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January 30, 2008

My Apple TV Still Wants Rentals, But Apple is Holding Out

Remember how pleased we were to learn that Apple finally introduced movie rentals via iTunes? I was stoked. In the midst of the writers' strike, the fact we could potentially gain access to new entertainment via the Apple TV and playing on our big screen was a home run. But weeks after the MacWorld Expo hubbub has died down, we're still left waiting, and the situation isn't getting better any time soon. For as the calendar turns from January to February, we got news today that Apple still needs a few more weeks to get it right. (See Also: TUAW)

Rats.

Since the introduction of movie rentals, we've already enjoyed a few films we hadn't seen in the theaters, including "The Hoax" and "A Guy Thing". Both were in the perfect spot for this - not good enough to see for $10, but of high enough quality where I'd feel bad if I snuck off to some Peer to Peer solution and grabbed it, sans paying. As you would expect, the viewing experience from Apple was simple. After the films downloaded, they were in a special section of iTunes for rented movies, and played just like a DVD would on my laptop. When done, I deleted them, and got that 1 GB or so back of free space on my drive, just as I would expect.

But, despite this wonderful innovation, my Apple TV still doesn't have access to it. I've checked the settings, and each time I look, I'm told I'm "Up to Date". What a shame. Hopefully, Apple's newfound transparency in terms of notifying customers there are delays doesn't turn into a repeat pattern as the weeks turn to months and so on...