Of the major announcements blasting out of Macworld (see coverage), the release of iTunes 7.6 for Windows and Mac touches more users most immediately. Unlike the ultrathin MacBook Air, you can get the iTunes update right now. Stick with us as CNET editor Donald Bell cruises through the new video rental features in this video shot from the show floor.
Since Macworld 2008 didn't announce any new iPods, I thought this would be a good time to survey iPod owners.
Are you on your first, second, third, or fourth iPod? Apple has sold more than 100 million of the little buggers, so I'm a little curious about how many of you bought more than one over the years. How much money have you invested in iPods? Have you bought them as gifts, or received one as a gift? Are you still on your first iPod? I still have the one I bought in 2003, and I intend to … Read more
Macworld is a little like the Super Bowl: one big day where everything gets laid out on the table.
So, let's break down Macworld 2008, Super Bowl style. Instead of offense, defense, and special teams, however, I'll take each of the big four themes that Apple CEO Steve Jobs presented, and share my thoughts.
MacBook Air -- I'm not crazy about the name, but this is a nice-looking laptop. Ultraportable laptops are prestige products for both the vendor and the customer; Apple gets to show off what it's capable of designing, while the customer gets to … Read more
From an iPod perspective, the biggest announcement from Macworld 2008 has to be iTunes video rentals. Beginning in February, those of you who own an iPhone, iPod Classic, iPod Touch, or 3G iPod Nano, will be able to rent and transfer movies from iTunes. iTunes movie rentals will be priced at $3.99 for new releases and $2.99 for older titles. While I'll have to wait and see how well renting movies in iTunes works, at first glance this looks like a huge win for the iPod.
Only a few competing MP3 players have dipped their toes into integrated video rental services. Specifically, the Archos line of portable video players and the Samsung YP-P2 have an arrangement with CinemaNow, which allows identically-priced movie rentals. While Apple might not be the first to pioneer DRM-protected movie rentals, no one has pulled it off at this scale. The built-in audience of iTunes users and iPod owners provides a staggering amount of leverage for Apple to completely change the way people rent and watch movies. But will it really stick?… Read more
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