Mix: Rentals, Sony, Napster, Hotels.com, PTRip


According to a new report, Apple is close to signing deals with most of Hollywood’s major studios to offer their films both for rent and purchase through iTunes. Citing anonymous sources, BusinessWeek reports that Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, and Lionsgate are close to signing on with Apple to allow movie sales, rentals, or both through iTunes. Previously, it has been reported that both Twentieth Century Fox and Disney would be on board when Apple announces the rental service.

Sony BMG has announced the launch of Platinum MusicPass, a new series of digital album cards that enable consumers to download full-length albums, and in many cases bonus content, in the form of high-quality, DRM-free MP3 files. “The introduction of MusicPass is an important part of SONY BMG’s ongoing campaign to bring its artists’ music to fans in new and innovative ways, and to develop compelling new business models,” commented Thomas Hesse, President of Global Digital Business & U.S. Sales for Sony BMG. “The MP3 files delivered through MusicPass play on computers, as well as on all MP3 players, including iPods.” The cards are expected to be available from January 15, and will sell for $13 each.

Napster has announced that it will shift its entire download sales catalog to the DRM-free MP3 format. The company also said that its Napster To Go subscription music service will “remain a core focus of the company.” Napster’s Chairman and CEO Chris Gorog said, “The ubiquity and cross-platform compatibility of MP3s should create a more level playing field for music services and hardware providers and result in greater ease of use and broader adoption of digital music.”

Hotels.com has launched a new customized web application for the iPhone and iPod touch that allows users to research and book hotel rooms on-the-go. Scott Booker, chief hotel expert for hotels.com, said, “We developed this robust travel tool with one goal in mind: to make it easy for millions of iPhone and iPod touch users to book hotels anywhere, at anytime.” To access the new web app, simply visit hotels.com from an iPhone or iPod touch.

Primera has introduced its new PTRip software, which allows the company’s Bravo-Series Disc Publishers to import multiple CDs into iTunes with the press of a single button. According to the company, “discs are robotically loaded and tracks imported into iTunes (or Windows Media Player). The process continues automatically until the input bin is empty.” PTRip supports Primera’s Bravo SE, Bravo II, BravoPro and Bravo XR/XRP Disc Publishers, and is priced at $99.00, although the software is available as a free download for a liimited time.

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Charles Starrett

Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.