Apple allows for extending iTunes Movie rental period past 24-hours

“Last week my colleague, Rob Griffiths, noted that the 24-hour rental period for iTunes movies just wasn’t long enough for many parents. Get the kids to bed by 9:00, start watching the movie, fall asleep in front of the TV at 10:00 and by the time 9:00 PM rolls around again, the movie’s expired,” Christopher Breen reports for Macworld.

“However, Apple has made an accommodation for exactly this kind of situation yet, inexplicably, hasn’t bothered to mention it to anyone,” Breen reports.

Breen was doing some iPod to big screen tests and as the day wound down “paused the movie on the iPod and shut down the TV and AV gear for the night.”

The next evening Breen fired up his TV to find that “the paused image of Spiderman was still on the screen. Giving it a go, I pressed Play on the iPod and the movie picked up where it left off. Expecting the movie to vanish any minute—after all, this was nearly 12 hours after the movie was supposed to expire—I let it play for half an hour. It continued to play without complaint.”

Breen reports, “I decided to see what happened when I pressed the iPod’s Menu button. I was greeted with this nice surprise. An Expired Rental screen appeared that displayed these words: ‘This rental has expired. You can resume to finish your movie.’ Below the words were two options: Delete and Resume.”

“There was no way to legitimately back out of this screen, you have to choose one or the other option and then press Select to enter your choice. If you choose Resume, the movie continues to play,” Breen reports.

More in the full article here.

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


  1. Very interesting. This needs to be tested by others and then when the AppleTV update is released, tested in all the various ways to see what happens.
    Then a confirmation from Apple would be nice.

  2. And this from another thread:

    Thu Jan 24 09:40:45 PST 2000
    macdandr says:

    “Re: Extending iTunes rental times
    Finally someone wrote about this feature. I too was amazed that Apple hasn’t documented this feature. As long as you start the movie within the 24 hour period (even if you start it with one minute left) it will let you watch the entire movie. You can even start the movie over and watch it again as long as it never finishes the credits. This also works in iTunes the exact same way and I don’t have an Apple TV to test but I would assume that it works the same way too.”

    As Elmer Fudd would say, “yes, vewy, vewy intewesting. . .”

  3. Yeah, but I truly fall asleep watching my TV. Whatever I’m watching on my DVR plays to the end and if I don’t use my TV’s Sleep function I’d wake up to a screen saver.

    If I used an tv and a rental movie I’d end with a lot of expired stuff that my tv thought I’d really watched.

  4. @ Tommy Boy

    What you need is a Snore Alarm TV shutoff device. It needs to be USB compliant. Set it up and when it detects snoring, it pauses the movie and shuts off the TV.

    Some engineer out there can do this, I’m sure.

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