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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

iTunes Movies: Quick Hands-On

I updated to iTunes 7 last night, but I didn't get much time to drive around much. I did go ahead and try downloading Pirates Of The Carribean 2.

Thing is, I didn't get to watch it. When it first started to download, it said it would take 10 hours. Then in a few minutes - 12 hours. An hour later? 18 hours. Apple's servers must have been getting hammered last night. So I have no idea how the movie looks on SDTV or anything like that. Probably watch it tomorrow night.

The interface is quite good and it's a decent enough selection for a launch. Hopefully they'll throw some hardware at the problem until the rush dies down.

I think this is a good direction for Apple ... I just don't know if the math adds up. $15 for a new release with sub-DVD quality with no extras and no physical medium feels a bit much, especially in the age of Netflix. And especially since new releases drop in price dramatically after a few months. Plus, Pirates will be eating up a gig and a half of precious hard-drive space. So not only does the money feel a bit high, so does the storage cost.



Thomas said...

You can still only watch it on that computer or another with the same iTunes account, right? That was my problem with the TV shows on iTunes--a lifesaver when I missed a Galactica episode, but such a pain to have to watch it on Belle's laptop and then never be able to store it somewhere else.

I guess the iTV will have some ability to play things back and record from there through the analog hole, but it's not an optimal solution. Buying a DVD and ripping doesn't take that long, to be honest, and the quality's better.

Josh said...

Right. Or you can use a video iPod with an adaptor to watch it on a TV (and probably burn it to DVD with the right cabling that way).

My understanding is that iTunes operates under a DCCA license for shows and movies which controls things like when it they can be released and how they can be recorded. There was a rumor recently that the DCCA would change the license and allow iTunes to burn to DVD just like it burns music to CD, but I'm less confident that will happen now.

It's definately a handicap. I've got a Mini, so it's not a big deal to just power it down and hook it up to the TV - but still not as flexible as a DVD.

My feelings are mixed with the iTV and I think I'll reserve judgement for it's release. Support for HDTV is quite nice, but I was looking for a cheaper and simpler video networking solution to be honest. Something closer to a $100 point and just S-Video out would have been fine with me.

At $300, the iTV gets painfully close to a full-blown Mini. OK, close is half of a Mini's cost - but a Mini is an actual computer. You could play music, watch movies, play games, browse the web, write email, etc.

Thomas said...

Yeah, granted you can't blame Apple for the license requirements.

Too bad TiVoTogo doesn't work from computer->TiVo, but of course that wouldn't be streaming.

Thomas said...

On second examination, the TiVo solution does work, although it's still not streaming and Windows only. I will have to try that sometime.