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Old Feb 18, 2008, 11:40 PM   #1
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iTunes Movie Rentals Beyond 24 Hours



With the introduction of the new iTunes rental system, the 24 hour time limit on rentals has raised concerns about the inability to rent a movie one night and finish at the same time the following night.

When you rent a movie on iTunes, you have 30 days to start watching the movie before it expires. Once you start watching it, however, you only have a 24 hour window before it expires. Tidbits' Mark Boszko explored the limits of this 24 hour rental window, and how Apple deals with this 24 hour expiration. Boszko tested various scenarios and found the following under iTunes:

- Watched a rental movie (to start the 24 hour clock), then started watching it again about 30 minutes prior to the end of the 24 hour window. The movie continued to play to the end beyond the 24 hour rental window.
- If you try to exit the movie once it has passed the 24 hour window, you will be greeted with a dialog that tells you if you don't finish watching the movie, it will be deleted.
- If you pause a movie before the 24 hour expiration arrives, you can still resume it after the window passes.*
- If you are watching past the 24 hour window, and try to pause the movie, you are told you must finish watching it or delete the movie.

While these tests were performed in iTunes, others have found the same behavior on iPods and Apple TVs.

*The exact length of the "pause window" is not known, but it appears it may eventually timeout and expire the movie.

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Old Feb 18, 2008, 11:41 PM   #2
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24 hours is not sufficient. 36 would make it much more comfortable.
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Old Feb 18, 2008, 11:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mark2288 View Post
24 hours is not sufficient. 36 would make it much more comfortable.
Id prefer more time as well - but I do also realize this is the standard set by the movie industry and not Apple - XBox etc all have the same 24 hour terms - its not Apple specific.
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Old Feb 18, 2008, 11:46 PM   #4
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I think 48 hours is perfect. It's not like these rentals will be competing with Blockbuster of Netflix with the 30 day delay.
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Old Feb 18, 2008, 11:50 PM   #5
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And all just because the movie studios don't want to upset the Pay-Per-View services

I agree that 48 would be a nice incentive to get more people using this.

Another incentive: make it easier to browse what's available! I see the Top Rentals and I see SOME movies in the Browse categories, but I never know if I'm seeing everything. (If I am, then the initial 1000 have not yet all gone live.) And in Browse, you get movies for sale-only mixed in (I sort by Price to solve that--but you still have to pay attention to notice when the list changes to purchases). If there's a way to browse JUST rentals and ALL rentals I haven't found it.
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Old Feb 18, 2008, 11:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mark2288 View Post
24 hours is not sufficient. 36 would make it much more comfortable.
Did you read the article? You essentially have more than 24 hours to watch the movie entirely.

arn
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Old Feb 18, 2008, 11:53 PM   #7
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I think 48 hours is perfect. It's not like these rentals will be competing with Blockbuster of Netflix with the 30 day delay.
I agree. I just rented my first movie yesterday and it was awesome how it all works But 48 hours would be sweet... Come on Hollywood, pull your heads out of your a$$es, stop being Nazis and embrace your future revenue streams and technology!!!

I also wish we had the option to buy all these movies too with an extra fee, and that they could be DVD-Images like having the disk with all the menus, extra features, etc. As is stands now this has replaced me going to Hollywood video or Blockbuster but not buying DVDs when I want to own a movie.
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Old Feb 18, 2008, 11:55 PM   #8
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I tried the same scenario, and yes, it will play beyond the 24hr limit. As long as you start the movie before the end of the 24 hr period, you can watch the whole movie. I was able to pause, and even go back to beginning, as long as I didn't stop. This will cause the warning to appear, but gives you the option to continue viewing.

This might be pointing out the obvious to some, but I think others aren't thinking the 24hr terms through. It is actually very comparable to a "3-day" Blockbuster rental.

Night 1: Drive to BB get the movie (probably stand in line), start watching at 9pm. Night 2: didn't finish, so continue at 8pm. The next day, it must be returned - usually by noon (so it's not really 72hr anyway).

ATV rental: Night 1: Pick up remote, select movie and start watching right away (or say, within an hour for HD). Start watching at 9pm. Night 2: continue movie at 8pm. Next day: sleep in and don't worry about a trip back to BB to return it.

(note: It's been a while since I've rented from Blockbuster, so they might have changed their rental terms, so feel free to correct. I don't think I'm far off.)

edit: posted after arn comment re: >24hr
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Last edited by gr8tfly; Feb 18, 2008 at 11:58 PM. Reason: slow post - arn beat me to it
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Old Feb 18, 2008, 11:56 PM   #9
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I think this is a great system- it certainly beats only getting one chance to watch it, or getting 24 hours to watch it after you rent it. Once you watch it why would you watch it again within 24 hours?
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Old Feb 18, 2008, 11:59 PM   #10
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I think this is a great system- it certainly beats only getting one chance to watch it, or getting 24 hours to watch it after you rent it. Once you watch it why would you watch it again within 24 hours?
LOL, obviously you don't have a big family
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:01 AM   #11
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I discovered the 24+ rule until I pluggedin my iPhone and it forced the movie to quit.

Rentals should allow a weekend warrior to watch a movie Friday-Sunday as many times as they please. This is pay-per-view through iTunes. What's with the 30-day window? If I pay $3.99 I'm gonna watch it pronto not within 30 days!
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:02 AM   #12
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Night 1: Drive to BB get the movie (probably stand in line), start watching at 9pm. Night 2: didn't finish, so continue at 8pm. The next day, it must be returned - usually by noon (so it's not really 72hr anyway).
Pretty sure all the rental places have a return deadline of midnight usually, but I get your point. I HATE returning movies and late fees. I seriously feel like a slave while I have the movie knowing that it is due, it is due, it is due lol.
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:03 AM   #13
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I guess I'm in the minority here... I'd prefer to have the rental expire after "Y" amount of views or One View for however long it takes me to finish the film or some combination of the the two...
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:03 AM   #14
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I discovered the 24+ rule until I pluggedin my iPhone and it forced the movie to quit.

Rentals should allow a weekend warrior to watch a movie Friday-Sunday as many times as they please. This is pay-per-view through iTunes. What's with the 30-day window? If I pay $3.99 I'm gonna watch it pronto not within 30 days!
I think we all will, but why complain? You want them to shorten it??? Maybe somethings comes up and after a while it is still there ready to go without the clock started yet.
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:04 AM   #15
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Did you read the article? You essentially have more than 24 hours to watch the movie entirely.

arn
But you can't resume the movie after the 24-hour mark, which I think is what a lot of people, including myself would like, something like a 36-hour window.

OR, have a rental system where you can renew your rental for $.99 a day after the first 24 hours. This way if you try to go back after 25 hours you can finish the movie for $.99 instead of $3.99.
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:04 AM   #16
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Anyone used this service before? Would it look good with a USB out to my TV? (its pretty big) I guess I'm wondering about the resolution and getting it on a 62 inch TV.
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:06 AM   #17
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The other thing I noticed is Steve said they would have new releases 30 days after DVD release but I think there are some new releases on there that just came out on DVD, like "No Reservations". Didn't that just get released this week on DVD???
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:09 AM   #18
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I'm pretty sure I heard this over at iLounge a while back. Like a week ago.
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:09 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by ntrigue View Post
I discovered the 24+ rule until I pluggedin my iPhone and it forced the movie to quit.

Rentals should allow a weekend warrior to watch a movie Friday-Sunday as many times as they please. This is pay-per-view through iTunes. What's with the 30-day window? If I pay $3.99 I'm gonna watch it pronto not within 30 days!
Well, I imagine it's to allow for variable download times and also to allow people to download a bunch of movies and then take them on a vacation to watch over a couple weeks.
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:12 AM   #20
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Apple and the studios made a mistake. They should admit it and extend rental period to 30 hours. Problem solved.
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:12 AM   #21
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Did you read the article? You essentially have more than 24 hours to watch the movie entirely.

arn
I read the summary you posted and yes, although you pointed out there are methods to go past the 24 hour window, the fact remains that there is a timeout that will hinder going too far past that 24 hour window. Thus, the practical window to watch a movie is still 24 hours. Although there are ways to prolong that window, the time gained does not nearly approach a more reasonable or desired amount. Right?

P.S.: Great job with this site. I absolutely love it. Thought I'd point that out here since you will probably check for a reply to your post...haha.
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:13 AM   #22
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Anyone used this service before? Would it look good with a USB out to my TV? (its pretty big) I guess I'm wondering about the resolution and getting it on a 62 inch TV.
There's no video out on USB. Choices are component or HDMI.

I have 50" from about 8' away. Even the <DVD quality widescreen TV shows (like Terminator: Sarah...) look pretty decent. The HD rental looks good - similar to 720P from DirecTV, but not as good as Blu-ray (which is no surprise). I've only rented one SD movie, and it wasn't a great test - 1975, low-budget grainy sci-fi ("Bug"), but sharpness looked DVD.

(sorry for bit of off topic....)
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:17 AM   #23
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Absurd

The 24 thing, even with this loophole, is an absurdity! Does someone really think there's going to be a significant loss of revenue if the renter is give 72 hours? This is just utter nonsense. With Children and work interruptions in my life, I just can't plan my life this precisely and can never rent a video because of this. Netflix for the win.
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:21 AM   #24
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The 24 thing, even with this loophole, is an absurdity! Does someone really think there's going to be a significant loss of revenue if the renter is give 72 hours? This is just utter nonsense. With Children and work interruptions in my life, I just can't plan my life this precisely and can never rent a video because of this. Netflix for the win.
I get what you are saying, but you can't sit down when you finally have time and start watching it instantly?
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Old Feb 19, 2008, 12:30 AM   #25
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Strange experience happened to me the other day...

I went to the Theater and spent over $20 with food and in the middle of the movie I left and came back 3 days later to discover my ticket was no longer valid.

These scenarios about 24 hours not enough time to watch a 2 hour movie is a joke.

Hello!! You spend more time bull****ing in Mac Forums than you do watching a movie.
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