This, that, and the iTunes Store

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Random thoughts on recent iTunes Store happenings:

Hey, more rentals. It’s taken awhile, but Apple has been filling out its rental inventory to the point where you can browse the aisles without muttering “Seen it, seen it, dreadful, seen it, they have the awful remake but not the original, seen it….” Using iTunes’ Search feature it appears that you can currently rent 1,462 movies. Closed-captioned movies are still the ugly step-child, however. iTunes offers only 94 of them.

Price matters I can’t swear that Apple pays attention to user reviews, but I do think it’s striking that after users slammed the recent release of the X-Files seasons for being too expensive at $45 for a season (more than the DVD sets on Amazon) the price just dropped to $25 per season.

Price matters II Increasingly I tune into TV shows after the fact—why waste precious evening hours learning to love a TV show only to find out that either it’s not worthy of your affection or some bonehead down at HQ has it slated for the chopping block? With that and the hoopla surrounding the show, I figured it was time to invest in the first season of Mad Men. Whether to hype its award nominations or help ensure it has an audience for years to come, AMC and Apple apparently had the kind of chat about the show that leads to a season price of just $20.

No Showtime, I’m not going to subscribe Look, I understand you believe that if you refuse to offer season passes to your shows, more people will subscribe. And maybe that’s working for you. But not for me. Please, Weeds as it appears rather than months and months after a season has concluded. (Also, make Andy Milder a regular again.)

Olympics, please When the summer Olympics ticked around on their four-year orbit you’d find me planted firmly in front of the TV. As TV coverage of those Olympics became more an exercise in sappy story telling and American jingoism and less coverage of an amazing sporting event, I tuned out. I would dearly love this year’s Olympics to make their way to the iTunes Store in a condensed form. Show me the events, show me the events even if an American has no stake in winning those events, and shut the hell up about Johnny and his crippled mother.

Update: In the first posting of this article I carped about there being no mechanism for updating App Store application within iTunes. Thanks to reader Adwiz for pointing out that there is. Select Applications in iTunes’ Source list and at the bottom of the main iTunes window you’ll see a Check for Updates link. Click that and you’ll be informed if there are any updates for your App Store applications. Automatic updating might be nice a la Software Update, but this is a perfectly workable solution.

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