Apple demonstrates how complex it is to own digital content

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iTunes 12.6 makes it easy to watch rented movies on any device.
iTunes 12.6 makes it easy to watch rented movies on any device.
Photo: Apple

Purchased digital content has been around since before the launch of the iTunes Store back in 2003, but things were much different then. Devices weren’t constantly connected, and streaming wasn’t the primary way to access your “purchased” (or subscription) content, and most things came in the form of physical media (VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, or 8-Tracks). Now that things are streamed, stored in the cloud, and available across all our devices, digital content ownership is much more complicated than simply buying a movie, book, or album and having it indefinitely.

Movies Anywhere puts your movies everywhere [50 Essential iOS Apps #29]

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Movies Anywhere my movies
Movies Anywhere syncs your movies across online services.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Movies AnywhereOwning digital movies used to be a pain in the neck. Movies bought on iTunes were trapped on Apple devices, Google Play movies on Google’s service, and Amazon purchases in Prime Video. At the same time digital copies included with DVD and Blu-rays were often stuck in services like Vudu, Flixter, or UltraViolet. With Movies Anywhere, you can finally sync most of your movies across various services, putting your movies everywhere you want to watch.

Chinese government shuts down iTunes Movies and iBooks Store

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China iPhone sales
Tim Cook meets with Apple Store employees in China.
Photo: Apple

In its biggest move yet to regulate Apple in China, the Chinese government has forced Apple to shut down its iBooks Store and iTunes Movies in the country — just six months after the services were first made available.

While the government initially approved the launch, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television reportedly changed its mind and demanded that Apple shutter the service.

iTunes and Apple Music go live in China

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China iPhone sales
Tim Cook meets with Apple Store employees in China.
Photo: Apple

Apple today launched Apple Music, iTunes Movies and iBooks in China.

As with the U.S., Chinese customers are being treated to a three-month free trial for Apple Music. After this, the subscription service will cost a very reasonable 10 yuan ($1.57) per month — just one-sixth of what customers in the U.S. pay for the service.