Apple’s iTunes rentals appearing well before 30-day promise

Along with us and many of our readers, many of TUAW’s readers are also “noticing that rental titles reach iTunes more quickly than expected,” Erica Sadun reports for TUAW.

“Didn’t Apple promise new titles 30 days after the DVD release? TUAW reader Robbie Taylor wrote in to let us know that Michael Clayton hit the iTunes ‘shelves’ within just a day or so of its February 19th store release,” Sadun reports.

Sadun invites readers to let TUAW know if they are seeing “early” releases, too, the full article here.

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


  1. Apple fan or not, I must agree with “ralph from berlin” that the selection of rental movies is woefully inadequate, even for a brand new service. If Apple wasn’t ready to stock the shelves, they should have delayed the launch of the rental service.

  2. why Ralph? are you actually renting movies via iTunes… or just complaining for the sheer heck of it?

    got a DVD player? go to a video store. what’s the problem?

    wait for the titles to accumulate. they’re coming. can’t wait…
    the brick n’ mortar boutique awaits.

  3. I too, wonder at the lack of titles. When the rentals first appeared, I thought “great!” and rented one right away to try it out. But when I checked back over the next couple weeks, I realized that only a handful of titles had been added to the micro-thin selection.

    NetFlix and Blockbuster don’t have to worry just yet. But I really hope they start ramping up soon. I really enjoyed the experience of renting, it was fast, easy, and if the selection was broad I would do it pretty frequently.

  4. Hmm… I wonder if this change is due to a change in philosophy of the studios. Our *wonderful* cable company, Time Warner, has been promoting their pay-per-view service which now features movies the same day they are available for rent. Doesn’t the movies studios dictate when movies are available to what service?


  5. Exactly! I have long wondered why article after article that has reviewed the new Apple TV has NEVER touched on the library size!

    I just got my “Aple” TV and I am still waiting for a real selection of rentals….a little frustrated to say the least.

    MDN Magic Word: “help”….Exactly.

  6. I actually get 382 on doing a quick calculation of the list… so perhaps it’s growing by a couple dozen a day? Might not make 1000 by March 1st at that rate, but that would give it 600-700 by then if it grows at that rate.

    No insider info concerning this, just running some numbers and making a guess based off of it…..

  7. If it’s in their hands, I bet Apple staff will find a way to fulfill SJ’s promise of 1000 movies for rent. I could see them adding 400 on Feb. 29 at 11:59 PM!
    However, if the movie studios are the roadblock, there’s no telling how long it will take!

  8. Yes, there could be more and there will be but I’m in no hurry.
    With gas at $3+ a gallon, I love my Apple TV. I rented my first movie, Good Luck Chuck and laughed my ass off.

    Enjoyed popcorn with my wife on the couch and after a all those sex scenes, we paused it for a while…. and finished watching the show later. The whole thing is great and I don’t know about others but I was able to start watching them movie about 20 seconds after I rented it. I guess my 802.11n is really the key to getting it fast.

    Not enough title? Fine for me but then again I have a life, wife and kids and have very little time to watch every movie that comes out right when it comes out.

  9. It takes time to do the encoding for each and every feature. You can download the movie far faster than it takes for the encoding process. Remember there’s different languages, closed captioning, etc. that’s involved with the prep process. 12 movies a day translates to 24 hours of video, so if they’re adding 12 a day, I’d say that they’re doing pretty well. Be patient. The company I work for is swamped with Apple work. It’s coming people… it’s coming.

  10. In all fairness, a lot new releases are appearing in quick succession on iTunes, including a few films I had previously rented from a local video store. The iTunes rental service works well — it’s quick and painless. Downloads take about 20-25 minutes. I don’t mind watching the movies on my laptop while I recline on my couch, as the sound output is hooked up to my audio receiver. For solo movie watching, the convenience factor can’t be beat.

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