MUMBAI: It all started with music, then moved on to television shows and now it’s showtime on iTunes!! Apple has introduced iTunes 7, via which consumers can download over 75 movies from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films’ libraries. These movies can be purchased and downloaded to watch on computers and iPods.
What’s more, Apple is also planning to launch its new iTV player (which is the project’s internal code name and may not be the final product name), wherein these downloaded movies can be watched on flat screen televisions too.
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.
The new iTunes 7 delivers 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.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs says, “Here we go again! First music, then TV shows, and now movies. 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.”
The Walt Disney Company president and CEO Robert Iger says, “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. 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. 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,” adds The Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook.
The iTunes Store has been selling over one million videos per week. It also features the world’s largest catalog of online music with over 3.5 million songs and has sold 1.5 billion songs, making it the world’s most popular digital music store.
The iTunes Store now features 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.
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.
Presently, the television shows and feature films are available for download 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.