you happen to already have a theater at home, or someone invents "iGlasses" to project the movie onto our little corneas. But these low-res movies will provide the convenience consumers seem to prefer.

I am wishing for a home-theater MacMini that will replace or compliment TIVO, DirectTV, and DVDs. Full resolution, for the living room. Then a pair of the magical "iGlasses" to hook to my iPod so I can take it with me. Is $10 too much to pay for a movie that plays on this versatile system? Am I willing to trades some quality for versatility? Yes, I guess I am.

RE: Depends what you want
By dagamer34 on 8/19/2006 12:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
One small difference. You can't do anything else while watching a movie.

RE: Depends what you want
By Crux on 8/19/2006 2:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
One small difference. You can't do anything else while watching a movie.

Wanna bet? If you go with a good female, the movie is just a excuse... XD

RE: Depends what you want
By captchaos2 on 8/19/2006 2:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
Hasn't anyone learned yet from Sony's UMD flop?

RE: Depends what you want
By michael2k on 8/19/2006 8:47:28 PM , Rating: 2
1) Price accordingly. UMD was overpriced.
2) Make it convenient. UMD was inconvenient due to physical media.
3) Make it portable. UMD could not be transcoded (easily) to memory stick, which saved on PSP battery life.
4) Make it accessible. UMD was never released as a public format, so people never used it, quite unlike CD, DVD, or floppy.

If we are talking about Apple, history has shown that they price conveniently and accordingly, allow for liberal use and transport of the content, and use an open codec that anyone can use without surcharge from Apple.

By LumbergTech on 8/18/2006 8:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
i would pay 9.99 for a 720p video if i was allowed to burn it for my own use as well

RE: hm
By FITCamaro on 8/18/2006 10:48:23 PM , Rating: 2
720p would be fine for a movie. DVDs aren't even 720p.

By adamfilipo on 8/18/2006 9:19:49 PM , Rating: 4
1080p Movies for $7.99 with full menu and special features
and let me burn it to my HD or Blueray burner

Quality, Size & Time
By kelmon on 8/19/2006 5:22:33 AM , Rating: 2
I'm going to withhold judgement on this until the details are known but I have concerns about the quality of the image, the size of the files that must be downloaded and the time that it will take to do this. Ultimately, whatever is produced needs to be competitive with the DVD format in terms of its quality and price but allowing a mark-up for download convenience. However, since I'm going to have to download the files for a movie, how big will these files be relative to the monthly bandwidth allowed by my ISP (10GB at present) and how long will they take to download? I'm just concerned that the infrastructure isn't in place to make downloading full-length feature films that I can watch on my television viable.

Apple, again, may be a little ahead of themselves on this one but I'll wait and see. Regardless, however, since I don't live in the US it will likely be many months or even years before such a service will be released in Europe given that even the television show downloads haven't been released yet outside of the US.

RE: Quality, Size & Time
By rrsurfer1 on 8/21/2006 8:55:25 AM , Rating: 2
Allowing a mark-up for downloading? That makes very little sense. The studios have to pay nothing for the media, or the distribution (besides bandwidth costs, which is better than trucking the DVDs all over the world). This should definitely be CHEAPER than DVDs or it will fail. Which is what they want anyhow.

By Zarsky on 8/19/2006 5:33:30 AM , Rating: 2
I think apple is launhing this movie download because of the new video ipod with the bigger screen.

By Schralper on 8/19/2006 2:46:56 PM , Rating: 2
Closed-Caption and/or Subtitle included? I bet ya 'NO!'

Movie iPod?? Maybe...
By jimeco on 8/19/2006 7:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
Recently, Apple patented some new kind of touch screen:
So that would allow them to make an iPod with a screen across the whole length of the device with high resolution. I think a screen the size of the current iPod Video would actually make movies watchable. It's not theater or even divx quality, but it would suffice when you're on a long flight or bus ride or in a boring lecture at your univeristy or college (LOL). Since Apple hasn't really had anything new in the iPod world for some time, this could actually be the next big step for portable media players. As for the $9.99 movies... well... no comment...


Slightly off-topic
By WileCoyote on 8/19/2006 11:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
Giant supermarkets in northern Virginia all have large red DVD rental machines. They only charge $1/day for rentals. No membership - just swipe card, it dispenses DVD, and you have 24 hours to watch it. $1 extra per day. ITunes will have to come up with something pretty good to compete with these type of system if they want my money.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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