Same-Day iTunes Movies Are Worth More Than a Golf Clap | iLounge Backstage

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Same-Day iTunes Movies Are Worth More Than a Golf Clap

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Thursday, May 1, 2008
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It might not be the flashiest press release that Apple’s put out in the last two years, but today’s announcement that U.S. customers will be able to buy movies* from the iTunes Store on the same day they’re released on DVD is huge. “Walmart and Amazon and Target and Best Buy are probably freaking out right now” sort of huge.

This particular omission from the iTunes Store was, to our eyes, seriously crippling Apple’s ability to compete with the big boys on video sales. Imagine what iTunes would have looked like for music buyers if it couldn’t sell or pre-order new releases—well, you don’t really need to imagine it, as the video section of iTunes used to look that way, filled largely with films you’d all but forgotten about and had to search to find something interesting. There was also that daunting question: why pay $15 for a “new release” today when you could have gone to Target and gotten the DVD for around the same price a week or more ago?

When iTunes movie rentals—both SD and HD versions—are truly available on the same day as DVD releases, Netflix and Blockbuster have a lot to worry about. And that asterisk above? Apple still needs to bulk up its video catalog, a lot, before it can truly compete with DVD stores. But there’s no doubt; Apple’s finally on the right path with video, and anyone who doubts that it’s driving a bulldozer would be well-advised to bulk up or get out of the way.

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Comments

1

Will ALL movies now be closed-captioned or subtitled?  If not, I still don’t care.  Never mind that if you’re going to buy a new release, it’s often cheaper to buy in the day of release as many locations have sales…

Posted by Cameron T. on May 1, 2008 at 12:59 PM (PDT)

2

Jeremy, this may sound like a stupid question as I myself own an Apple TV, but will they also be selling High Definition movies as well as SD movies? If so, this is indeed a boon because I don’t own a Blue Ray player yet and might wait even longer to get one (if at all) if I can download HD movies to own.

Posted by Tenchi211 in California on May 1, 2008 at 7:18 PM (PDT)

3

Most movies are still not closed-captioned—this is normally indicated by a “CC” icon in the movie description on the Apple TV or via iTunes. 

Note that closed captioning differs from subtitles, in that they are intended to assist the hearing-impaired rather than provide translations.  Closed captioning normally therefore includes more descriptive text that would not otherwise be necessary, such as “(Sound of door creaking open)” and so forth.

Subtitle support does not presently appear to be indicated in any way in the movie descriptions.  I have yet to find a movie that actually has subtitles, although admittedly I haven’t looked very hard.

Although I’m sure the movies will eventually be sold in HD formats as well, that is not the case as of today, and I don’t expect that we’ll see that in the foreseeable future.  Since HD formats are still only available on the Apple TV even for rental and cannot be transferred back to your computer, purchasing a movie in HD on the Apple TV would present a problem, since you would have no way of backing up your purchase, whereas a rental expires eventually anyway.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on May 2, 2008 at 7:52 AM (PDT)

4

Thank you for the clarification Jesse. I guess I’ll have to make room for that Blue Ray player.

Posted by Tenchi211 in California on May 2, 2008 at 6:07 PM (PDT)

5

Apparently Apple doesn’t want my business (I’m hard of hearing, my friend is Deaf).  Maybe because I’m a PC enthusiast. 

Sure I like Apple computers and used to have one so I’m not prejudiced about Apple computers.

The percentage of captioned shows and movies is dropping rapidly due to digital distributions (internet, etc.) being not captioned so my choices are drying up.

Posted by Randolph Garrett on May 17, 2008 at 9:40 PM (PDT)

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