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MacRumors
Jul 18, 2006, 01:41 AM
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Think Secret claims (http://www.thinksecret.com/news/0607itunesmovies.html) that Steve Jobs will announce the addition of a movie rental service to the iTunes Music Store during his keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/03/20060307132013.shtml) on August 7.

MacRumors reported (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/06/20060619101731.shtml) last month that movie studios had mixed feelings about Steve Jobs, some regarding him as a friend and some as a foe, and Think Secret's report indicates that the studios have won this negotiation round, limiting movies to rentals instead of outright purchases, with playback limited either by number of viewings or by an expiration date.

Deals with Walt Disney Studios, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Brothers Pictures are said to be complete, with others in progress.

Apple's decision to implement a rental model for movies is a major departure for the company and Mr. Jobs. Apple had been trying for months to persuade the movie studios that the a-la-carte model of buying individual titles, as the iTunes Music Store offers with music, was the way to go. The studios, however, has been fixed on offering only a subscription or rental-based model.

Chaszmyr
Jul 18, 2006, 01:44 AM
Good news and bad news. Movies good, rental bad if not offered with sale. However, if rentals are cheap, I'd probably just as soon rent so i could buy the physical disc which would be much higher quality anyway.

liketom
Jul 18, 2006, 01:44 AM
Well about time :eek:

i was starting to think this was not coming at all

mcarnes
Jul 18, 2006, 01:44 AM
If I'm going to spend all that time downloading a movie, I should at least be able to keep it. Bah.

treblah
Jul 18, 2006, 01:44 AM
I'm sufficiently excited. Here's hoping for higher quality (than the current TV shows) and Netflix-esque pricing.

Start "TS isn't accurate/only for the US" whining in 3, 2, 1…

If I'm going to spend all that time downloading a movie, I should at least be able to keep it. Bah.

You've never streamed a Quicktime movie? You don't have to wait for it to end before you start watching it, unless of course you were going to watch it on an iPod…

Lollypop
Jul 18, 2006, 01:45 AM
Lets see how they make this happen, movies are big downloads (or so im told :p ;) ) people wont like spending a lot of time downloading a file only for it to become completely useless a while later. But if it increases the content in the iTMS then so be it!

caliguy
Jul 18, 2006, 01:48 AM
If I'm going to spend all that time downloading a movie, I should at least be able to keep it. Bah.
I'd rather them just be streamed if it is indeed going to be rentals.

Lollypop
Jul 18, 2006, 01:49 AM
I'm sufficiently excited. Here's hoping for higher quality (than the current TV shows) and Netflix-esque pricing.

Start "TS isn't accurate/only for the US" whining in 3, 2, 1

I was trying to avoid the whining, but now that you bring it up... when is apple going to bring the video content to other coutries?

Doctor Q
Jul 18, 2006, 01:58 AM
I wouldn't rule out downloading a movie, even for limited use, but the price would have to make it worthwhile. It'll have to compete with Netflix, my local video rental store, cable TV, and going to the movie theater. A tough market but a good population of potential customers.

solvs
Jul 18, 2006, 02:01 AM
Yeah, if it's $9.99 to rent, it's going to fail. $1.99, might be worth it. I'm sure a lot of people will be happy, then a lot of people will complain. Both with have good points, but the rest of us won't care.

way2l84sanity
Jul 18, 2006, 02:01 AM
Does this mean a new Video Ipod will be releaed also at the WWDC??
and if the rumors are true about the mac pro being announced also, that's alot of new goodies from Steve.
I don't like the rental model, it could find it's way into the music downloads. A $9.99 movie download at good quailty would be realy attractive. (too own)

EricNau
Jul 18, 2006, 02:01 AM
Whether buying or renting, I hope these movies will be better quality than the current videos on the iTunes Music Store. I wouldn't pay a dime for a video that wasn't at least DVD quality.

It's good that iTunes is gaining more features that will help keep it ahead of Microsoft.

blueflame
Jul 18, 2006, 02:05 AM
This is stupid, I want to qon my movies and be able to burtn them to disc, i still want this ability currently, I should be able to burn the movies I buy, and when will the companies learn this will amke pwople buy more, they will buy one for their ipodf and one for themselves
AK

nagromme
Jul 18, 2006, 02:06 AM
I hope the rental thing is true--I don't want to own. I'm not with Steve Jobs on this one (assuming the rumors are true that he opposes rentals).

Owning music downloads fits my habits/needs. Owning movie downloads does NOT. The vast majority of movies I watch I never see again. And I don't want to store big movie files long-term. And I don't want to pay a higher price! Lower the price and make it short-term. I like that better.

For the few movies/shows I'd want to own, I want the discs (Blu-Ray preferred :) ) and the ability to take them to a friends' house.

Also, if it's a rental model, I can be more forgiving on quality. They'd have to be better than iPod 320x240 (except, obviously, when played ON an iPod), but if they're a little bit short of DVD quality, I'd still be bored enough to seek instant gratification and rent some. The price would have to be right, of course. Netflix rentals cost about $2.50 each on my plan. For slightly-sub-DVD quality and near-instant delivery, I'd pay maybe $2. For FULL DVD quality I'd certainly be willing to match Netlflix's price, or even pay a little more (for iTunes convenience/speed).

How often would I rent? Depends on selection... which means, probably not often :) At first. But it would be cool to see it grow to a collection that could rival Netflix.

After all, I already do all my movie watching on my Mac (sometimes connected to TV).

bankshot
Jul 18, 2006, 02:06 AM
A major consumer announcement at a developers conference? Not gonna happen. End of story!

ThinkSecret hasn't been right about anything since they got in trouble over leaks.

nagromme
Jul 18, 2006, 02:08 AM
people wont like spending a lot of time downloading a file only for it to become completely useless a while later.

I disagree: people already spend time/gas/money DRIVING to a video store to rent something that become worse than useless: you have to drive again to return it :) Or, with Netflix you just have to mail it, but the wait is days--much longer than a download.

zv470
Jul 18, 2006, 02:13 AM
...ok, and what about an iTunes Music Store for New Zealand and all the other countries that are missing out? :eek: please :p

JackSYi
Jul 18, 2006, 02:14 AM
Too bad Steve couldn't cut a deal from the studios.

Will_reed
Jul 18, 2006, 02:21 AM
Rental is such a dumb idea Maybe purchase but I've seen the quality of the video on the music store and personally I don't think it's worth the money.

rikers_mailbox
Jul 18, 2006, 02:21 AM
If true, an iTunes movie download service could drive sales of Mac Minis as a home-entertainment device. Not that it is (of ever will be) an all-in-one solution... but development of Front Row will continue and this is just one step towards something good for Apple and consumers alike.

I, for one, am all for the movie rental model. I'm interested in actually purchasing only very few movies. The others I watch only once, maybe twice. If I had to buy them, they'd sit on the virtual shelf until the next video format (VHS, DVD, BluRay/HD-DVD, ???) comes out and I'd just have to buy the same movie again. Please, let me rent.

As for quality, I'd expect nothing less than DVD. Apple thrives on progress. Although I'm willing to bet Jobs is pushing for some level of HD, 720p for starters?

petej
Jul 18, 2006, 02:30 AM
Movie rentals good. I rarely watch a movie more than once so this would suit me fine. I don't rent as much as would like to currently because I hate the trudge of taking the damn thing back to the rental store.
Movie subscriptions bad. I don't watch enough of them for it to be worth my while to subscribe to any Movie service. Work and kids make sure of that.
Movie download to own - no way. The last thing I want to do is fill up my HD with mountains of films that I'll probably never watch again and then have to back them all up to CD/DVD.
Kid's movies - These do get watched over and over again so hey, I can buy the DVD.

Now what would be cool added value is if I could choose the movie I want to rent from anywhere in the world and get it downloaded to my playback device (doesn't have to be a mac as such could just be an apple media center box) at home so that it is sitting waiting there when i get back. That could be great use for WAP / 3G mobile phones.

Streaming movies are hopeless. My broadband may be fast but it still suffers from way too much congestion at my ISP for this to be reliable for anything other than a low res movie.

swingerofbirch
Jul 18, 2006, 02:34 AM
I think there already are online download rental sites, presumably for WMP a la Windows.

Rental makes more sense if the quality is comparable to the current shows they offer. Plus if you buy a movie, with the restrictions the way they are, you most likely won't be able to burn it to a DVD to watch on the plasmas everyone seems to be getting.

And if this truly is a service for some sort of iPod, then they won't be offering HD movies unless of course by some miracle they have an HD screen in the iPod (although HD at any conceivably sized iPod screen would be a waste).

I actually would like a subscription service for both movies and TV shows. I have spent way more than I care to think about on TV series, and honestly I can only watch them but so many times. What do I do with them now? I "own" them, but as we all know, I can't sell them. I just have them forever.

swingerofbirch
Jul 18, 2006, 02:45 AM
I think there already are online download rental sites, presumably for WMP a la Windows.

Rental makes more sense if the quality is comparable to the current shows they offer. Plus if you buy a movie, with the restrictions the way they are, you most likely won't be able to burn it to a DVD to watch on the plasmas everyone seems to be getting.

And if this truly is a service for some sort of iPod, then they won't be offering HD movies unless of course by some miracle they have an HD screen in the iPod (although HD at any conceivably sized iPod screen would be a waste).

I actually would like a subscription service for both movies and TV shows. I have spent way more than I care to think about on TV series, and honestly I can only watch them but so many times. What do I do with them now? I "own" them, but as we all know, I can't sell them.

TheIguana
Jul 18, 2006, 02:45 AM
Thing is Steve Jobs is going to pull the usual trick (stupid contracts) and only release this to the American public. Rubbish if you ask me, we live in a world of more than one country. Which is why this sounds like another stupid pipe dream that the rest of the world will never get to enjoy *points at TV shows*.

Iggy :rolleyes:

VanNess
Jul 18, 2006, 02:45 AM
Didn't read the article yet, but why on earth would Apple announce an iTunes/Movie rental service at the WWDC? With Leopard and the probability of new hardware announcements, it looks like Jobs is already going to be plenty busy giving that slide clicker of his a workout. So unless there is some sort of special tie-in with yet to be disclosed Leopard whiz bang technologies and the Video service, why WWDC?

It also strikes me that the WWDC isn't really the venue for this sort of announcement. It always gets a lot of media attention, but mostly the kind of attention that appeals mostly to nerds and not the general public per se - the target audience for Apple's video what-have-you wares. One of those hasitly assembled Apple "special events" or Macworld seem more logical for this sort of thing.

Squire
Jul 18, 2006, 02:55 AM
Didn't read the article yet, but why on earth would Apple announce an iTunes/Movie rental service at the WWDC? With Leopard and the probability of new hardware announcements, it looks like Jobs is already going to be plenty busy giving that slide clicker of his a workout. So unless there is some sort of special tie-in with yet to be disclosed Leopard whiz bang technologies and the Video service, why WWDC?

It also strikes me that the WWDC isn't really the venue for this sort of announcement. It always gets a lot of media attention, but mostly the kind of attention that appeals mostly to nerds and not the general public per se - the target audience for Apple's video what-have-you wares. One of those hasitly assembled Apple "special events" or Macworld seem more logical for this sort of thing.

I see your point, but if the timing is right, why not?

As others have noted, a rental service for movies is not such a bad idea. For the few movies you'd watch multiple times, buying the DVD-- with all the extras-- is a better option. I can't get too excited about it, though, because it will obviously be a US-only service.

-Squire

MauiMac
Jul 18, 2006, 03:06 AM
WOW! "Think Secret" is really putting its reputation on the line by making this ("WWDC surprise: Apple to announce iTunes movie rentals" and Second-gen iPod nano on tap for August") two statements! What are the chances of Jobs announcing movie rentals and second-gen ipod nanos at WWDC (of all places) (in addition to 10.5 and MacPros)? But with Jobs, who knows what will be announced. "One more thing"... oh and wait just "One more thing"... :confused: :confused: :confused:

gnasher729
Jul 18, 2006, 03:11 AM
If I'm going to spend all that time downloading a movie, I should at least be able to keep it. Bah.

There is another possibility that wouldn't require any downloads at all. In the UK, many newspapers come with free CDs or DVDs quite often. It would be possible to ship a DVD with the latest movies that way (and you can fit quite a bit of material in H264 format on a double sided DVD), and the rental from iTMS would just unlock the material on the DVD. If you put trailers and promotional material on the DVD in a way that can be accessed directly, this would make many people rent the movies.

And if you want to watch the movie again in a few years, just put in the DVD again and rent it again; no download needed. In the end, even today harddisks are not yet quite big enough that you would want to keep all your rented movies on your harddisk.

Chundles
Jul 18, 2006, 03:16 AM
List of things I don't want to hear one word about at the WWDC:

iPod
iPod nano
iTMS
iMac
Mac mini
MacBook.

The WWDC is now and always should be a professionally focussed conference. All technical, nerdy and Pro stuff - Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, Pro Apps, OS X development.

All the other stuff can be updated in their own little events or quietly on the online store on or around the WWDC if needs be but the actual event should be totally professional stuff. That's why the developers pay the big bucks.

JFreak
Jul 18, 2006, 03:18 AM
Thing is Steve Jobs is going to pull the usual trick (stupid contracts) and only release this to the American public.

We can always hope that they also want to make business outside US.

exabytes18
Jul 18, 2006, 03:36 AM
With such big files readily available to the public, I want to see so many people decide to rent a movie that the ISPs struggle with their oversold services. :D

MacBoobsPro
Jul 18, 2006, 03:55 AM
Yeah, if it's $9.99 to rent, it's going to fail. $1.99, might be worth it. I'm sure a lot of people will be happy, then a lot of people will complain. Both with have good points, but the rest of us won't care.

This is were the movie bigwigs are shooting themselves in the foot. I would rather pay $5 - $10 for a download (to keep) than $1.99 (or similar) for a rental. More people want to keep the movies and will pay more for them. I.e. more income for the studios etc.

What are they freakin' stupid?

I know for a fact - if it ever makes it to the UK store :mad: - that i will hardly download any if they are on a rental model. If its pay to own i will be downloading loads.

EDIT: And i agree with bigandys post above!

crap freakboy
Jul 18, 2006, 04:03 AM
Until they at least come close to matching the model that Mac The Ripper, Toast and Blockbuster 3 dvd postal rental gives me, I'll have to decline the Studios kind offer regarding rental rather than ownership.;)

A.Fairhead
Jul 18, 2006, 04:11 AM
I hope the rental thing is true--I don't want to own. I'm not with Steve Jobs on this one (assuming the rumors are true that he opposes rentals).

Owning music downloads fits my habits/needs. Owning movie downloads does NOT. The vast majority of movies I watch I never see again. And I don't want to store big movie files long-term. And I don't want to pay a higher price! Lower the price and make it short-term. I like that better.

For the few movies/shows I'd want to own, I want the discs (Blu-Ray preferred :) ) and the ability to take them to a friends' house.

Also, if it's a rental model, I can be more forgiving on quality. They'd have to be better than iPod 320x240 (except, obviously, when played ON an iPod), but if they're a little bit short of DVD quality, I'd still be bored enough to seek instant gratification and rent some. The price would have to be right, of course. Netflix rentals cost about $2.50 each on my plan. For slightly-sub-DVD quality and near-instant delivery, I'd pay maybe $2. For FULL DVD quality I'd certainly be willing to match Netlflix's price, or even pay a little more (for iTunes convenience/speed).


I agree; I watch movies a lot more than I buy movies. When I go to the cinema, I pay to watch the film, not to own it. Most people do this - owning films is something of an impulse post-viewing, in my experience. If iTMS can provide a rental service, that's great. If they end up providing purchases too, then, that's great too. Apple will be able to target 'viewing' markets as well as 'purchase' markets, if the difference is easy enough to see there.

I guess my thoughts are to not rule out rentals - I'm sure many of you work with films like I've just described :p

ZoomZoomZoom
Jul 18, 2006, 04:25 AM
I actually prefer renting to buying, if the price is right. Don't have to worry about driving back and forth, and don't have to worry about late fees. I'm the kind of guy who doesn't download music from iTunes though, and I like to have everything I own also in a physical format. (I buy CDs.) Thus, I like this system because I can look at a movie just once or twice (It's not like I watch most movies more than once anyways) and if it's really good, I'll go to a store and buy it.

Of course, this all depends on the price of the rental. If it's anything over $3 maybe $4 pending on quality, I'd rather just bring myself to a movie theatre. Or borrow a DVD from a friend.

gekko513
Jul 18, 2006, 04:52 AM
It does make more sense renting movies than renting music. It's not often I like to see the same movie several times.

If the service is cheap enough, I can see that the convenience of getting a movie with just a couple of clicks in iTunes will make this an attractive offer for many. It is a hassle having to rent physical DVDs.

zerolight
Jul 18, 2006, 05:28 AM
Thing is Steve Jobs is going to pull the usual trick (stupid contracts) and only release this to the American public. Rubbish if you ask me, we live in a world of more than one country. Which is why this sounds like another stupid pipe dream that the rest of the world will never get to enjoy *points at TV shows*.

Iggy :rolleyes:

Surely the TV Shows issue is because the US shows are sold on to European TV Stations, usually after the show has aired in the states. These TV Stations aren't going to be too pleased if they've shelled out a bucketload of money for the UK premier of 24 for example, only to have it show up on iTunes before they've even aired it.

The only way it can work is if iTunes waits until after all the channels have aired it first. In the UK you'd find 24 showing up on something like E4, then Channel 4, then some of the scrubbers like Channel 5 or Bravo would likely have a deal, then it could show up on iTunes. By then the show is so old that there's no point. Hence, I imagine, why we don't get iTunes TV Shows here.

whooleytoo
Jul 18, 2006, 05:58 AM
I don't think the time is right for online digital movie rentals. Even with a relatively fast broadband service, it still is going to take a fair amount of time to download the file. If the file only plays once, or just for a day, or a few days it's just not worth the effort, IMO.

On the other hand, if it were a subscription service, or a download & keep it would be. Perhaps, in the not too distant future when we all have much faster connections, the download rental market might make more sense.

Surely the TV Shows issue is because the US shows are sold on to European TV Stations, usually after the show has aired in the states. These TV Stations aren't going to be too pleased if they've shelled out a bucketload of money for the UK premier of 24 for example, only to have it show up on iTunes before they've even aired it.

So <the inevitable reply> why don't the air the shows on the same day in every country? In the TV age, it wouldn't make sense. In the digital age, it's the only way that makes any sense.

Macnoviz
Jul 18, 2006, 06:02 AM
I was trying to avoid the whining, but now that you bring it up... when is apple going to bring the video content to other coutries?

In Belgium, we were promised video downloads in 2006

Yeah, if it's $9.99 to rent, it's going to fail. $1.99, might be worth it. I'm sure a lot of people will be happy, then a lot of people will complain. Both with have good points, but the rest of us won't care.

Yeah, $2 seems right for a movie (in twisted Apple calculations this is 2,49 euros) I normally watch movies only once, so rental would be better, especially with a modest hard drive

We can always hope that they also want to make business outside US.

Amen

Surely the TV Shows issue is because the US shows are sold on to European TV Stations, usually after the show has aired in the states. These TV Stations aren't going to be too pleased if they've shelled out a bucketload of money for the UK premier of 24 for example, only to have it show up on iTunes before they've even aired it.

The only way it can work is if iTunes waits until after all the channels have aired it first. In the UK you'd find 24 showing up on something like E4, then Channel 4, then some of the scrubbers like Channel 5 or Bravo would likely have a deal, then it could show up on iTunes. By then the show is so old that there's no point. Hence, I imagine, why we don't get iTunes TV Shows here.

The shows would probably be different in the international stores, like here in Belgium we will have to split, one for Flanders (Dutch subtitles, although a lot of people also know English, like me) and one for Wallon (French dubbing/subtitles)
And there would probably be an offer of Belgian TV shows, along with international ones that have already aired here. I do hope we will have the chance to buy some more shows that, won't come out in Belgium, at least not on DVD.

Detlev
Jul 18, 2006, 06:15 AM
This does play into the news published about the industry allowing people to burn movies to DVDs but can someone do the math? What would the file size be for 2 hour movie at present? What about if it were compressed into a zip or tz file? What would it be if the quality were improved? How long would it take to download these files with dialup, on dsl, on cable. I would think that most people would not be downloading using their offices T1 connection ;)

How long would you wait or tie up your computer's internet connection to download an old movie from Disney?

Here is another issue to think about. With large files being downloaded to your HD and then errasing them you will have to defragment your HD quite often or you will suffer. Is there rumor of improved Disk Utility or other method of handling this?

Chundles
Jul 18, 2006, 06:19 AM
Can someone do the math? What would the file size be for 2 hour movie at present? What about if it were compressed into a zip or tz file? What would it be if the quality were improved? How long would it take to download these files with dialup, on dsl, on cable. I would think that most people would not be downloading using their offices T1 connection ;)

How long would you wait or tie up your computer's internet connection to download an old movie from Disney?

OK, I'm just going to do the maths...

Let's see, divide by 1024.....carry the one....add 6...average speed of an unladen swallow...take the inverse and...

The answer is: Very BIG!!

Eraserhead
Jul 18, 2006, 06:35 AM
I dunno, I could work if they streamed it. Even if they did it so you waited 15 minutes so there was loads of streamed data on your computer first (so no awful pauses) I can see myself using it a lot for even 2. You could go round with a laptop (or an iPod with WiFi ;) ) and plug it into a TV and watch a film on it, it would be good.

Stella
Jul 18, 2006, 06:38 AM
Waste of time. Two reasons:

- Several hours of downloads
- Available in the states only

Apple still haven't rolled out videos to the rest of the world yet ( for what ever reason , i.e., licensing. Apple seem to be dragging their heels regarding getting licenses. It shouldn't take this long ).

whooleytoo
Jul 18, 2006, 06:41 AM
OK, I'm just going to do the maths...

Let's see, divide by 1024.....carry the one....add 6...average speed of an unladen swallow...take the inverse and...

The answer is: Very BIG!!

:p

With those math skills let me guess.. you work for NASA? Or British rail? Or counting votes in US elections? (Or in the Irish government.. "one for you, two for me, one for you.." ;) )

How big are the music videos? I can't download them, so I can't determine the size, but if you knew the size of a music video, and you know its duration is roughly 5 minutes, you can extrapolate from that the approximate size of a 1:30 movie (i.e. multiply file size by 18). Multiply by 8 to convert to bits, then if you have (say) a 1Mbps connection, the math is easy peasy.

rosalindavenue
Jul 18, 2006, 06:45 AM
I don't think the time is right for online digital movie rentals. Even with a relatively fast broadband service, it still is going to take a fair amount of time to download the file. If the file only plays once, or just for a day, or a few days it's just not worth the effort, IMO.

I agree with respect to downloads-- but I think this is going to be streaming. Did you ever try the frontrow movie trailers? (before Apple let it go dead in January or so-- it was a beta test, I'm sure) Even with a hacked version on my ibook, the trailers were instantaneous and high quality. I think that's how these are going to be rented-- you'll have either a period of time you can stream (preferable) or a number of times you can stream before losing the rights.

EDIT: Poster below me is 100% correct-- this is about ipods; they'll have to sell downloads for those and they wont be anything like DVD quality.

Thataboy
Jul 18, 2006, 06:54 AM
This would only be viable via streaming, and that won't happen because you can't stream to an iPod.

Therefore, we can expect a big download. I imagine the movies will be the same quality as can be found currently in the store. Remember, the online store is to drive IPOD sales. Apple does not have a Music Store because it wants you to have music so badly. The point of a Movie Store would be to drive 6G iPod sales. Therefore, it makes sense to optimize the viewing experience for iPods.

The only way this would be viable, in my opinion, is if a rental were $1.99-$2.99 MAX. Other than that, I can bloody well use Netflix and Instant Handbrake (deleting the files once I return the movie). I am not so impatient that I can't wait 1 day to get a movie from my queue. For $1.99, I could be persuaded.

However, let's be real here. Bandwidth + movie companies greed = huge prices. I can totally see them trying to do this at $9.99, which is warped and insane (and therefore right in line with content producers' mindsets). Even $4.99 is nuttery.

Now... when Apple finds a way to stream movies to an Apple high-speed MVNO-equipped iPod -- now THAT would be hot. But that won't be around for years, if ever at all.

Finally, no way in Hades is this to be announced at WWDC. Maybe a week before or after, but NOT at the same time. I actually don't envision this announcement being made at all, as it would surely coincide with a new iPod (and aren't those all supposed to be delayed?).

Fuchal
Jul 18, 2006, 06:58 AM
Paying to rent 320x240 videos with stereo sound is a complete waste of money.

noservice2001
Jul 18, 2006, 07:09 AM
so ud have to return the movie after? how can that be, it's a rental?:confused:

Multimedia
Jul 18, 2006, 07:17 AM
When you can buy DVDs that you can rip with Handbrake for iPod for as little as $4.99 I don't see how a limited use "rental" model will work. Especially in light of the NetFlix unlimited rental model. :(

tny
Jul 18, 2006, 07:20 AM
This does play into the news published about the industry allowing people to burn movies to DVDs but can someone do the math? What would the file size be for 2 hour movie at present? What about if it were compressed into a zip or tz file? What would it be if the quality were improved? How long would it take to download these files with dialup, on dsl, on cable. I would think that most people would not be downloading using their offices T1 connection ;)

How long would you wait or tie up your computer's internet connection to download an old movie from Disney?

Here is another issue to think about. With large files being downloaded to your HD and then errasing them you will have to defragment your HD quite often or you will suffer. Is there rumor of improved Disk Utility or other method of handling this?


Zip, Tar, and GZip are all but irrelevant here, as the compression used in MPEG2 and MP4 leave little room for Zip to optimize (I just zipped an 850 MB MP4 video, and picked up 12 MB in the compression).

I have a 2.5 hour movie in EyeTV right now; in MPEG2 format (CD quality), it's 7.5 GB. The MP4 re-coding I did is I think 1.4 GB (that's on another computer). This is 29.97 FPS/640x480 video; your mileage may vary, as both MPEG2 and MP4 compression vary depending upon the nature of the content.

Where I live, Cable gives 6 Mbps down, burstable to 12 Mbps for the first 50 or so MB, a lot higher than T1's 1.5 Mbps down (though of course a T1 also has 1.5 Mbps up, and Cable around here does maybe 512 kbps). Obviously the cable speed is dependent to some extent on the traffic at surrounding homes, though I think they have significantly reduced the pool size for cable (somebody else may know a lot more about this than I do), which would give you a lot closer to that ideal 6 Mbps (assuming that the server can maintain that speed, which few can).

I suspect that you can count on the videos being 320x240, not 640x480. It looks about as good as VHS, and will cost Apple less in infrastructure costs (which they will have to be a lot more careful with than they have been with music).

This is a very bad idea. Given how well sales of DVDs do, I'd think that the movie industry would realize that the ownership model will be very successful for them. It's bad for Apple, too, as they have to have pretty much the same infrastructure for rental that they would have for an ownership model, but smaller margins (unless the movie industry is stupid enough to think we'll rent for $9.99).

mdelaney123
Jul 18, 2006, 07:35 AM
For this to work:

1. The movies will have to be able to play on a TV. I would even say they would have to be hi-def...

2. A Rental system would have to allow me to buy/download when I want, and then watch it when I want, with the ability to pause for a week or more if I want. (None of this having to watch it 24 hours after you download it.)

The people I have spoken to about this just don't want to watch a video on an iPod type device. We all have TiVos, Video On-Demand, Windows Media Center, etc. Most people don't want to watch a movie on their computer...

Apple has a opportunity here to really beef up Front Row, adding TiVo functionality, Movie downloads, etc... Really make the Mac a media hub. I hope they do it... I have Windows Media Center. It is lacking in a few areas, namely it doesn't record HD well yet... But it is close to being really good.

Our Tivo went on the fritz and we missed a Survivor last season. The next day, I went to CBS.com, paid $0.99 and downloaded it to our media center PC. We then watched it via our Xbox 360 hooked up to our 60" HD TV. The picture quality was better than broadcast, and there were no commercials. My wife was really impressed at how easy and seamless it was. (Note: My Media Center PC does not have a tuner card, so we don't use it for streaming videos. It is a gaming PC that came with Media Center...)

I really hope Apple gets this right!

supremedesigner
Jul 18, 2006, 07:38 AM
This is bulls***! IF they want to do that way, then it's their loss! That is really stupid. I'd rather buy DVD instead of renting their cheapstake movies!

PeteyKohut
Jul 18, 2006, 07:42 AM
List of things I don't want to hear one word about at the WWDC:

iPod
iPod nano
iTMS
iMac
Mac mini
MacBook.

The WWDC is now and always should be a professionally focussed conference. All technical, nerdy and Pro stuff - Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, Pro Apps, OS X development.

All the other stuff can be updated in their own little events or quietly on the online store on or around the WWDC if needs be but the actual event should be totally professional stuff. That's why the developers pay the big bucks.

You know...I am inclined to agree with you. However, if you really are a hard core Apple guy as I am (and it sounds like you are too) you also might own stock (as I do!) and at this point, Steve can release anything he wants that might boost my portfolio. I agree it should remain "techy", but this hasn't been a great year for Apple. We need SOMETHING!!! FAST!

chuckiej
Jul 18, 2006, 07:46 AM
They are not going to announce this at WWDC. Just cause its the next big event does not mean anything. They would certainly give this its own event.
:confused:

bigmc6000
Jul 18, 2006, 08:02 AM
I think it'd be a good idea. What most people in here seem to forget about is that there are millions of people who don't have DVD burners, much less DL DVD burners. Also, if the quality gets much more than 480p we're talking about quite a few older computers not being able to play it back very well. I think my 1.5GHz Powerbook is technically (according to apple) limited at 480p so if there's any slow down or jerkiness to get it to 720p I'm not a big fan of that.

I think rental is a good idea - I've gone to blockbuster a few times and I've even watched some films from my cable company just because I didn't feel like going to blockbuster. But if they can make the price good (1.99 or 2.99 tops) it'd still be cheaper than either of the options I just listed and it'd be whole lot easier to do it.

I like download to buy for music but I'm with a lot of people on here in that if I want to own a movie I'll just go to target the day it's released and get it for $16.

One more thing - you don't want Steve to win this round because the studios would require an absurd pricing model. Look at the universal store - 29.99 for new releases?!?! If you want the DVD just go to Walmart or Target etc and get it way below MSRP otherwise the movie companies are going to make apple do what the retails do - take a loss on every single one sold and I really don't think Steve would be down with that...

Keebler
Jul 18, 2006, 08:03 AM
i'm not too surprised if this holds true.

1. renting a movie make sense if it's a good quality. you don't buy the movie when you go to a cinema. for someone like myself, a stay-at-home Dad, i often want to hit the theatre, but with 2 kiddies and a home business....not alot of time....but i could dload a movie while the kids are eating lunch/having a nap and then watch it later :) hey, it just bleeds further into developing an impatient society :) ie. . I want it NOW :)

2. of course the movie execs don't want ppl to buy a dloaded movie b/c dvd sales are insanely massive. dvd sales/marketing are now part of the ENTIRE movie process starting at pre-production. they want us to spend the $20 - $30 per dvd and higher for box sets

3. I believe Jobs doesn't want to push the movie execs. they see how the music biz just fought with jobs over trying to increase prices. they want to hold the upper hand imho.

4. i'm joining the whining about not releasing tv shows/movies in other countries. i'm in canada and would love to dload tv shows which i don't get a chance to see. i understand there are legal implications, but i would think that a lg amount of the groundwork would have been done with the music? (I know there may be different issues, but it's driving me nuts :)

Either way, i hope apple does something. they need to lead the charge. people want it.

cheers,
keebler

DougAdams
Jul 18, 2006, 08:08 AM
I think it highly unlikely that the WWDC will be the launchpad for anything so consumer-oriented. The highlight of the WWDC is the Leopard preview. Apple needs developers on board for 10.5 and nothing's gonna over-shadow that.

ShavenYak
Jul 18, 2006, 08:19 AM
Until they at least come close to matching the model that Mac The Ripper, Toast and Blockbuster 3 dvd postal rental gives me, I'll have to decline the Studios kind offer regarding rental rather than ownership.;)

Yeah, and I'm not going to buy another new car until the auto manufacturers match the deal I can get with a coat hanger, screwdriver, and pair of pliers. :rolleyes:

Just because it's cheaper to obtain illegally doesn't mean you're getting a bad deal when you acquire it legally. And it sure as hell doesn't make it right. Of course, it's obvious that concepts like right and wrong don't matter much in modern society. :mad:

mi5moav
Jul 18, 2006, 08:19 AM
I actually prefer the rental method. I have so many movies I've bought over the years and on average I've watched them maybe 3 or 4 times. Yes, some I've actually watched 5 or 6 but alot of those now are shown on Network, and with HD tv and tivo I won't buy any new ones. But we still rent(for free, from our library) anywhere between 6 to 8 movies a week. So, if the new itunes video store can rent rent movies at .99 cents for a 3-5 day unlimited viewing I'm in. At 1.99 I might rent a few at 2.99 I really doubt it. at 4.99 no way in hell.

I still don't understand how QT is capable of doing this since Apple hasn't really implemented any kind of DRM into there players(fairplay, is a joke)

applekid
Jul 18, 2006, 08:20 AM
Good news and bad news. Movies good, rental bad if not offered with sale. However, if rentals are cheap, I'd probably just as soon rent so i could buy the physical disc which would be much higher quality anyway.

If rentals go for like 99 cents for a given amount of time, I'd probably try the movie with a rental and go out and buy the DVD if I want a high-quality movie with all of the extras that I could always rip. For a lot of the iTunes shows, I might buy an episode, but I usually just rip them from my DVDs to have high quality rips on my computer and a separate rip if I want to transfer them to my Palm (got no video iPod...)

As long as the pricing and rental term is fair, this should be a decent system. It definitely should be close to 99 cents a day. The cheapest physical movie rental service I can think of is RedBox (http://www.redbox.com/) which is $1 a night. Maybe Steve worked out a good deal to do a buck or two for a week.

mrgreen4242
Jul 18, 2006, 08:21 AM
Well, I'll chime in to agree with a lot of you...

1) it HAS TO BE 480p widescreen or better. 480p would be acceptable - it's better than DVD (roughly the same overall image info, but it's a progressive source material, so no pulldown being done in the player, meaning just a tad nicer images AND it's not NTSC color, so you get an improvement there).

2) it needs to be on my TV, and that doesn't mean buy a $400 iPod to do it, either.

3) it needs to be cheap. I get all the movies I want from Netflix for under $20 a month. The only reason I would use this service is to get something right now on an impulse. which brings us to...

4) downloads can't be overnight. Should be able to start watching within half an hour, otherwise I'll go to video store and rent it for $2.50 on DVD.

Now, the only thing that could excuse any of these requirements would be...

5) release movies that are just out of theatres, but not yet on DVD. There's a market for that with people who don't like going to the theatre (expensive, noisy, etc) but don't like to wait for DVD.

#5 would excuse #3 and 4, but #1 and 2 are pretty non-negotiable for me.

I know, I'm asking for fast, cheap, and high-quality, where it's normally pick two, but there are already many options out there that make you pick two... Apple needs to provide all 3 if they want to sand out in the crowd.

JosiahPB
Jul 18, 2006, 08:24 AM
Unless paying for movies with a 320x240 resolution with stereo sound is your thing....

Keebler
Jul 18, 2006, 08:30 AM
i forgot to mention the use of bit torrent technology.

i wonder, and hope, that apple will use this somehow. i'm too techie, but remember a few months back, apple bought a data storage warehouse. what if they designed some sort of torrent system where your dload would come from multiple sources? that would surely make it faster?

now, i'm not saying this is the be all and end all, but it's intriguing to see if it would work.

it would be one of the only ways to make high quality stuff dloadable in a timely fashion. is it possible for them to also have some sort of a 'restart' or 'pickup' dload service so if something happens with your connection during dload, that is picks up where it stopped??

i wonder.... :)

SPUY767
Jul 18, 2006, 08:32 AM
Lets see how they make this happen, movies are big downloads (or so im told :p ;) ) people wont like spending a lot of time downloading a file only for it to become completely useless a while later. But if it increases the content in the iTMS then so be it!

A 3 Meg Connections is sufficient to stream Apple's HD trailers in 1080i. I really don't think that there would be a problem buffering a movie for ten minutes or so and then playing it all the way through, especially if they were 720p.

Chundles
Jul 18, 2006, 08:33 AM
Yeah, and I'm not going to buy another new car until the auto manufacturers match the deal I can get with a coat hanger, screwdriver, and pair of pliers. :rolleyes:

If you're good with the pliers you won't need the screwdriver.

i.Feature
Jul 18, 2006, 08:45 AM
So, if the new itunes video store can rent rent movies at .99 cents for a 3-5 day unlimited viewing I'm in. At 1.99 I might rent a few at 2.99 I really doubt it. at 4.99 no way in hell.

100% agree with this. Right now i can walk into the video store and get 3 dvds for $5(canadian) for 3 days. I can rip them to view later if i don't get around to them in the 3 days (I almost alway delete the ripped files within a week, i don't need to keep em).

It has to be cheap. Cause it'll be in no way "instant gratification" or more convient then driving walking to the video store.

jrv3034
Jul 18, 2006, 08:48 AM
For me, rental is good. I don't want to own a sub-par-quality movie. I'll download it and watch it, and if I want to keep it then I'll buy the DVD.

The downloads should be no more than $1.99 to keep me from walking to Blockbuster. Any higher, and it's just not a good enough deal, what with the low quality, etc.

bigjohn
Jul 18, 2006, 08:48 AM
Only way this works is if Apple makes the movie available for download/rental a week or two before DVD release (or earlier, like hotel PPV). Otherwise, I'll just *obtain* it elsewhere.

thejadedmonkey
Jul 18, 2006, 09:03 AM
[Fast downloads] would only be viable via streaming, and that won't happen because you can't stream to an iPod.

Therefore, we can expect a big download. I imagine the movies will be the same quality as can be found currently in the store. . .
Not ture. Apple could do a movie stream per rental, and let the CPU capture and convert it into a high-res iPod playable file. This way, after an hour or so you'll have a file playable on your iPod's lower res screen, or you can choose to watch it on the computer with a higher quality right away.

mambodancer
Jul 18, 2006, 09:14 AM
The assumption is that the movies will be downloadable. It's entirely possible that Apple may follow a model like netflix. Have an online DB of thousands of movies that you can review online, read reviews and member comments, and then rent the movie and have it shipped to you like Netflix and Blockbuster. Return it when you have watched it. Order and buy brand new and used DVD's. Charge a monthly subscription service. Maybe Apple will buy Netflix?

Additionally, if Apple does provide the option of at once delivery via downloads then I don't think they need to provide DVD quality as a download (though resolution options and a price structure to match would be nice-being able to watch HD-DVD on my Mac would be great)*.

I like the $9.99 price point for movie downloads that you can keep if they are DVD quality and I'm sure Steve will continue to fight for this. This isn't much different than what the Columbia DVD movie club offers now when you consider the number of movies that you get - for their member offer you can buy 7 DVD's for an average price of $3.90 each. Movies sell from Columbia starting at $14.95 to $19.95 and they always have some kind of special offer-buy one at regular club prices, get your next DVD for 50% off.

This would be another step toward dropping cable TV for me altogether. The $45 a month I'm paying to rent TV and movies from Comcast is a great incentive to cancel cable. The quality of cable downloads (record to VCR) isn't so great and if I'm downloading TV I still have to deal with commercials. I'd much rather do the "movie and TV on demand" thing through my computer.

And yes, I finally got rid of my TV, CD player, amps, tape drive, DVD player, VCR and entertainment console in favor of listening and watching through my computer system. I love not having that hugh piece of furniture crammed full of electronics and cabling in my living room!

easy4lif
Jul 18, 2006, 09:16 AM
I don't mind renting movies so long as its a model like netflix. Anything I really want to keep, I'm going to get on DVD and encode myself. but if its the latest releases maybe wtch once to see if I want to buy.

backupdrummer
Jul 18, 2006, 09:17 AM
I hope the rental thing is true--I don't want to own. I'm not with Steve Jobs on this one (assuming the rumors are true that he opposes rentals).

Owning music downloads fits my habits/needs. Owning movie downloads does NOT. The vast majority of movies I watch I never see again. And I don't want to store big movie files long-term. And I don't want to pay a higher price! Lower the price and make it short-term. I like that better.




I completely agree. When it comes to movies I watch 15% of my movies more then once a year and the rest I watch once maybe twice.

I like the a rent/buy model at the price of 3.99/9.99

HDnut
Jul 18, 2006, 09:19 AM
:eek: I guess we will all become big fat jelly fish at this rate, I like getting in my car and interacting with other people:D . Pay per pay is BS, look at XM and Sirus radio, a joke. Oh we won't have commercials, and now most of the channels do, and I can see this happening on downloads, you get the download and the first 10min is Ads. Plus I have better things to do than sit in front of my computer all day long, do that enough at work and when I am taking a break like now :rolleyes: What the Movie industry needs and music industry needs is a huge shot of quality not quantity, I can't think of too many movies and or music CDs that I would want to buy right now, or even rent.

wwworry
Jul 18, 2006, 09:20 AM
Who's to say a person won't buy some movies (like for their kids) and rent some others? Maybe a person has netflix but wants to something right away. My point is that it's crazy to say that there is only room for one kind of delivery method or pricing model.

Also it won't cost Apple that much to implement if the studios are doing the mastering and they add another category to iTunes. Why not? To get up-in-arms about this is like complaining about another brand of soap.

Booga
Jul 18, 2006, 09:24 AM
In the music business, Apple has taken advantage of people's willingness to give up some sound quality (ie MP3 and AAC formats) in exchange for ease of use in buying and using the music. I don't expect the movie service to offer HD, at least not for most movies. I expect they'll do the same thing they did with music-- actually offer slightly LOWER resolution than DVD in exchange for a very convenient package.

That's how Apple got the music industry on-board, and it would offer a great story to the movie studios, who are constantly worried that the higher and higher quality formats mean they're "giving away their masters". Instead, people may be very willing to buy lower quality copies as long as it's extremely convenient.

peharri
Jul 18, 2006, 09:32 AM
...but why on Earth would Jobs announce this at a developer's conference?

WWDC showcases the new hardware and software, but this isn't either, it's a product of little or no interest to developers. It's the wrong audience.

A more realistic possibility is a seperate, unrelated, keynote. The iTunes Music Store was announced at a special event, and I'd imagine any "movie download service" would be announced similarly.

I don't think the idea is impossible. I can see a $5 fixed fee thing working quite well, with $1 going to Apple to cover their operating costs. They can probably get an hour or so of moderate, better-then-VHS-resolution, quality for 100 megabytes if they choose a reasonable codec. The system probably fits Apple better than a selling system, where questions like "I can burn my music to CD, how come I can't burn my movies to DVD" will be asked. The major issue I can forsee though is that most of us want to watch movies on a large screen. Most Mac users don't really have anything that would work for that. Perhaps a little, cheap, Firewire widget that does TV out should be in Apple's future.

bigmc6000
Jul 18, 2006, 09:34 AM
In the music business, Apple has taken advantage of people's willingness to give up some sound quality (ie MP3 and AAC formats) in exchange for ease of use in buying and using the music. I don't expect the movie service to offer HD, at least not for most movies. I expect they'll do the same thing they did with music-- actually offer slightly LOWER resolution than DVD in exchange for a very convenient package.

That's how Apple got the music industry on-board, and it would offer a great story to the movie studios, who are constantly worried that the higher and higher quality formats mean they're "giving away their masters". Instead, people may be very willing to buy lower quality copies as long as it's extremely convenient.

Most people can't hear the difference between MP3 and AAC (or just don't care) and that's mainly because of low quality headphones but believe me if you're going to be selling movies you better have some decent resolution because people are going to plug their laptops/minis/media centers into their TV's and watch the movies. I was just watching some TV's I ripped from one of my DVD's last night and it looked ok with my 1080i 42" screen but I also tried playing one of my iTunes shows on my HD TV and it looked pretty crappy. I can understand watching TV shows on your CPU/iPod but if you go after movies they are going to be on the TV and the resolution better not be crap or else it'll be noticeable and nobody will buy it.

daysleeper
Jul 18, 2006, 09:35 AM
There are only a handful of movies that I would ever want to own, and these are films that I feel strongly about and like to loan out to people all the time. I have never understood people who build a personal movie library-- it is so expensive, and who are these people who watch these things over and over again?

If rentals are cheap, like 2-3 dollars, gimme gimme gimme. It'll save gas money to a traditional video store, and keep me from having to strategize about netflix.

Of course, it would be best to have an option to buy too, but I guess we can't have everything.

ifjake
Jul 18, 2006, 09:37 AM
for me, price must be less than 5 dollars, but not 5 dollars. i'd say even 2 dollars, since we're not going to own it, and owning a 40 minutes show from iTMS costs that much. This has to be competitive with stuff like netflix where the actual DVD is likely going to be much better quality than the low resolution crap they're likely to use with iTMS. ideally i would expect something like the 480p HD trailers they have at apple.com, but given the size of these files (let's see 1.5 minute trailer at 480p (848x400 it says) is 40MB, so say, a 120 minute movie at similar bitrates would be 3.2 GB) you're going to have to rent it the night before you want to watch it just so it'll download, even at fast broadband speeds. i'd say this isn't going to work. of course, i've always thought that movies apart from actual physical media will never be able to reach the quality we're all now expecting (soon 1080p tops) and even used to (DVDs), so i'm definitely biased towards this not working.

ddrueckhammer
Jul 18, 2006, 09:48 AM
This might get me to drop Netflix if it

1. Is $3.99 or less for downloads (the cost of a new Blockbuster rental).
2. Movies are at least DVD quality.
3. Can be played via a Mac Mini or Airport Express AV hooked up to my TV.

I would like to see bittorrent technology used to help cut the bandwidth costs for Apple and a queue system which automatically downloads the next movie in your queue and then deletes it at a specified time after you have played it. I will support this because if it works out then Apple will have the leverage to put $9.99 to keep movies on the store and I can still buy what I want for under $15 total after the rental.

As for people not wanting to store large videos on their hard drives, it is the 21st century. I have 1/2 Terrabyte of storage in external hard drives. So do many others and that's alot of storage for DVD quality films. I just read an article the other day about some disk format that is being developed at Harvard that will hold 50Tb! Storage isn't an issue and I can see many people having media servers instead of DVD/CD collections in their homes in the future.

gauriemma
Jul 18, 2006, 09:49 AM
I like to know that I can listen to (or view) my music on my schedule, at my convenience, on my time. If someone's telling me that I've got to hew to THEIR schedule, then it's just ceased being convenient.

Thanks, but I'll pass.

supermacdesign
Jul 18, 2006, 09:50 AM
I hope the rental thing is true--I don't want to own. I'm not with Steve Jobs on this one (assuming the rumors are true that he opposes rentals).

Owning music downloads fits my habits/needs. Owning movie downloads does NOT. The vast majority of movies I watch I never see again. And I don't want to store big movie files long-term. And I don't want to pay a higher price! Lower the price and make it short-term. I like that better.

For the few movies/shows I'd want to own, I want the discs (Blu-Ray preferred :) ) and the ability to take them to a friends' house.

Also, if it's a rental model, I can be more forgiving on quality. They'd have to be better than iPod 320x240 (except, obviously, when played ON an iPod), but if they're a little bit short of DVD quality, I'd still be bored enough to seek instant gratification and rent some. The price would have to be right, of course. Netflix rentals cost about $2.50 each on my plan. For slightly-sub-DVD quality and near-instant delivery, I'd pay maybe $2. For FULL DVD quality I'd certainly be willing to match Netlflix's price, or even pay a little more (for iTunes convenience/speed).

How often would I rent? Depends on selection... which means, probably not often :) At first. But it would be cool to see it grow to a collection that could rival Netflix.

After all, I already do all my movie watching on my Mac (sometimes connected to TV).

This is exactly how I feel about the situation. Renting is the key, and a $1.99 price point is perfect. The movies I purchased for $15 I almost never watch again, I am a sucker for impulse buying. I rent movies now for a buck at RedBox anything more that $2 isn't worth my time when I can have the disc in hand to watch when I want in beautiful DVD quality.

guzhogi
Jul 18, 2006, 09:56 AM
Why not offer both a subscription and an a-la-carte system? The rental movies could be cheaper, lesser quality and last for only a certain amount of plays/days while the ones you buy to own can be of higher quality, more expensive and you get to keep it.

Stella
Jul 18, 2006, 09:58 AM
I like to know that I can listen to (or view) my music on my schedule, at my convenience, on my time. If someone's telling me that I've got to hew to THEIR schedule, then it's just ceased being convenient.

Thanks, but I'll pass.

Apple are allowed to change their minds about the purpose of iPod / iTunes ( just like a woman , as we keep on being reminded! ) :-)

When you rent a movie from Rogers, blockbusters etc, you watch the movie to their schedule...

guzhogi
Jul 18, 2006, 09:58 AM
I like to know that I can listen to (or view) my music on my schedule, at my convenience, on my time. If someone's telling me that I've got to hew to THEIR schedule, then it's just ceased being convenient.
It's not supposed to be convenient, it's supposed to make the movie companies money. ;)

ChrisA
Jul 18, 2006, 10:02 AM
My local public library will loan me any DVD title I want for free. OK I might have to wait for a while for a popular title but they have hundreds always on the selves.

slu
Jul 18, 2006, 10:07 AM
Good. I want to be able to rent TV shows as well. You can really only watch The Daily Show once.

Let me sum it up for everyone:

Renting music = Bad
Renting video = Good

AtHomeBoy_2000
Jul 18, 2006, 10:15 AM
Renting music = Bad
Renting video = Good
Agreed. Video and music are two totally differant things. If I like an artist, I buy their music and listen to it over and over. When it comes to a movie, yes I may like to buy a movie for my personal records, that is what a DVD is for. but if I say "that movie looks interesting, I wonder how good it is?" then I will only want to rent it and BUY it later if it is good.

know-it-all5
Jul 18, 2006, 10:18 AM
I'm sufficiently excited. Here's hoping for higher quality (than the current TV shows).


if there will be a true video ipod coming out in the nearer future apple is forced to offer better quality. Bigger screen=Better Quality

Apple offers these shows etc. for the ipod (the availability to use these on our computer is a freebie) thus the current quality is fine for the current ipod's screen.

I have a feeling any new videos being added to the store around the new ipod release will also likely be widescreen. This will be needed!!!

slu
Jul 18, 2006, 10:21 AM
:eek: I guess we will all become big fat jelly fish at this rate, I like getting in my car and interacting with other people:D . Pay per pay is BS, look at XM and Sirus radio, a joke. Oh we won't have commercials, and now most of the channels do, and I can see this happening on downloads, you get the download and the first 10min is Ads. Plus I have better things to do than sit in front of my computer all day long, do that enough at work and when I am taking a break like now :rolleyes: What the Movie industry needs and music industry needs is a huge shot of quality not quantity, I can't think of too many movies and or music CDs that I would want to buy right now, or even rent.

Have you ever listened to satellite radio? I am guessing not, because every music channel (on Sirius at least) is commercial free. Over 100 channels I believe.

The funny thing is that you have "better things" to do, yet here you are, on a computer, posting to a computer enthusiast message board. The irony is stunning. Please smash all electronics in your home immediately.:rolleyes:

hyperpasta
Jul 18, 2006, 10:23 AM
World Wide DEVELOPER Conference.

This is great news, but if you look at the TS article, it says that they expect not only a movie rental service but also a new iPod nano at WWDC.

WWDC is big enough with Leopard and the Mac Pro... two groundbreaking new products of interest to developers. These iPod announcements would be perfect for a press event in September or October... cheaper or capacity-upgraded full-size iPods, new iPod nanos, iTunes 7 with movie rentals, and maybe new MacBook Pro's and iMacs using Merom and Conroe.

That would make a kickass special event. Or maybe use Apple Expo Paris for that. But please, I don't think they'll totally overload WWDC and turn it into a circus... its a developer conference!

AtHomeBoy_2000
Jul 18, 2006, 10:30 AM
ideally i would expect something like the 480p HD trailers they have at apple.com, but given the size of these files (let's see 1.5 minute trailer at 480p (848x400 it says) is 40MB, so say, a 120 minute movie at similar bitrates would be 3.2 GB) you're going to have to rent it the night before you want to watch it just so it'll download, even at fast broadband speeds.

Your numbers are pretty close to acuritre. I used the Spiderman 3 trailer for my numbers. It's encoded at 421.8 KB/s (3.2953125 Mb). So for a 2 hour movie (120 minutes, or 7200 seconds) that's 3,036,960 KB which is 2.8839 GB. To downlaod in real time, you would need at least a 3-6 Mb connection since typically, you only get the bottom of the promised speed. This means my 1.5-3 Mb DSL conection would take roughly 4-5 hours to downlaod the movie. Not good!

alec
Jul 18, 2006, 10:33 AM
I think everyone has touched on an important issue with this: it is not a good that is going to be embraced by the public, at least anytime soon. Who really wants to rent a movie for a few dollars so they can watch it on their iPod (and can iPods even last through a whole movie??). Anyway, I'm not impressed and this smells of a 'too soon' move.

know-it-all5
Jul 18, 2006, 10:34 AM
Most people can't hear the difference between MP3 and AAC (or just don't care) and that's mainly because of low quality headphones but believe me if you're going to be selling movies you better have some decent resolution because people are going to plug their laptops/minis/media centers into their TV's and watch the movies. I was just watching some TV's I ripped from one of my DVD's last night and it looked ok with my 1080i 42" screen but I also tried playing one of my iTunes shows on my HD TV and it looked pretty crappy. I can understand watching TV shows on your CPU/iPod but if you go after movies they are going to be on the TV and the resolution better not be crap or else it'll be noticeable and nobody will buy it.

I agree with almost everything you just said. In my opinion movies are for bigger screens. I would like to be able to watch these on my tv rather than a smaller computer screen.
AND THEN there became psp. As we can see there are many people out buying psp formatted discs to watch movies. These movies only work on psp( I suppose you could hook it up to your computer,tv, but ultimately the average/common usage of these is for portable movie watching. Personally I find this rediculous and pointless, but if u look at many consumers, they seem to think otherwise. If apple can offer these via itunes to ipods there will be loads of people who will love this. With a bigger screened ipod one could compete with the psp Video market. Most people with a psp seem to have an ipod too (in my experiences), and if this works, expensive movies for a psp, may be swapped for cheap ipod video rentals.

Evan_11
Jul 18, 2006, 10:34 AM
iTunes is the best place to release your movie via the internet if you want it to be seen. FrontRow I have found works great for streaming movie trailers and the quality is pretty good too (though not DVD quality but much better than anything iPod video encoded).

Anyway if implemented beyond just studio movies this could be a major milestone for independent filmmaking.

ro2nie
Jul 18, 2006, 10:55 AM
Apple don't want to be left out of this online movie thing. They tried to convince the studios, but they couldnt, so I think they have no choice but to make it a rental service before it's too late

Coolvirus007
Jul 18, 2006, 11:15 AM
A major consumer announcement at a developers conference? Not gonna happen. End of story!


I agree with this comment. There is no way a developer conference would be used as an announcement for ipods

Psychic Shopper
Jul 18, 2006, 11:18 AM
I must have watched 20 different video clips from the Daily Show on You Tube, streaming in almost real time. Why would I want to buy that content on the Itunes store?

chairguru22
Jul 18, 2006, 11:20 AM
a movie will be 500MB at least and thats just iPod quality. Full-screen computer monitor quality thats watchable is at least 700MB that ive experienced.

people want to rent and watch movies on their tv so if there isnt a way to do this easily, even rentals will fail.

sigamy
Jul 18, 2006, 11:30 AM
My theory is this: We are going to get first run movies in the iTMS.

This is why it is rental only. The movie companies are worried about releasing DVDs at the same time as a film hits the theater. (Not sure why.) Jobs finally got to them--he tricked them by fighting for the sale/rental but he didn't even care about that. He wanted the first run movies and I think he got them. Now you'll be able to rent a brand new film the day it is released in theaters. This is the only real selling point for movie downloads. Why download a limited copy of a movie when I can get if from numerous other sources?

This will be Jobs' 3rd home run in iTunes. First was music, the no brainer. Second was TV. Nobody was thinking about downloading existing TV shows before Apple did it. Everyone thought they were working on movie downloads. TV was brilliant. There is an immediate need--if you missed Lost and forgot to tape it, you need to get it soon because you can't miss what happened, etc.

Movies don't work that way. You can wait a while to see a movie. Also, movies have been available on other media for 30 years so there were other places to go for the content. TV shows just started appearing on DVD recently.

Would I ever download 1979's Superman The Movie? Nope, never. have it on DVD. Would I download 2006's Superman Returns? Yep, definetly.

TheAnswer
Jul 18, 2006, 11:41 AM
I don't know if the rumor is true or not, especially since lately AI and TS seem to be at odds about all the hardware news at WWDC, but here is what I'd like to see:

1. Streaming of movies now in theatres at least at DVD quality.
2. Streaming rentals of movies out of DVD at a little better resolution than we have now.
3. The option to purchase a DVD or HD quality version of a movie we have just watched the streaming rental of, with the ability to burn a copy.

SiliconAddict
Jul 18, 2006, 11:57 AM
meh. I already have Blockbuster's online rental. If I want to take something with me on the go I rent it, rip it and away I go. Yes this has more instant gratification but I'm a patiant person so meh...for those who aren't on a Netflix or Blockbuster plan I can see this as being nice...as long as its priced right.

bigmc6000
Jul 18, 2006, 12:13 PM
Over at AI one user made a good point about how WWDC in '04 Steve spent quite a bit of time talking about iPod and iTMS - user guessimates around 25%. So I guess that kinda beats down the argument that WWDC has always been "Mac" only...

theBB
Jul 18, 2006, 12:18 PM
You cannot rent an HD movie from Blockbuster or Netflix, so what makes you think "Apple has to offer HD quality". There is no need to have better quality than competitors while also providing more convenience.

What is so wrong about stereo sound? A lot of people use the speakers of their TVs for the sound of a movie. Most movie do not really take advantage of sourround sound that much, where you feel like the sound is coming from the left or from behind etc. You might as well use your 5 speakers in stereo mode.

$2 per rental ain't gonna happen. That's a pipedream. If movie indutry is licensing movies to Movielink for $4-5, it is not gonna let Apple do this for much lower prices. At that price it would be much more expensive than Netflix and with a much smaller library, so my subscription will have to stay. I can only use Apple's service as an add-on, when I really want to watch a movie, but Netflix DVD is still in the mail. Besides, I would have to get a Mac mini for the living room. Well, the cost just keeps adding up.

macFanDave
Jul 18, 2006, 12:23 PM
WWDC is about "developers, developers, developers, developers!"

What I have heard about Leopard and the Mac Pro is so exciting, I don't want to see them upstaged by iPod/iTMS movies news. I haven't even seen much on the Intel version of Xserves, so I can expect that I might see some news on that issue.

I hope to hear the iPod and iTMS news, but at a different venue.

suzerain
Jul 18, 2006, 12:30 PM
I disagree: people already spend time/gas/money DRIVING to a video store to rent something that become worse than useless: you have to drive again to return it :) Or, with Netflix you just have to mail it, but the wait is days--much longer than a download.


If people still drive to the video store to rent movies, then why are Blockbuster et al. going out of business? Everyone I know uses Netflix, not stores, nowadays, unless they don't have a computer, in which case iTunes is not their target market anyway.

I don't see online rental cutting into, like, BitTorrent, personally...if that was the point of the iTunes Store (to provide an alternative to pirating).

Rentals are stupid...what if something comes up and I can't watch my movie within the alotted time? I'm just screwed, then?

That's why the Netflix model is brilliant, though saddled with a delay...you can watch the movie whenever you want.

JosiahPB
Jul 18, 2006, 12:36 PM
I couldn't imagine movie production companies letting first run movies be downloaded before the DVD's come out. I would much rather go see it as a social thing then watch it in my own home.

rlreif
Jul 18, 2006, 12:39 PM
i was worried that it would only be sales... i never want to own movies, and the very seldom exception, i want to own in a better quality than what we get from itunes... they would have gotten zero business from me in movie sales, but for rentals i will use it all the time

Cooknn
Jul 18, 2006, 12:43 PM
I used to be so eager for this to happen. I dreamed of Hi-Def movies on demand with iTunes music store karma. As far as rent vs buy - I see that alot of people are upset with the rental model for movies. I'm in the other camp. I don't want to own my movies. I want to watch them, then move on to the next flick when it's convenient. That being said, unless Apple can deliver Hi-Def movies to my HDTV I'll just wait for my forthcoming Playstation 3 and rent Blu-Ray titles from NetFlix (http://www.netflix.com/BrowseSelection?sgid=2444&hnjr=3). By Q1 '07 there should be a lot more movies for Blu-Ray ...and the karma with NetFlix isn't so bad I guess :o

Cougarcat
Jul 18, 2006, 12:45 PM
Rentals are definitely the way to go. I've only seen the Lost episodes I've downloaded once. They're just eating space on my hardrive. And if there were streaming theatrical releases, well, I'd be in heaven. I'm pissed that A Scanner Darkly isn't playing in my area, but I've watched the first 25 min. at IGN.com in HD. I'd definitely spend $1.99 to escape expensive tickets and annoying people.

According to MOSR, (:rolleyes: ) 10.5 will include some sort of "rewards-based" BitTorrent system. (:rolleyes: ) But if the Movie store also used bittorrent, it would make more sense to announce it at WWDC.

Doctor Q
Jul 18, 2006, 12:53 PM
Rentals are definitely the way to go.I think rentals are sometimes the way to go. If I want to watch a movie once, a rental is perfect. If I want to watch it 2 or 3 times over many years, I might as well rent it more than once. But I want to watch it many times, month after month or year after year, I ought to own a copy, to save the expense and trouble of renting it. I already have both choices in "hardcopy" format. I'd like to have both choices online too, as conveniently as possible.

jmsait19
Jul 18, 2006, 12:56 PM
A major consumer announcement at a developers conference? Not gonna happen. End of story!

ThinkSecret hasn't been right about anything since they got in trouble over leaks.

maybe so. but the lawsuit has been dropped now. maybe they are feeling ok to say the right things now...

swingerofbirch
Jul 18, 2006, 12:57 PM
I couldn't imagine movie production companies letting first run movies be downloaded before the DVD's come out. I would much rather go see it as a social thing then watch it in my own home.

Wow. Different worlds. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's people. I would pay top dollar to see first runs without going to a theatre.

Plus where I live we don't even get a lot of movies. It took months for us to get Brokeback Mountain, and there's no telling if we'll ever get Strangers with Candy.

kingtj
Jul 18, 2006, 01:19 PM
Ick! Absolutely not! Streaming video is unreliable and inconsistent. It may work well for shorter movies, where the computer can download enough of the movie ahead of time in the buffer to ride out any brief slowdowns or halts in traffic .... but there's little chance a 2 hour + movie would stream to you without any hiccups at all. I've got 6mbit DSL at home, and I run into these problems just because of other computers on my LAN trying to download updates or what-not while I'm watching a movie stream. It's got to be much worse for people with 1.5mbit DSL or even 3mbit, which are much more common.

Not only that, but where there's the ability to actually download content (protected or not), there's the possibility of it being saved permanently. Regardless of "legality" - I like leaving as many options open as possible. Projects like JHymn allowed removal of DRM on iTunes music ... so something similar could allow it for downloaded movies.


I'd rather them just be streamed if it is indeed going to be rentals.

boncellis
Jul 18, 2006, 01:37 PM
I think rentals are sometimes the way to go. If I want to watch a movie once, a rental is perfect. If I want to watch it 2 or 3 times over many years, I might as well rent it more than once. But I want to watch it many times, month after month or year after year, I ought to own a copy, to save the expense and trouble of renting it. I already have both choices in "hardcopy" format. I'd like to have both choices online too, as conveniently as possible.

Totally agree. Supposedly Mr. Jobs "lost" this round of negotiations...I wouldn't be surprised if he ceded that point to the studios because he knows something is around the corner. One possibility that jumps to mind is competition between studios to be the first to provide pay-to-own content.

This is just the ground floor--not if, but when it happens.

KingYaba
Jul 18, 2006, 01:53 PM
This rental thing sounds stupid. Secondly, whats to stop some of us from figureing away out to kill the timed life of hte movie files so we can keep it forever. (seeing if we are downloading them)

There will be more pirates than ever if apple does movies. I can think of so many ways.

Even if they are streamed, I know ways to keep the movie.

Macnoviz
Jul 18, 2006, 01:53 PM
If people still drive to the video store to rent movies, then why are Blockbuster et al. going out of business? Everyone I know uses Netflix, not stores, nowadays, unless they don't have a computer, in which case iTunes is not their target market anyway.

Then you can't know that many people, I think you're forgetting there are still people outside of the US, and over here there still is a huge unexplored market for movie rentals. There are no companies that provide services like Netflix, and stores rule the market. If Apple uses the iTunes name for Movie Rentals, it will be a succes in Europe, either way.

hyperpasta
Jul 18, 2006, 01:56 PM
Over at AI one user made a good point about how WWDC in '04 Steve spent quite a bit of time talking about iPod and iTMS - user guessimates around 25%. So I guess that kinda beats down the argument that WWDC has always been "Mac" only...

He did, but he didn't show a single new product. He simply recapped the announcements made in the weeks before: iPod+BMW and AirPort Express.

hyperpasta
Jul 18, 2006, 02:03 PM
Rentals are stupid...what if something comes up and I can't watch my movie within the alotted time? I'm just screwed, then?

Actually, other online movie rental services serve up "frozen" movies. You can keep a frozen movie for a month without it expiring. To watch it, you must "thaw" the movie. Then it expires a week later. In this way, you can download a movie when convenient and watch when convenient... not much pressure at all. Simply thaw the movie when you're ready to watch.

The only way I see this being announced at WWDC is if it ties in with Leopard's rumored BitTorrent feature. However, this doesn't make much sense, since what will Tiger/Panther/Windows users do to get movies?

Doctor Q
Jul 18, 2006, 02:27 PM
Supposedly Mr. Jobs "lost" this round of negotiations...I wouldn't be surprised if he ceded that point to the studios because he knows something is around the corner. One possibility that jumps to mind is competition between studios to be the first to provide pay-to-own content.In the meantime, Movielink already offers rental and purchase options, and I read that they will also be allowing you to burn your own DVDs, although I don't know the details.

This is from their site:

rockstarjoe
Jul 18, 2006, 02:31 PM
Why not offer both a subscription and an a-la-carte system? The rental movies could be cheaper, lesser quality and last for only a certain amount of plays/days while the ones you buy to own can be of higher quality, more expensive and you get to keep it.

I think you are on to something here. I believe it will work like this:

!) Rent a movie from the ITMS and it will download (not stream) to your computer. It will be in a less than DVD quality format, most likely in whatever format plays on 6G ipod. Let's face it, the 6G ipod and the iTunes Movie service will both be announced at the same time, and that time is not WWDC. The movie sales will drive 6G ipod sales, therefore they must play on 6G ipods, therefore they will not be DVD quality.

2) Movies will have a limited number of plays, rather than a limited number of time to view. Or, alternately, you will pay-per-view (literally).

3) The movie rentals will be cheap (under $5). If you like the movie you will have the option to buy the DVD. Buying the DVD through iTMS will "unlock" the rented copy of the movie on your hardrive, allowing you to own it forever and also to burn it to DVD if you choose (although, again, it will be in less than DVD quality). The real copy of the DVD will be full price plus shipping and the hard copy of the DVD will arrive in the mail a few days later. It will be the same as the retail copy.

This means money for Apple from movie rentals, plus money for Apple from 6G ipod sales (and perhaps Mac Minis if Frontrow gets added in to this), plus money for the BIG STUDIOS for the rentals AND the DVD sales.

It is a win-win-win for the consumer, Apple, and the movie studios... thus I think this is the only way it will happen. What do you guys think? :)

kevmbpro
Jul 18, 2006, 02:35 PM
Bring on the PORN!!!
bwahahahahaa!!!

:p

mozmac
Jul 18, 2006, 02:40 PM
I have mixed feelings about this. The only way I see this really becoming big is if Apple releases a Mac Mini media center. By so doing, Apple will catch a huge market of people who say, "What do you want to watch tonight?" How many times have you been in this situation. You've looked at all your movies, which you've seen at least three times each, and decide that you don't have anything you want to watch. Would if, from your remote, you had a whole movie store IN YOUR HOME? That's right. Who needs to go to Blockbuster or wait for NetFlix. Just point, click, and...hello, movie. You get to keep it for a few days.

This will only work, though, if it is that easy. If people have to figure out their own way to get it to the TV, they will simply go get the DVD from Blockbuster, because the player is already hooked up to the TV. If Apple wants to make it in the movie business, they need to build something that is meant to hook up to the TV right OUT OF THE BOX.

I'm excited to see it!

jaxstate
Jul 18, 2006, 02:44 PM
About darn time. I'm glad it will be a rental service. I rarely watch a movie more than once, and this will keep the priced down. Anything over 4 bucks per view isn't going to work.

Doctor Q
Jul 18, 2006, 02:46 PM
Movies will have a limited number of plays, rather than a limited number of time to view. Or, alternately, you will pay-per-view (literally).I rarely watch a movie exactly once straight through from start to finish. I might back up to see a scene again, skip the boring parts where there are no car chases or spy gadgets, pause to answer the phone and then back up because I missed a few seconds, stop because it's been 15 minutes and I feel the need to visit MacRumors and then start again the next day because I forgot I hadn't finished the movie, watch the opening scenes again after the final credits because it's fun after you know secrets you learn later in the movie, and so on.

So what constitutes "one play" of a movie?

boncellis
Jul 18, 2006, 02:51 PM
I have mixed feelings about this. The only way I see this really becoming big is if Apple releases a Mac Mini media center. By so doing, Apple will catch a huge market of people who say, "What do you want to watch tonight?" How many times have you been in this situation. You've looked at all your movies, which you've seen at least three times each, and decide that you don't have anything you want to watch. Would if, from your remote, you had a whole movie store IN YOUR HOME? That's right. Who needs to go to Blockbuster or wait for NetFlix. Just point, click, and...hello, movie. You get to keep it for a few days.

This will only work, though, if it is that easy. If people have to figure out their own way to get it to the TV, they will simply go get the DVD from Blockbuster, because the player is already hooked up to the TV. If Apple wants to make it in the movie business, they need to build something that is meant to hook up to the TV right OUT OF THE BOX.

I'm excited to see it!

Right. Just like that super successful venture Moviebeam.

mozmac
Jul 18, 2006, 02:56 PM
The more I think about this, the more I like it. Apple has a lot of potential here. If they offered a rent and rent to own service, that would be optimal.

boncellis
Jul 18, 2006, 02:57 PM
In the meantime, Movielink already offers rental and purchase options, and I read that they will also be allowing you to burn your own DVDs, although I don't know the details.

This is from their site:

Seems to me the difference between this rumored Apple service and Movielink or Vongo or Moviebeam, et al, is analogous to the difference between the iTMS and Yahoo! Music, Sony Connect, Napster 2.0...

Apple just has a knack for getting it right, and it's by allowing the user the most control. I just don't see the service staying a rental-only venture for very long.

Wonder Boy
Jul 18, 2006, 03:02 PM
just release the real video ipod, already.

ChrisA
Jul 18, 2006, 03:28 PM
How many of you who buy DVDs watch them more then once? More then twice? More than 20 times? Ok I've bought videos for my kids whaen they were in preschool nd they watched the same video 20 times in a row over a two week priod. So I'll aks "how many adults would want to watch the same DVD multiple times?" I figure almost no one would. So why buy a video. Renting seems the best. So now what you do is find a rental outfit that has the best terms

Apple will have the problem of balancing video quality with download times. I think a DVD quality feature film can be compressed down to 1GB. That's hours of time for most people so I doubt they will ofer that quality. So who wants to watch a poor quality movie? Someone I'm sure won't care and all Apple needs is 0.1% of the market to sell millions

macfan881
Jul 18, 2006, 03:37 PM
there r plenty movies i watch more than once i would rather buy a movie though from itunes rather than rent as i have netflix already and it would be a better fit i think steve went to rental if its true cause of the price diffrence he wants 9.99 for a movie the studios want atleast 19.99 so thats why i think this would be true even if they both comprimise and be 12-14 and maybe through some exclusive content bonus featurs i would still buy movies for itunes espiecaily once i get my ipod video

celebrian23
Jul 18, 2006, 03:45 PM
I've watched every movie I own at least 15x, and most of them many more than that. I for one won't rent from itunes, I'd rather not is all. If they make money off of it, more power to them

bommai
Jul 18, 2006, 04:06 PM
You cannot rent an HD movie from Blockbuster or Netflix, so what makes you think "Apple has to offer HD quality". There is no need to have better quality than competitors while also providing more convenience.

What is so wrong about stereo sound? A lot of people use the speakers of their TVs for the sound of a movie. Most movie do not really take advantage of sourround sound that much, where you feel like the sound is coming from the left or from behind etc. You might as well use your 5 speakers in stereo mode.


First, couple of corrections. Netflix is already offering both HD-DVD and Bluray Disk rentals of available movies. So, technically high definition movie is for rent. I have not rented any yet because I am waiting for the prices to come down a little bit and also a victor to emerge.

Second, while it might be true that the majority of people in the general population might still be watching movies on a 4x3 non-progressive scan TV with mono/stereo sound, the distribution is quite different in the specific population that might be interested in trendy things like online downloads of movies.

In the middle to upper-middle class segment of tech-savvy market, the presence of 16x9 HD-capable displays and 5.1 surround systems are almost ubiquitous. I have several friends that all have such systems and they are also in the similar tech/economic bracket as me.

Also, it is not that expensive to own a 5.1 surround system anymore. Even though I have a system that cost several thousand dollars, you can pickup a decent Onkyo 5.1 system for $400 from the bigbox retailers. Walmart has even $99 low end systems.

About your claim that movies down take advantage of surround sound, you cannot be more wrong. Are you still watching VHS? Almost all DVDs using Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding and some better ones use DTS (which I love). These make a huge difference. Again, looking at the tech savvy customers that are early adopters, you have to think about movies like iRobot, Star Wars, War of the Worlds, Batman Begins, Spider Man 1 and 2, Bourne Supremacy, etc. These DVDs have impressive sound that cannot be expressed in stereo.

I agree that Apple's download service does not need to be HD, but it has to offer surround sound and original theatrical aspect ratio. You can probably accomplish this feat with a file size of approximately 1.5 to 2 GB per movie using H.264 encoding.

mambodancer
Jul 18, 2006, 04:15 PM
First, couple of corrections. Netflix is already offering both HD-DVD and Bluray Disk rentals of available movies. So, technically high definition movie is for rent. I have not rented any yet because I am waiting for the prices to come down a little bit and also a victor to emerge.


I rented an HD-DVD from netflix (Van Helsing) and it wouldn't play on my Mac. I thought that the current version of DVD player would let you play these discs but all I could find through Apple tech support is that DVD player will let you play DVD Studio Pro burnt HD discs.

Or am I doing something wrong?

gauriemma
Jul 18, 2006, 04:17 PM
Apple are allowed to change their minds about the purpose of iPod / iTunes ( just like a woman , as we keep on being reminded! ) :-)

When you rent a movie from Rogers, blockbusters etc, you watch the movie to their schedule...


Which is exactly why I don't rent movies from Blockbuster, etc...

theBB
Jul 18, 2006, 04:38 PM
About your claim that movies down take advantage of surround sound, you cannot be more wrong. Are you still watching VHS? Almost all DVDs using Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding and some better ones use DTS (which I love). These make a huge difference. Again, looking at the tech savvy customers that are early adopters, you have to think about movies like iRobot, Star Wars, War of the Worlds, Batman Begins, Spider Man 1 and 2, Bourne Supremacy, etc. These DVDs have impressive sound that cannot be expressed in stereo.
I know they are encoded with these formats, but very few DVDs actually take advantage of "directional" abilities of them. Yes, 5 speaker systems make you feel a bit more immersed in sound compared to just 2 small speakers on your TV. However, very few movies I watch gives me the feeling that something coming from behind just whizzed by me on the left side or some animal just roared or chirped on the right. Among these very few might be Bourne Supremacy or Star Wars, but liked I've said, a lot of movies just don't even bother working on that angle.

Lepton
Jul 18, 2006, 04:52 PM
Apple wants to sell movies for $9.99, the studios say no, because they are greedy. Let's rent them for (I'll guess) $1.99 per view! Or (I'll guess) unlimited movies for $19.99 per month! That way, we get big bucks!

Foolish foolish, foolish. The movies will have DRM on them. The DRM will be cracked, because ALL DRMs are cracked. So the studios end up with, instead of $10, a measly $2, because people will rent them for one view, crack the DRM, and now own the movie permanently.

The viewer gets the movie permanently anyway, instead of getting $10, they get $2 because they are greedy, and dumb.

Or worse, a use pays $20 for a month, downloads every ding dang movie in the store, and gets them all. Even worse, the cracked movies will be put all over the Net by frustrated viewers.

Let Apple do it RIGHT! People will pay $10, get the movie and be legal and nice, happy viewers don't crack DRM, don't put cracked films all over the Net, and the studios make out big. Just like with music. But nooooo, greed loses every time.

By the way I predict movies will be 16:10 (sic) widescreen and not HD, stream in like Front Row trailers, streamable in iTunes AND in Front Row, the streams will be downloadable as you watch so they will be loadable and viewable on current and new widescreen video iPods, and will be compressed to about 1GB/100 minutes.

bommai
Jul 18, 2006, 05:48 PM
I rented an HD-DVD from netflix (Van Helsing) and it wouldn't play on my Mac. I thought that the current version of DVD player would let you play these discs but all I could find through Apple tech support is that DVD player will let you play DVD Studio Pro burnt HD discs.

Or am I doing something wrong?

I think you are confusing the term HD in various context.

A movie file (computer file) can be in HD resolution (1280x720 or 1920x1080) encoded in a variety of formats (MPEG2, MPEG4-H.264 aka AVC, Microsoft VC-1).

If the non-DRM'd file is available on your computer, you can view them using a variety of playback software such as Quicktime, Windows Media Player, VLC player, etc.

However, you rented HD-DVD. This is a physical media that requires a blu-laser based HD-DVD player to play it on. Currently only Toshiba sells such a player as a standalone player HD-A1 I believe. They also have a high-end laptop with this player built-in. So, you need a HD-DVD readable drive to playback the HD-DVD disc you rented from Netflix.

What Apple is talking about is authoring HD disks. You can make HD movies using Final Cut Pro or even iMovie by importing a HD movie (probably in HDV format). Then create a DVD image of it that is capable of HD. I have not used this feature - so I don't know the details.

I would have preferred a way to burn H.264 based HD movies into a standard DVD (red laser based single or dual layer DVD) and play it back on a low cost player that can do H.264 decoding (including HD resolution). I guess a Mac Mini is one such beast ;-)

bketchum
Jul 18, 2006, 06:55 PM
Why do some people think Steve Jobs doesn't want a movie rental model? Traditionally, music is sold, not rented. Traditionally, movies are rented, not sold. I see jobs pushing this for iTunes. I'm guessing Apple will offer both rental and sales of movies, just like Blockbuster does, but they'll push the rental model, because:

- People don't watch movies over and over like they do songs
- Movies take up a lot of disk space
- People don't want to spend money buying back up drives
- People don't want to spend time burning DVDs
- Renting is cheaper than buying

Electro Funk
Jul 18, 2006, 07:49 PM
Yeah, if it's $9.99 to rent, it's going to fail. $1.99, might be worth it. I'm sure a lot of people will be happy, then a lot of people will complain. Both with have good points, but the rest of us won't care.

i wouldnt even pay a $1.99 if the resolution is the same as the current video content on iTunes... HORRID!

evilgEEk
Jul 18, 2006, 08:16 PM
i wouldnt even pay a $1.99 if the resolution is the same as the current video content on iTunes... HORRID!
I'm definitely with you there. I want to both rent and purchase movies, but if they're going to be 320x240 then forget it. I'm not paying my hard-earned cash for that.

DVD quality and at least 5.1 surround is what I would require before I rented any movies from Apple.

Detlev
Jul 18, 2006, 08:30 PM
Only way this works is if Apple makes the movie available for download/rental a week or two before DVD release (or earlier, like hotel PPV).
Will not happen. First, any internet connected person with 3 ounces of will can get a bootlegged copy of movies still in the theatres never mind later. Second, the early release of a movie by Apple would set off a tizzy from goliaths like bn.com, amazon.com, Walmart, NetFlicks and others. Third, if the extrapolations are correct and the videos are several GB then people with not so new computers (small HD) and/or slow connections will be left out. You've got to think of the masses not just the MacRumors regulars. It just doesn't fly.

Oh, and I agree with those who say WWDC will not be or should not be the place for announcing this. Again, think of the masses. This would be holiday season material. Plan on upgrades in the third quarter.

Detlev
Jul 18, 2006, 08:42 PM
- People don't watch movies over and over like they do songs
Ah, I must not be people then and kids must not be either. How many times have you seen [pick your favorite movie] on DVD?

- Renting is cheaper than buying
Actually, that is not true UNLESS you are one of the people you mentioned above and then it would still depend on where or how you are getting rentals. Then you would have to state whether you mean per viewing or per title.

The rest I agree with.

mambodancer
Jul 18, 2006, 10:18 PM
I think you are confusing the term HD in various context.

A movie file (computer file) can be in HD resolution (1280x720 or 1920x1080) encoded in a variety of formats (MPEG2, MPEG4-H.264 aka AVC, Microsoft VC-1).

If the non-DRM'd file is available on your computer, you can view them using a variety of playback software such as Quicktime, Windows Media Player, VLC player, etc.

However, you rented HD-DVD. This is a physical media that requires a blu-laser based HD-DVD player to play it on. Currently only Toshiba sells such a player as a standalone player HD-A1 I believe. They also have a high-end laptop with this player built-in. So, you need a HD-DVD readable drive to playback the HD-DVD disc you rented from Netflix.

What Apple is talking about is authoring HD disks. You can make HD movies using Final Cut Pro or even iMovie by importing a HD movie (probably in HDV format). Then create a DVD image of it that is capable of HD. I have not used this feature - so I don't know the details.

I would have preferred a way to burn H.264 based HD movies into a standard DVD (red laser based single or dual layer DVD) and play it back on a low cost player that can do H.264 decoding (including HD resolution). I guess a Mac Mini is one such beast ;-)

That's what I figured. I knew it was too much to hope that I could play HD-DVD's in my iMac without buying a stand alone player. Oh, well. Thanks for the reply.

picklescott
Jul 19, 2006, 12:20 AM
An article regarding this is now front page on Netscape's home page.

http://www.netscape.com/

Porchland
Jul 19, 2006, 08:54 AM
I've watched every movie I own at least 15x, and most of them many more than that. I for one won't rent from itunes, I'd rather not is all. If they make money off of it, more power to them

I think rental is probably a bigger market, but there are plenty of people like you that want to keep the movie forever. I would like to see Apple come up with a dual model that allows you to rent a movie for 48 hours that will play on all platforms or buy the movie outright.

The PPV model for $4 a pop seems to make more sense for iTunes than the Netflix model of so many movies at a time.

whooleytoo
Jul 19, 2006, 09:20 AM
I've watched every movie I own at least 15x, and most of them many more than that. I for one won't rent from itunes, I'd rather not is all. If they make money off of it, more power to them


Likewise. Ideally I'd like a movie purchase option, and/or a flat rate subscription service. I'd have absolutely no interest in the rental system as reported. I guess it just proves it's different strokes for different folks.

Hence I think, unlike the music service, the video delivery system will probably have to offer several options. The music service had to be nice and simple, out of necessity, as existing services were too complex and not taking off. Now that people have become accustomed to iTMS, I think there's plenty scope for Apple to offer more than one delivery type.

princealfie
Jul 19, 2006, 01:24 PM
Rental is a joke. I want to watch the movie again and again... geewhiz, this is bound to fail eventually.

kainjow
Jul 19, 2006, 08:55 PM
Uh, I don't see how anyone can really use Netflix seriously.

With Netflix, you can't just say, "Let's watch a movie tonight." You have to plan ahead your movie schedule. Netflix will die once iTMS comes alone. It's all about instant instant instant.

I've used Movielink twice so far (Windows only), so I have some "experience" with online movie rentals. Let me tell you, it works well. And if Movielink works well for me, I'm sure iTMS will make it 10x better.

I'm pretty psyched about iTMS rentals. If Apple does it, I'll be using it all the time. It will once and for all remove the problem with Blockbuster/Netflix/etc where often the movie you want isn't available (i.e. new releases).

Also, Movielink allows you to watch the movie after only a few minutes of it loading (just like streaming), so you don't have to wait for the entire thing to download. It works pretty nice (besides the fact that you have to use it on Windows).

VanNess
Jul 19, 2006, 11:43 PM
Slashdot posted an article today (http://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/hollywood-agrees-to-burning-dvd-issue/2006/07/19/1153166455537.html) that announces the studios have struck a deal with an outfit called CinemaNow (never heard of them) in which the studios have finally agreed to allow users to burn a downloaded movie to a blank DVD. Here's what it says about Apple:

The announcement also previews a likely agreement between the major studios and Apple Computer, which is expected to expand the offerings on its popular iTunes online store to include big-studio movies.


But the article doesn't mention the 800lbs gorilla in the sidelines, namely, connection/download time. Almost every article about the studio's entry into the movie download business flatly ignores this issue, but, imo, it's a real world showstopper (pun intended). Hanging around waiting endlessly while literally gigs of data trickle down your internet pipe isn't going to be anyone's cup of tea.

Instead of jumping the gun, someone needs to think a little harder about all of this in order to make it work in such as way that it's irresistible to the average consumer/movie buff, like iTunes is for music fans now. Hopefully, that someone is Apple.

kainjow
Jul 20, 2006, 12:29 AM
But the article doesn't mention the 800lbs gorilla in the sidelines, namely, connection/download time. Almost every article about the studio's entry into the movie download business flatly ignores this issue, but, imo, it's a real world showstopper (pun intended). Hanging around waiting endlessly while literally gigs of data trickle down your internet pipe isn't going to be anyone's cup of tea.
Most likely it would work exactly like how a normal streamed QuickTime movie downloads. It buffers for a few minutes, and then you can start watching it, and it downloads in the background, and saves it to file letting you watch it again for X times/days. This is exactly how Movielink works.

VanNess
Jul 20, 2006, 02:27 AM
Most likely it would work exactly like how a normal streamed QuickTime movie downloads. It buffers for a few minutes, and then you can start watching it, and it downloads in the background, and saves it to file letting you watch it again for X times/days. This is exactly how Movielink works.

Ah, ok, thanks for the info. I never used Movielink and I'm not familiar with it. I've never steamed any content that would even approximate the length of a hollywood movie, with the possible exception of S. Jobs keynotes. So far, H264 seems to serve those very well. (Except for the first week or so, when it seems the server is bombarded.) In any event, I don't think that content is actually downloaded to disk as its streamed.

On the other hand, movie trailers (like Apple Quicktime trailers) are downloaded in the background to some secret location on the disk as they are watched, and, although they usually perform well, occasionally they hiccup (stall momentarily) for whatever reason (traffic, general internet latency), sometimes even the regular non-HD ones. So if Movielink has figured out a way to provide a bulletproof buffer for streaming high-quality (DVD) content over regular US DSL, great. Maybe Apple can one-up them with even higher, H264 quality.

But if the stream ever stalls, even momentarily, count me out. My gauge for judging (and accepting) any online Movie service is that it must meet or exceed the present terrestrial-based DVD experience. There is a local DVD rental store within 2 blocks of where I live. That modest, unassuming little establishment happens to be Apple's and Movielink's greatest competition in my book. They have to give me a compelling reason not to go there.

JFreak
Jul 20, 2006, 05:05 AM
Reading this thread I realized that technical issues are not deal-breaker for many people -- it's still price that matters the most. If download-to-own costs $10, then everyone keeps demanding better specs for the material and it never ends. But if rental costs a buck a piece, then it's fun to watch and quality feels acceptable.

It's all about money, guys. Like it or not.

milo
Jul 20, 2006, 10:19 AM
With Netflix, you can't just say, "Let's watch a movie tonight." You have to plan ahead your movie schedule. Netflix will die once iTMS comes alone. It's all about instant instant instant.

With NF you get three movies at a time, and you can get plans with more. It does require a little planning, but right now, the quantity of content you can get in a month for the price can't be beat. If you think it's so stupid, what do you propose as the smarter alternative?

For iTMS to beat it, it would have to match netflix's pricing as well, which would be $1 or less per rental. I don't see that happening. They'd also have to have better quality and include all DVD extras with all movies.

Until then, I'll happily stick with netflix.

celebrian23
Jul 20, 2006, 11:17 AM
With NF you get three movies at a time, and you can get plans with more. It does require a little planning, but right now, the quantity of content you can get in a month for the price can't be beat. If you think it's so stupid, what do you propose as the smarter alternative?

For iTMS to beat it, it would have to match netflix's pricing as well, which would be $1 or less per rental. I don't see that happening. They'd also have to have better quality and include all DVD extras with all movies.

Until then, I'll happily stick with netflix.

I don't use netflix, but I think it's a great thing and itms isn't going to be able to overtake it. I'd take netflix over any computer movie rental service anyday

theBB
Jul 20, 2006, 08:00 PM
Most likely it would work exactly like how a normal streamed QuickTime movie downloads. It buffers for a few minutes, and then you can start watching it, and it downloads in the background, and saves it to file letting you watch it again for X times/days. This is exactly how Movielink works.
Well, if you are going to burn it to a DVD so that you can watch it on your TV, then you have to wait until the whole movie downloads. That's a hassle, but otherwise I would have to buy another computer to hook it up to my TV. No, thanks, unless Apple comes up with a cheap appliance.

suzerain
Jul 21, 2006, 02:22 AM
Then you can't know that many people, I think you're forgetting there are still people outside of the US, and over here there still is a huge unexplored market for movie rentals. There are no companies that provide services like Netflix, and stores rule the market. If Apple uses the iTunes name for Movie Rentals, it will be a succes in Europe, either way.


Does Apple even offer TV downloads in Europe yet?

GW3
Aug 4, 2006, 09:11 PM
If Im not mistaken every KeyNote from Steve Jobs, whether at WWDC, MacWorld or any other event from Apple has been on tuesdays. Why is this one DIFFERENT. Could we see a Movie Store on Tuesday ???????

solvs
Aug 7, 2006, 06:04 PM
So, yeah... apparently no.