iTunes video storage and formats

Q: When you purchase a movie from iTunes, where is it stored on the computer’s hard drive and what format is the movie in?

– Michael

A: Despite the somewhat confusing name, iTunes actually stores all of your media content, including movies and TV Shows, in the “iTunes Music Folder” path specified in iTunes’ Advanced Preferences.

Movies are stored directly in a folder under this location named Movies, TV Shows are stored in sub-folders under a TV Shows folder, organized by show name, and Music Videos are organized in the appropriate artist and album folders alongside those artist’s audio tracks.

All Movies, Music Videos and TV Shows downloaded from the iTunes Store after September 12, 2006 are in H.264 format, using the Baseline Low Complexity profile, which provides a 640 x 480 maximum resolution, suitable for playback on a standard television set. These files are protected by iTunes’ FairPlay Digital Rights Management (DRM) however, and therefore cannot be played on non-authorized computers, converted to other formats or burned to a video DVD (although the files themselves can be transferred to a data DVD for backup purposes, they will remain protected and can only be played on an authorized computer or device).

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