Apple debuts iTunes 7

Apple today announced iTunes 7, the most significant enhancement to the world’s most popular music jukebox and online music and video store since it debuted in 2001. iTunes 7 delivers stunning new features such as the new album and Cover Flow views of music, TV shows and movies, enabling users to quickly find titles in their library as well as casually browse through and re-discover titles they already own. In addition, the iTunes Store is now offering over 75 movies from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films, that customers can purchase and download to watch on their computers and iPods, and soon on their flat screen televisions with Apple’s upcoming iTV player. Movies will become available on the iTunes Store the same day they are released on DVD, with new releases priced at $12.99 when pre-ordered and during their first week of availability, and $14.99 thereafter, and library titles available for just $9.99 every day.

MacDailyNews Note: iTV is the project’s internal code name and will not be the final product name.

“Here we go again! First music, then TV shows, and now movies,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “In less than one year we’ve grown from offering just five TV shows to offering over 220 TV shows, and we hope to do the same with movies. iTunes is selling over one million videos a week, and we hope to match this with movies in less than a year.”

“ABC and Disney Channel were the first networks to offer television programming on iTunes, and we’re once again breaking new ground as The Walt Disney Studios becomes the first to debut feature films on the iTunes platform,” said Robert Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, in the press release. “Disney is committed to providing innovative ways for audiences to enjoy their favorite entertainment content, and our association with Apple is yet another example of how we continue to reach consumers on their terms, regardless the time, location or device.”

“Steve Jobs and Apple have consistently demonstrated that they have their finger on the pulse of today’s audience with regard to legal downloads of music and television shows, and our presence on iTunes will now allow us to deliver Disney’s films in this popular and convenient format,” said Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, in the press release. “Not only are we proud to be expanding our association with Apple, but we feel that this new venture meets a growing demand for movie viewing that will ultimately expand the market for our films.”

The iTunes Store has quickly become the world’s most popular video download store, selling over one million videos per week. The iTunes Store began selling TV shows with five shows from ABC/Disney less than a year ago, in October 2005, and rapidly expanded its library to over 220 television shows from over 40 networks today. The iTunes Store also features the world’s largest catalog of online music with over 3.5 million songs and has sold a stunning 1.5 billion songs, making it the world’s most popular digital music store.

The iTunes Store now features great new releases and library titles from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films, such as “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “The Princess Diaries,” “The Incredibles,” “National Treasure,” “Toy Story,” “The Rock” and “The Rookie.” Customers can purchase and download movies from iTunes the same day they become available on DVD, or pre-order upcoming movies which are automatically downloaded when they become available. Customers get the same great one-click download experience for movies that they enjoy with music and TV shows.

With iTunes 7, all videos purchased from the iTunes Store are downloaded in near-DVD quality at a resolution of 640×480 (up to 480, depending on the aspect ratio), which is four times higher than before. Downloaded videos can be played on computers and iPods. iTunes 7 also includes new features to better organize and enjoy digital music and video, including expanded parental controls, an iTunes video playback window with on-screen controls, and the new Cover Flow view that lets you visually browse your entire video collection by cover artwork.

The iTunes Store now also offers downloads of popular video games for fifth generation iPods, including “Tetris,” “Mahjong” and “Mini Golf” from Electronic Arts Inc.; “Pac-Man” from Namco Networks America Inc.; “Cubis 2” from FreshGames, LLC; “Bejeweled” and “Zuma” from PopCap Games, Inc.; “Texas Hold’em” and “Vortex” developed by Apple, all available beginning today for $4.99 each.

iTunes 7 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Store and is available as a free download immediately from http://www.itunes.com . Purchase and download of content from the iTunes Store for Mac or Windows requires a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase. Television shows and feature films are available in the US only, and video availability varies by country. Games are available for download in the 21 countries in which iTunes operates and play on the fifth generation iPod. New release feature films are $14.99 each and other feature-length films are $9.99 each, television shows are $1.99 per episode, music videos and short films are $1.99 each and games are $4.99 each.

More info and download link for iTunes 7 here.

Related articles:
Apple CEO Steve Jobs to appear live on CNBC momentarily – September 12, 2006
Apple’s iTunes 7 installer shows ‘iTunes Phone Driver’ as greyed-out option – September 12, 2006
NFL and Apple team up to offer 2006 NFL game highlights via iTunes Store – September 12, 2006
Apple debuts new iPod in 30GB and 80GB with Hollywood movies, games and new lower price – September 12, 2006
Apple unveils new iPod shuffle: world’s smallest digital music player – September 12, 2006
Apple intros new iPod nano with new aluminum design in five colors and 24-hour battery life – September 12, 2006

49 Comments

  1. The “phone driver,” as it currently exists, is for the Motorola iTunes-enabled phone, I believe. It came in over Software Update a while back. Mine was grayed-out, but I thought that was probably because I ignored that update when it came in over Software Update. In other words, if you previously installed it, it probably was not grayed out. Just my thoughts on the matter…

    Cool announcements. The new iPod nanos are great, because I always like the iPod mini and was disappointed when it was cancelled. Now they’re back, in my book.

    I like my older iPod shuffle better. The new one seems actually too small to hold and use, although I’m sure it’s great if you clip it on your shirt. And mine doubles as a flash drive for me, and the new one appears to be less convenient in that respect (no direct USB connector).

  2. I’m so excited over all this stuff I can’t bring myself to get any work done.

    One annoyance in the new iTunes 7 though, I can’t seem to hide the mini-store. The button in the bottom right isn’t there anymore (replaced by the burn disc and eject buttons) and I can’t find a preference option to turn it off.

  3. Installed iTunes 7, had it update cover art, etc. Fantastic. A few observations, not complaints. This was difficult to do, and they did it well.

    Artists that aren’t in the Music Store don’t get album art, obviously. The example I noticed first was Garth Brooks, but it’s also true for much of my classical music.

    It sometimes gets album art wrong, probably because of an error in the metadata. I was quite shocked to have the album art for “The Gap Band” instead of “The Band”. Very different artists. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Some artists in the store don’t get album art updates. Nine Inch Nails “Pretty Hate Machine” for instance.

    But those are just quibbles. Apple did this right. Remembering the iTunes Mini Store controversy, this time they tell you that they’ll be sending info to Apple, and what they’ll be doing with it. The look and feel of iTunes 7 is great, and it probably gives us a feel for what Leopard is going to be like.

  4. With iTunes 7, all videos purchased from the iTunes Store are downloaded in near-DVD quality at a resolution of 640×480

    Can we upgrade the TV shows we’ve already purchased from 320×240 to 640×480 at no charge? That’d be nice customer service.

  5. Movies from Disney. No … think I’ll pass.

    ABC, a subsidiary of Disney, played a “docu-drama” purporting to “tell the story” of 9/11 – it was a Republican hatchet job instead.

    When advertisers started to pull their ads, Disney decided to swallow over $10 Million in ad revenue to put on the show. Rumor has it that Jeb Bush called in some favors … like a couple $Billion in tax rebates to DisneyWorld.

    No. I won’t be buying anything “Disney” for a while.

    chuckle – MDN MW=pressure – 😀

  6. Steve talking about something thats coming in 2007 underscores that today’s “big event” was another yawn. Right up there with the demo of Leopard. Which consisted of updates to Mail, iCal and such. Oh yeah and secret stuff!

    I’ve said it before; Apple creates the uge buzz itself, and then…so what. These are not “big events”. Anti-climatic for sure. .1 updates. This should have been just like the recent iMac updates. Apple is working and updating out products for you. Today was not a “big event”. And only Apple can get away with creating an event out of a non-event.

    And the next one will be strike three in my opinion. Today, just like the Leopard demo is a WTF moment.And yes the rumor sites do not help but, again Apple has brought this all on itself since Jobs has come back.

    Today was like a grocery store making their shelves bigger. Yeah so what.

    And I’m an Apple devotee. Upgrading to everthing my iBooks & PowerBooks to MacBooks and MacBook Pro’s.

    But today? Get a life Apple. Jobs too. This wasn’t a “Showtime” or a “big event”. This was a modest product upgrade worthy of just happening.

    Apple you cry wolf one more time, and no on will show up. Me included.

  7. Is iTunes not playing music files or is it just me?

    Mp2, M4a, whatever…nothing

    latest QT and iTunes, good files (play in QT and Finder), volumes up…

    Click play and it sits there. Doesn’t play.

    Trashed Prefs. Nothing.

    Reinstalled iTunes 7….nothing.

    iBook G3 700MHz – supported.

    MDN MW = “works” LOL No it doesn’t…

  8. iTunes 7 is a really solid improvement. It makes everything else look dated. I do kind of miss the ability to enable and set “crossfade” playback to 0 seconds, which gave me gapless playback all of the time. I’ll have to see how this new gapless plaback system works.

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