Fortune’s Lewis reviews Apple iTunes 7.0: ‘thumbs up’

“In the first six days after the launch of its new iTunes movie download service, Apple sold a million dollars worth of Disney films, or 125,000 downloads, according to Disney’s CEO, Robert Iger. Before the year is out, Iger added, Disney expects to reap $50 million from iTunes movie sales,” Peter Lewis reports Fortune.

Lewis reports, “That’s Hollywood pocket change compared to the box office and DVD take for a single hit film. But for a brand-new service that delivers full-length features over a broadband connection to a PC or Mac, with a library limited to just 75 Disney flicks, it’s a very impressive debut.”

“We gave two thumbs down to the Amazon Unbox service in the first installment of this review, mainly because we have only two thumbs,” Lewis reports. “Unbox reveals that Amazon is not a software company, and the Windows-only Unbox service is clunky to use.”

“Apple, known for its elegant Mac computers and iPods, is really the best software company in the business today. Look at what Apple has done for music and television downloads, after all: Apple is now the fifth-largest retailer of music in the country, and some 45 million downloaded TV episodes are playing on an iPod near you,” Lewis reports. “The free download of iTunes 7.0 software (for Windows and Mac) adds movies to the existing stores for music, audio books, TV shows, podcasts and digital radio. And although the software has some glitches, especially on the Windows side, it instantly sets the new standard for digital media stores. And because Apple does both the Mac hardware and software, the movie download service integrates smoothly with video-enabled iPods and Macs.”

“My Windows version of iTunes 7.0 also seems bloated, and a check of system resources shows it to be hogging the dance floor, microprocessor-wise. Apple says it is aware of some performance issues with the Windows version and plans to issue a software patch ‘soon.’ In the meantime, I’d advise people who are happy with version 6.0 to wait for iTunes 7.0.1,” Lewis reports.

Lewis reports., “For most Mac users, though, iTunes 7.0 gets a thumbs up. The movie download service adds an interesting new dimension, although one that is limited by the small initial catalog of Disney films. Of course, the iTunes TV show library started with one studio and five shows, all from Disney’s ABC, and eventually expanded to 220 shows from more than 40 studios. I’m guessing the movie download service will follow a similar trajectory.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Thurrott reviews Apple’s iTunes 7: ‘the best software-based media jukebox I’ve ever used’ – September 22, 2006
USA Today reviews new Apple iPod nanos, updated iPods, iTunes 7 (each earns 4 stars out of 4) – September 21, 2006
Apple Support docs address some iTunes 7 issues – September 20, 2006
Disney’s remarkable 1st week iTunes movies sales should have studios clambering aboard Apple train – September 20, 2006
Report: Apple iTunes 7 update coming soon – September 19, 2006
Disney sells 125,000 movie downloads via Apple’s iTunes Store in first week – September 19, 2006
PC Magazine review: iTunes 7 ‘Apple’s best effort yet’ (4 stars out of 5) – September 15, 2006
Apple’s iTunes 7 shows some glitches – September 14, 2006
Analyst: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV model ‘the gold standard for the digital home of the future’ – September 12, 2006
What’s new in Apple’s iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006
Analyst Gartenberg: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV ‘will be hard for other players to match’ – September 12, 2006
Apple debuts iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006


  1. …a few of things about Peter Lewis’s review of iTunes 7.
    1 He writes, “Consumers aren’t allowed to make a…backup of the movie they’ve just purchased.” I’m sure he means, burn a back up because you can certainly make a backup copy of the file itself.

    2. Referring to what is Apple’s near DVD quality downloads he refers to them as “low-definition digital movie downloads”. Near DVD quality is anything but “low definition”.

    3. Otherwise…good article.

  2. I downloaded “The Great Raid” as my “test” of the iTunes movies service (and my contribution to the first one million). Great experience. The download was relatively fast. No glitches. Movie definition looked as good to my eyes as DVD. Even the movie itself was pretty good…!

    “Apple, known for its elegant Mac computers and iPods, is really the best software company in the business today.”

    Interesting that a company that makes most of its profit from hardware sales is seen as the best software company. What does that say about Microsoft, Adobe, Google, and all the others who are actually in the software business?

  3. iTunes 7 looks like something out of Fedora or Ubuntu. Spiff it up please, Apple! Drab and retro don’t work in software design. I even filed a bug report about it because it’s so offensively ugly.

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