We’ve received many questions about Apple’s new iTunes Movie Rentals, so here’s the deal in a nutshell. Apple’s U.S. iTunes Store now offers movies you can rent. You can play rented movies in iTunes on a Mac or Windows PC, on your iPod or iPhone, or using Apple TV (once the new Apple TV software arrives. It will be available as a free automatic download to all Apple TV customers later this month).
Users with broadband connections will be able to begin watching rentals within 30 seconds of initiating the rental download. Standard definition DVD-quality iTunes Movie Rentals are priced at US$2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases.
According to Apple’s iTunes 7.6 Help page “Renting Movies from the iTunes Store,” Standard definition DVD-quality movies downloaded via iTunes on a Mac or PC can be transferred to an iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV. Either device remembers where you stopped watching on your computer and picks up right where you left off. After the movie downloads to your computer, to transfer the rental to an iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV, connect the device, select it in iTunes, click the Movies tab, select the movie, and then click Move. After you transfer a rental, it is removed from your iTunes library.
To rent movies from the iTunes Store:
1. In iTunes, click iTunes Store.
2. Select the movie you wish to rent.
3. Click Rent Movie.
Movies downloaded directly via Apple TV are only playable on Apple TV. If you plan to watch a rented movie using Apple TV, you’ll get the best-quality video by renting it via Apple TV. High Definition (720p) movies with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound will be downloadable later this month only via Apple TV and will cost $3.99 for library titles and $4.99 for new releases. Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound is not available with all HD rentals. Standard definition DVD-quality iTunes Movie Rentals will also be available for Apple TV and will be priced at US$2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases.
Use the included Apple TV remote to browse rentals by Top Movies, Genres, and All HD. Or search for what you want to watch. Apple TV displays a movie poster for every rental. When you find a movie you like, click it to view a detail screen with a plot summary and a list of cast and crew. Choose your rental by quality and/or price and sit back and enjoy.
A rented movie expires 30 days after you rent it or 24 hours after you begin playing it, whichever comes first. Movie rentals disappear when they expire, so they won’t take up storage space.