Apple Announces iTunes Movie Rentals; “HD” Apple TV

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Edit: New AppleTV is $229, a price cut. Additionally, all of the new features are available on the old version as a free software upgrade. Available in two weeks. Nice.

Conceding that its foray into movie download sales on iTunes has failed to meet expectations, Apple has announced the launch of iTunes Movie Rentals, featuring the films of all major movie studios. By the end of February, more than 1000 films will be available. Older titles are $2.99, new ones $3.99. You’ll get a 30 day window to watch, but just 24 hours to finish once you start (so forget about watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy all at once).

There is some really cool stuff here, however. Movies will start playing within 30 seconds of starting to download. You can transfer the file to an iPod or iPhone while watching it on a computer. It runs on Mac, PC, iPods, iPhones, existing AppleTV and an all-new high definition AppleTV. The new AppleTV can sync files from its hard drive back to your computer. That said, it’s a true stand-alone solution. No computer required.

Intriguing. Still not sure the AppleTV will ever take off. Still no price announcement. Will update when it gets posted to Wired.

Liveblogging the 2008 Macworld Steve Jobs Keynote | Gadget Lab from Wired.com

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  • theguycalledtom

    Thoughts on Stevenote 2008:

    Macbook Air: Anybody remember the g4 cube?

    US$20 for iPod Touch software update (!!!): I only got it a few of months ago and I ordered it the moment it went online at the Apple Store. That’s $2 an app, most of them widgets. A whole $1 more than they are prepared to sell songs for. I bet that notes app is the exact same one on the iPhone and doesn’t even sync with your Mail.app notes!

    Can I still not copy and paste on my iTouch/iPhone?

    iPhone and iTouch software updates still do not include a basic app to utilise them as a wifi remote controls for my Apple TV and airTunes! How much easier would life be with a touch screen remote that’s already in your pocket! Good luck trying to search for movies and songs on the Apple TV using the same remote that doesn’t even work most of the time on Frontrow 2. (With Frontrow 2, they managed to somehow keep all the old version’s flaws bar one, add new ones and add little extra functionality in the process. Plus they took out the huge awesome swoop animation!)

    Not enough chumminess with ATAT to include a 3G card in the Air?

    I wonder how Mac OS 10.6 will be delivered to the Air.

    I would buy an Apple TV but there is no content for Australia.

    The other Music studios have all joined Amazon MP3, yet haven’t joined iTunes. Guess what? Amazon MP3 doesn’t work in Australia!

    I wonder if you can install the 160gb drive from the iPod Classic into the Macbook Air? Not that it matters, SSD is the way to go.

  • Castigator

    I love my Apple TV, the best thing about it is that I can watch all kinds of video podcasts, especially ones from other countries. It’s also simple to use Miro to getTV shows that I can’t get with my satellite package, although you have to convert them with Quicktime Pro to AppleTV format first.

  • Aldebaran

    There is no “new” HD AppleTV. There is only a software upgrade and a price drop. The ApppleTV could always handle HD content (@ 720p). I’m genuinely surprised that you would make such a mistake in reporting.

  • Ali Servet Dönmez

    Why you say that we must forget about watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy all at once? With Apple’s rental conditions this seems to be pretty easy thing to do…