Direct-to-iPad rentals don’t transfer to iTunes

Movies rented from the iTunes Store using the iPad cannot be transferred back to users’ iTunes libraries, iLounge has discovered, and must be viewed solely on the iPad. When Apple introduced movie rentals as a new iTunes Store feature, it noted that movies rented using iTunes on a computer or on a portable device could be transferred to and from each other during the duration of the 30-day rental period. Movies rented from a computer version of iTunes can still be transferred to the iPad or any other Apple device, and of course, items purchased rather than rented using the iPad transfer back to iTunes in the same manner as with the iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV.

Direct-to-iPad rentals don’t transfer to iTunes 2

Unlike the Apple TV, however, the iTunes Store does not provide any notification of this restriction when renting a movie on the iPad; the information is hidden unless the user chooses the “Learn About Rentals” option, or looks within the iTunes Store Terms of Service—it is similarly buried in a just-published Apple KnowledgeBase Article on Viewing and downloading HD content on iPad. Although similar to restrictions for the Apple TV, this differs from renting movies directly on iPhone or iPod touch devices, which can still be transferred back to iTunes during the rental period.

33 thoughts on “Direct-to-iPad rentals don’t transfer to iTunes”

  1. Now that I have an iPad, I’ll be renting iTunes movies for the first time ever since I’m already down to 30GBs of free space on my 64GB model. Renting movies to watch on my MBP, iPod or iPhone was just not appealing to me. And I have no use for an Apple TV.

    So the bottom line is if I can’t transfer a rented iTunes movie from my iPad to any of my other devices, well, that’s just fine by me.

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  2. Wait a minute! Was I under a rock or something? When did Apple start giving you 48 hours to finish watching a movie? I thought it was 24 hours.

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  3. It’s 48 hours in Canada and the UK, 24 in the U.S. That screenshot was taken from the Canadian iTunes Store. The “Learn More About Movie Rentals” page on the U.S. Store is identical except the references to 48 hours say 24 hours instead.

    The exact reasons for the difference have never been clear, but it’s obviously related to whatever terms Apple has been able to negotiate with the movie industry and copyright holders in each of those countries.

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  4. Movies purchased on the iPad should transfer back to iTunes in the same way as for any other purchased content and any other iPhone OS device. Make sure your computer is actually authorized for the iTunes Store account that was used to purchase the content by going to Authorize Computer on the Store menu in iTunes. Also, if you’re managing the content on your iPad manually rather than using automatic sync then you may need to use the File, Transfer Purchases option to initiate the transfer.

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  5. Here’s a mystery: I downloaded a rental movie from iTunes onto my computer, and in iTunes I transfer it to the iPad, and then sync– but NOTHING. The movie doesn’t seem to exist anywhere on the iPad.

    So then I download a different movie from iTunes directly to the iPad. Takes 3 hours. And then? Can’t find it anywhere.

    Nothing in the “movies” tab at all. Any ideas?

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  6. “Nothing in the “movies” tab at all. Any ideas?”…

    It sounds like you may have the Movie Restrictions on. If you have turned on a Movie rating limit in General Preferences, any movie with a higher Rating will “disappear” from the movies section. It is still on the iPad but just not seen. You can raise you restriction level to “ALL” and the movies will appear again. Unfortunately some movies are ‘Unrated’ (like many concert films) and will only show up with a show all restriction for movies.

    Hope that solves it

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  7. Liz: go to the “videos” app and select rentals. Being used the the iPhone universe, this wasn’t obvious to me, either. “Videos” doesn’t exist as an app on the iPhone, but lives in the iPod app.

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  8. Beware when renting movies using iTunes. I rented one and it played up until the last 10 minutes and would’t go any farther. Apple refused to do anything about it. Basically, they said once you agree to purchase it’s basically at your own risk because of licensing issues. I think it’s interesting that they don’t support Flash, as that would allow their competitors like Amazon to take some of the business. Ever since I had this issue I only order my books through Amazon Kindle.

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  9. On a recent vacation I tried to download a movie directly to my iPad. Not only did it take forever to download, it wouldn’t complete the download – and kept giving the error, “Download error: Tap to retry.” Throughout the week, retrying never worked, no matter the WiFi connection

    Based on previous comments in this discussion, I’m assuming I’ll still get charged for the rental, even though it doesn’t show up on my iPad, AppleTV, or iTunes ‘Movies’ list and won’t be able to watch it.

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  10. When I rent a movie with my apple tv the movie starts playing right away and the download continues in the background. Is it right that the ipad only starts playing movies once fully downloaded?

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  11. I just tried downloading my first movie on iPad and like the other comment, it Just stopped and said error. I will be furious if I am charged. How can you charge for a service that is never delivered? I bought this iPad to watch movies when traveling and apparently I made mistake.

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  12. I can’t get anything to download to my iPad. It always says it can’t connect to iTunes OR connect to a wifi! It’s so annoying. I have to use the PC first and then transfer it. WACK!

    And I’ll never rent a movie again. I rented one to take on vacation… Paid 4 bucks …. And didn’t get to watch it in 24 hours so it deleted itself! I was so mad!!!!!! Even blockbuster gave 48 hours and they sucked too. I’m sticking with netflix!

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  13. No, the same situation exists with the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G. This seems to be the way Apple is going to be handling it from now on. Perhaps the price they had to pay for manufacturing HD-capable devices?

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  14. OK, so I went to upgrade my ipad to 1OS 4 and before it would upgrade me it told me to move my rental movies to iTunes! HAHA! So, frustrated in not being able to figure out how to do it, I searched for the answer and found this page and now see it is impossible! nice apple! Thanks for telling me to do the impossible!

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  15. I just purchased my iPad, purchased a movie from iTunes on the iPad then synced my iPad with my computer iTunes. Now the movie is on my computer iTunes but not on the iPad and I can’t get it back on the iPad. Any ideas?

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  16. I have a new iphone 4 with 12gb free, trying to download a tv programme but keep getting same old ‘download error tap to retry’ —
    have been researching this for hours, been trying all the tips but still can’t get it to change. It is now over 48 hrs since I purchased it — is there any point in continuing? Should I try downloading something else?

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  17. iPad loads movies sooooooo slowly, it is seriously disturbing an frustrating! I purchased my iPad to enjoy a larger screen than the iPod phone, and yet it is truly taking 6 to7 hours to load. And yes….I have deleted all other items in the hopes that would help th eipad along…..doesn’t make any difference at all. Aaaaaarrrrrrggggg!

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  18. What blows me away is how shitty apple really is and all the problems and restrictions they have the biggest one being no flash yet they are taking over the world every one on plannet earth wants there iphones,ipads, and ipods. and if your like me you probly have them all yet when it comes down to it they are the biggest piece of shit ever. especially the new apple tv which you cant watch rented movies on just doesnt work also you are supose to be able to watch rented movies from your other devices and computer easily on your apple tv but that doesnt work either. bottom line is save the thousands of dollars that you spend on these devices and buy something that actually works and can play flash which the entire internet was built around.

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  19. Less than a month ago I was in an airport going on vacation when I decided to download three movies to watch while I was away. In the next few days, I kept getting download error when it looked like it was about half way through download. I notified apple and got no resuts but they still charged me amount for 3 movies! Now today I got a notification that I have 24 hours to watch one of them and 2 days to watch the other. The third one hasn’t been mentioned yet! But hear’s the kicker…none of them can be found on my IPad.
    Comments?

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  20. Ann, there is not enough space on your iPad for the three movies. A while back, I ran into this issue as well. I would suggest that you could clear up some space and try again, but it looks like you posted this on the 18th and all of your movies have already expired so it wouldn’t help you this time. Now you know!

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  21. Why are some movies, which are listed for sale or rent in iTunes on my laptop, only listed for rent when I open iTues on my iPad?

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  22. Ann-I had plenty of space on my iPad when I downloaded movies and one of them still froze.for anyone else in this situation, it is possible to see a totally black screen when trying to get back to the movie.

    You can work around this…often…by going to a movie already on your iPad,preferably one you have bought, not rented,and start playing it. This will solve the black screen issue.

    Does anyone else have issues with downloads taking a long time? I do and wonder if the connection

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  23. I rented a movie and it somehow disappeared after I had downloaded it. We just tried reseting it and it worked! So i would recommend reseting first if you can’t get it to work and then checking the videos app. If that doesn’t work, write apple and hopefully they’ll help!

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  24. As Brad (#8) correctly pointed out, even though rentals are downloaded from the iTunes app, after the download they appear in the separate Videos app under Rentals and NOT in the download section of iTunes as you’d expect.
    Thanks Brad. You saved some frustration.

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  25. Rented 2 movies on my iPad and watched them on it over a month ago. Every time I launch i-Tunes on my desktop it is trying to download the same two movies. What is going on???

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  26. I wish I had read these comments before trying to download my first movie. It takes a gazillion years, and like another individual I tried to download it from the computer to my IPad, it showed it was downloaded but the movie is nowhere on the iPad.. I don’t think I’ll be downloading any more movies soon.:(

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