Locating iTunes rentals

Last weekend I was on Sound & Vision Radio talking about the doings at the recent Macworld Expo. During the conversation, one of the hosts claimed that the iTunes Store had only a handful of movies for rent.

“I looked and found only 25 movies,” he claimed.

“Uh, no,” I responded.

After the show I trekked to the iTunes Store to see how he came up with this subset of movies and discovered that it’s not easy to find a list of all the movies iTunes has for rent. With that in mind I’d like to offer a couple of hints for doing just that.

The first is to open the iTunes Store, click the Movies link in the iTunes Store area on the left side of the page, and, on the resulting page, click the All Movies link in the page’s Categories area on the left side of the page. This takes you to the All Movies page where you’ll see the first of 36 pages devoted to movies (each page except the last includes 21 titles). Those movies that show a Buy Movie button are for sale only. Those with a button that reads Rent Movie can only be rented. And movies that say View Movie are both for sale and rent.

Problem is, you have to flip through 36 pages to see all of iTunes’ movies.

A better option is to select iTunes Store from iTunes’ Source list and choose View -> Show Browser. In the browser view that appears, select Movies in the iTunes Store pane. To the right the Genre pane appears and in it you’ll see a list of all the movie genres available from The Store. Select a genre and all the movies that belong to that genre appear at the bottom of the window. To locate movies that are for rent, click the Price column heading. Those movies that bear a View button are for rent (some are also for sale). Movies that say Buy Movie are for sale only.

Here’s one more handy option. Choose Store -> Search. In the Search window that appears choose Movies from the Power Search pop-up menu, then enable the Search Movies That Are Available For Rental option, and click the Search button. 150 rental movies will appear in a list below. If you click the More Results button at the bottom of the window you’ll see a page with another 150 movies. Click More Results one more time and 60 rental movies appear on the list—360 movies for rent in all.

Note that even this list isn’t complete. For example, none of these pages provide a link to the recently added 3:10 to Yuma.

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