As usual, there was a lot of excitement and speculation leading up to Steve Jobs' keynote for Macworld 2008, and although he didn't reveal any revolutionary new iPods, the introduction of a new movie rental service from iTunes is sure to please many current owners of the ubiquitous player. Also of note: iPod Touch owners can now add five new applications to the device, and the iPhone offers Maps with location capability. Check out this Macworld 2008 slide show for more info.
Now that post-keynote reality is starting to sink in, it's occurring to me that Apple's HD movie rental announcement has a big string attached named Apple TV. In order to rent HD-quality iTunes movies, it seems that you'll have to buy an Apple TV. People who just want to rent HD iTunes movies to watch on their PCs (or send to their TVs using non-Apple hardware) are left out, and will instead need to buy an Apple TV and then transfer the content to their laptop or iPod. While it makes sense that most users will only … Read more
Update: Check out three related videos with more info on the forthcoming Apple TV upgrade: Steve Jobs comments during his keynote address; the video guided tour on Apple's Web site; and a summary from CNET's Donald Bell. This post has also been updated since its original publication with additional information.
The Apple TV just got a whole lot more useful.
Steve Jobs unveiled a major feature update to the Apple TV today during his Macworld keynote address in San Francisco that aims to transform the device from a TV-based iTunes media viewer to a more full-featured media-on-demand device. The hardware will remain the same, with the entry-level 40GB model dropping from $300 to $230, but a free software upgrade--available in two weeks--will add the following functionality:
With services like Movielink, Netflix, and Vudu, the opportunities seem endless for companies that endeavor to turn the corner in the movie rental business. And while all of these companies positioned themselves in the market, Apple was quietly lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on January 15, 2008.
After showing their hands to arguably the world's most capable CEO, every other movie rental service created an environment where Steve Jobs could pick and choose what features he liked and create a more robust offering.
After all, with rentals ranging in price from $2.99-$4.99 depending on release date and quality, and a 30-second buffering much like we've seen with the Vudu box, why would anyone even consider buying rentals from any other service besides iTunes (with the one exception perhaps being Netflix)?
Simply put, Jobs is poised to conquer yet another industry.… Read more
Among the new product announcements at the Macworld 2008 keynote, iTunes received a brand new feature: movie rentals! With the latest version of iTunes for both Windows and Mac, you will be able to rent movies from all the major studios including Touchstone, MGM, Miramax, Lions Gate, Fox, WB, Walt Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Sony. Apple was able to strike a deal with studios which allowed iTunes to receive new releases 30 days after the DVD release. The first wave of movie rentals will launch by the end of February with over 1,000 titles.
Once you find a movie … Read more
Quickly filling up Netflix's rearview mirror is a sight that no tech company wants to see: Apple.
Apple announced on Tuesday that the company has cut licensing deals with every top film studio--deals that will enable iTunes to offer first-run movies a month after they are released on DVD.
This means that Apple has won a major advantage in the Web movie-rental business. One of the biggest complaints customers have with online movie services is that none offer first-run features. The same is true with some of the video-on-demand services operated by the cable companies.
One thing iPhone and iPod Touch users have been enjoying over the past year has been a finger optimized version of YouTube that pulls in videos on demand. However, users of older video-enabled iPods have been left to fend for themselves using a bevy of services to pull down videos from popular hosting sites and reformat them to fit using third-party conversion apps. A new service called Tooble (download) that aims to streamline this process is showing off its wares on the Macworld Expo show floor tomorrow. We thought it would be a good idea to give it a spin, … Read more
Audiophiles never gave up on vinyl, but now kids are driving a current LP boom.
Kristina Dell's feature article in Time magazine looks at the trend of people, including teens, turning to vinyl to escape the awful digital grime of downloads and MP3s.
"Bad sound on an iPod has had an impact on a lot of people going back to vinyl," one teen says. Another teenage vinyl devotee tells Time, "Most things sound better on vinyl, even with the crackles and pops and hisses."
And when you figure that LPs usually cost a little more … Read more
A few days after I criticized Sony BMG for missing the point of DRM-free music--it's about convenience, which isn't served by forcing customers to walk into stores and buy cards and redeem them online--they proved me wrong by agreeing to release their catalog for sale on Amazon's DRM-free MP3 store. That means you'll be able to buy and download just about any song from Amazon and play it on any software or device. Let's hear it for universal playback, a mere ten years after the first MP3 player went on sale.
Subscription services like Rhapsody … Read more