iTunes movie rentals: Think Secret is reporting that Steve Jobs will announce a “rental” model of iTunes Store movie downloads at the upcoming Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, August 7.
It is not known exactly how the coding system will work, but industry experts tell Think Secret that the software would likely either limit the number of playbacks or provide unlimited viewing for a period of time, after which the movie will be “turned off” and no longer available….Apple had been trying for months to persuade the movie studios that the a-la-carte model of buying individual titles, as the iTunes Music Store offers with music, was the way to go. The studios, however, have been fixed on offering only a subscription or rental-based model.
My take: This is a situation where good is the enemy of great — but it may be the only way to get there. As in the previous post, I mentioned a helpful tool Snapz, that allows me to record screencasts. (Hint to the hard of understanding: It is a means to record all the video and audio taking place on ones computer — like, in theory, when a video is playing on it.) If I can’t “own” the movie I download, why couldn’t I as a consumer, use a tool like that to record (as I can on my digital video recorder) what I rent so that I can watch it when I want to watch it? In the U.S., the Supreme Court has granted me that privilege, so I’m not suggesting anything illegal. Placating the movie studios with some easy to work-around DRM scheme is, perhaps, Apple’s role in moving things forward. I’ll postpone further rants until I actually try the new service out.