Faced with the task of churning out one pithy thought or another on a daily basis, I’m sensitive to the dread that comes from staring at a blank screen with nary a stray thought to spare. Still, as an information consumer, I’m routinely amazed at what some media outlets take for headline news. As in:
Apple Bringing Movies to iTunes?
Apple iTunes movies by 2007?
Apple Seeds Studios For Pic Downloads
If this is the kind of thing that makes Google News’ Big Links, why not this:
Macs to Feature Faster Processors When Available
iPod Improvements Planned
Apple Anticipates Mac OS X 10.6
I mean honestly, how much foresight does it require to see that movies on iTunes is as inevitable as the rising of the sun? The pieces for delivering the content are in place—broadband is widely available, Apple has the server structure figured out, the iTunes client and Music (Movies) Store need only a little reshuffling to accommodate long-form video, and NetFlix and Pay-Per-View demonstrate that people appreciate the convenience of home delivery. It’s now just a matter of doing the deals, encoding the content, and working out the square-peg-round-hole issues.
Sorry, square-peg-round-hole as in “for consumers, movies on iTunes are a different matter than music, TV shows, and short videos.”
And by that I mean:
I have no problem buying music of a recording quality inferior to a CD because I appreciate the convenience of being able to cherry-pick the tracks I want and the fact that I can have the music I desire almost immediately.
I have no problem watching TV shows and music videos on my 5G iPod or a TV connected to it. The programs aren’t so long that I can’t put up with holding an iPod at an uncomfortable angle or blasting somewhat pixilated video to my TV screen. After all, it’s only TV and I’m not paying a fortune for this material.
I do, however, have a problem dropping $10 on a movie that I can’t burn to disc for playback on my home and portable DVD players.
I do have a problem with an iPod that plays movies in a 2.5-inch window. I’m fine with ripping my own DVDs and playing them on my iPod because I’m not paying extra for the privilege. But if I’m going to give Apple money for my movies, I’d like to view them on a portable player that allows me to easily read the subtitles that accompany widescreen films offered in iTunes’ upcoming Snoot section.
And if, one day, I’m in a particularly dark mood, I may have a problem listening to the latest blockbuster’s stereo sound track when I know darned well that for another 9 bucks I could have had a DVD replete with thundering 5.1 surround sound.
I’m not expecting miracles but I pray that Apple understands that, unlike with music, most of us consume movies from the comfort of the couch. When seated on that divine divan I’d like an experience similar to what I get from a DVD.
iTunes Replicates Theater Experience
Now that’s a headline I’m eager to read.