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
Apple has the third week of January all to itself this year, and although it probably won't top last year's Macworld, the company will likely make everyone forget about the Consumer Electronics Show.
Trade shows are a necessary evil in the tech industry. Everyone claims to hate them, but the opportunity to have all the major players in the same town at the same time is too much of a draw. And usually, the parties are decent, leading more than 140,000 business types to CES in Las Vegas this week for a chance to make deals and … Read more
It's a full hand of cards for Amazon: the Web's mega-retailer announced Thursday that it will be selling music from Sony BMG Music Entertainment in its Amazon MP3 store. This means that Amazon MP3, which only sells "naked" tracks without any digital rights management (DRM) protection, now has deals with all four major music labels. Because of the lack of copy protection, any song from Amazon MP3 can play on virtually any media-playing device, from PCs to music players to cell phones and PDAs.
The DRM-free songs from Sony BMG will be available for purchase on … Read more
According to an Apple statement sent out yesterday, Apple will equalize the price of music on its iTunes Stores across Europe within the next six months.
It seems the peeps at Which? weren't satisfied that us Brits were being charged more for music in iTunes than the rest of Europe, so they filed a formal complaint with the U.K.'s Office of Fair Trading, which then contacted the European Commission, which started antitrust proceedings. Apple's decision has satisfied the EC, which will take no further action.
At the moment you have to pay 79 pence (about $1.… Read more