Apple releases iTunes 6 with 2,000 music videos, Pixar short films & hit TV shows for $1.99

Apple today announced iTunes 6, the next generation of the world’s most popular music jukebox and online music store. iTunes 6 lets fans purchase and download over 2,000 music videos and six short films from Academy-Award winning Pixar Animation Studios for just $1.99 each. Also, in a landmark deal with Disney, iTunes is now offering current and past episodes from two of the most popular shows on television, “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” as well as the new drama series “Night Stalker” and the two most popular shows from Disney Channel, “That’s So Raven” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” for just $1.99 per episode. Customers can now purchase and download their favorite television shows from iTunes the day after they air on TV, watch them on their Mac or PC, and Auto-Sync them onto the new iPod for viewing anywhere.

“We’re doing for video what we’ve done for music—we’re making it easy and affordable to purchase and download, play on your computer, and take with you on your iPod,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in the press release. “Right out of the gate we’re offering 2,000 music videos, Pixar’s short films and hit primetime TV shows like ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Lost’.”

“For the first time ever, hit primetime shows can be purchased online the day after they air on TV,” said Robert Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company in the release. “We’re delighted to be working with Apple to offer fans a new and innovative way to experience our wildly popular shows like ‘Desperate Housewives’ ‘Lost’ and ‘That’s So Raven’.”

“Apple is giving music fans a great way to own their favorite music videos,” said Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M in the release. “The people at Apple fully understand the interaction between musicians and their audience.”

Featured exclusive music videos are available from artists such as Beastie Boys and U2 along with more than two dozen classic music videos from Madonna. Music videos are available from hundreds of artists, including classic hits by Michael Jackson and Sting and current hits from Coldplay and Kanye West. The first ever video iTunes Originals is being released with an exclusive performance and interview from Death Cab for Cutie as well as an exclusive video album from Brazilian Girls. Music fans can also purchase the Complete Stevie Wonder digital box set, which contains over 500 songs, a full color digital booklet and three bonus videos, available only on the iTunes Music Store. Movie shorts available from Pixar include “Boundin’,” “For the Birds,” “Geri’s Game,” “Luxo Jr.,” “Red’s Dream,” and “Tin Toy.”

New features in iTunes 6 include expanded online gift options which now allow customers to give specific songs, albums, music videos or their own iTunes playlists to anyone with an email address, a public beta of new “Just for You” personalized music recommendations and the debut of online customer reviews. Now more than 10 million iTunes music fans can read other customers’ reviews, post their own and rate their usefulness.

With Apple’s legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as integrated Podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, seamless integration with iPod and groundbreaking personal use rights, the iTunes Music Store is the best way for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music online. The iTunes Music Store features more than two million songs from the major music companies and over 1,000 independent record labels, 10,000 audiobooks, gift certificates and exclusive music not found anywhere else online.

iTunes 6 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Music Store and is available as a free download immediately. Purchase and download of songs from the iTunes Music Store for Mac or Windows requires a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase. Television shows are available in the US only, and video availability varies by country. Music videos and short films are $1.99 (US) each, and television shows are $1.99 (US) per episode.

More info and download link for iTunes 6 here.

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  1. And just like that, Napster, Real, Yahoo, and all the other music-only stores are left even further behind in iTMS’s wake. Apple’s only competition right now is with itself.

    Jobs said a video iPod wouldn’t work without content. This takes care of that (at least it is a good start). And at $1.99 an episode/video? That’s a good deal.

  2. Anyone know what the quality of the video playback is? I can’t imagine it is anywhere near dvd-quality. I wonder if we can rip our own dvd’s onto iTunes to import onto the new iPod? …would be nice.

    Looks like Apple has has taken another giant leap ahead of all would-be competitors in the race toward digital-media dominance. Nice to see quality and innovation win!

  3. I noticed that about Quicktime 7.03 too, and I couldn’t get the preview of any of the Pixar stuff to play, so I imagine we’ll see it soon.

    One other thing I noticed today was that the Free Download of the week was 99¢. Oops!

    The video content on iTMS certainly lays the groundwork for putting real movies online. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time now.

  4. And once again, us Brits are left out in the cold :o(

    No TV shows for us, no video library, and the few videos we can get are priced at £1.89. That’s $3.32 in American money…. Err has someone got their pricing wrong, or does the price include shipping? (Yes, that is the famous British sarcasm!)

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