On January 15, 2008, Apple announced iTunes Movie Rentals featuring movies from all the major movie studios including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate and New Line Cinema. Users can rent movies for as low as US$2.99 and watch them on their Macs or PCs, all current generation iPods, iPhone and Apple TV.

In their press release, Apple stated clearly, “Movie rentals work on iPod classic, iPod nano with video and iPod touch.

Two weeks later, some people seem surprised that movie rentals still do not work on iPods other than iPod classic, iPod nano with video and iPod touch as evidenced by Wired’s Bryan Gardner’s newsflash published today, “Apple Prohibits Movie Rentals on Recent iPods.” Oh, the humanity.

After the usual misplaced hysterics (a particularly funny one: “This is false advertising,” says Raymond Blanchard, a disgruntled iPod owner. “I demand an upgrade or fix.”), Gardner does finally get around to the actual facts, “For now, the most likely suspect has to do with what some have deemed the ‘analog hole’ present in 5-G iPods. Previous generation iPods have an analog video output that works with standard video cables. As some have observed, this theoretically makes it easier to copy rented movies, by plugging the iPod into a camcorder or other video-recording device.”

“Yankee Group’s Carl Howe offers another likely reason for 5-G iPod-rental incompatibility. ‘The other factor is whether you have a secure real-time clock,’ Howe explains. ‘Why do I want a secure clock? Because you don’t want people messing with the time code since (iTunes) rentals are only supposed to last 24 hours after you start viewing them.’ This was almost certainly a requirement imposed by the movie studios, he concludes,” Gardner reports.

“Howe says, iPods don’t fall under the growing trend of ‘hardware as a service,’ whereby hardware receives continuous upgrades via firmware updates [as with iPhone and Apple TV],” Gardner reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Curtis” for the heads up.]