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Media (Apple) Media Businesses Apple

iTunes Music Store Sells Videos 603

Posted by timothy
from the now-the-world-is-finished dept.
bonch writes "With the recent release of iTunes 4.8 and its ability to manage and play videos, several users are discovering that iTunes is now selling videos through the online store. One example is the 'Feel Good Inc.' single used in the recent rollerskating iPod ad. The videos are provided in DRM-less .mp4 format encoded in 3ivx D4 4.5 and are available with purchase of the album."
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iTunes Music Store Sells Videos

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  • Need a preview (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ProfaneBaby (821276) on Monday May 09, 2005 @10:56PM (#12484930)
    Hopefully the next release will incorporate a preview - a few seconds to help those of us who would otherwise have no idea what these videos may be.
    • by awtbfb (586638) on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:09PM (#12485038)
      Hopefully the next release will incorporate a preview - a few seconds to help those of us who would otherwise have no idea what these videos may be.

      They are music videos. You should know what they are already: a bunch of musicians prancing/grimacing/pouting while the camera quickly pans and zooms. Depending on the class of music, attractive people as eye candy is the norm. Some classes of music also include dark lighting and spooky imagery. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the video is designed to make the music seem better and more commercially appealing.
      • by Golias (176380) on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:27PM (#12485169)
        What about the video for All the Things She Said by t.A.T.u.

        Two girls.

        Good-looking.

        In their late teens.

        Dressed in short-skirted school uniforms.

        Kissing.

        Each other.

        In the rain.

        That, my friend is ART!

        There might have been a song playing in the background, I don't really remember.
      • Re:Need a preview (Score:3, Informative)

        by allgood2 (226994)
        They're not always music videos. I purchased Dave Matthew's Band new album and it came with a video and PDF book. The video was not the video for "American Baby" as I had expected, but a five minute video on the making of the album. More like a VH1 Behind the Music style thing, with interviews and clips from studio sessions, etc.

        I guess this falls in line with Apple's other initiatives, like the iTunes Special Editiion albums, that include all the songs from the album, plus them 30 second to 2 minutes brie
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I didn't even know people still made videos.
  • by Man in Spandex (775950) <prsn@kev.gmail@com> on Monday May 09, 2005 @10:58PM (#12484945)
    can soon be rated with the number of available movies of Steven Seagal.

    However this could be balanced out with some porn so.... Apple, be wise.
  • by coupland (160334) * <dchase@@@hotmail...com> on Monday May 09, 2005 @10:59PM (#12484965) Journal

    I'm sure this is just a toe in the water for Apple to start offering movies and other on-demand video with ITMS. Anyone who's been watching how movie trailers are hosted by Apple, how iTunes interfaces with HQ trailers, how Jobs has been talking of late, and how ITMS has been dabbling in video can't help but see the writing on the wall. Apple wants to be your one-stop media shop, not just the place where you buy songs or little music players. They're looking to marginalize entire swaths of the old regime in one fell swoop, and for my part, I'm rather looking forward to the shake-up.

    Yes, a lot of the preceding has been hinted at by Cringely [pbs.org], there's nothing wrong with agreeing with someone else's take on things. :)

  • Boy, I didn't expect Apple to roll this out so soon, but seriously, how long will it be before Apple is distributing feature films DRM'ed via the itunes/ifilm/iwhatever they're gonna call it.

    I know I would order, as long as it's not too ridiculously expensive or restrictive.

    • Except for one thing: How do I watch iTunes movies on my TV?
      • How do I watch iTunes movies on my TV?

        Burn them to DVD?

      • The same way you show pictures... off an iPod.

        As long as they have hardware to decode the movie files, you can just plug your iPod into a TV through AV cables (about 20 bucks for iPod photo).

        I'm surprised they're using DivX to encode it instead of H.264

      • Use the SVideo out port on your video card. Most 3D cards have this as a standard options these days. Barring that, try a VGA -> TV or USB -> TV converter.

        And for on the go, something tells me that iPod Photo [apple.com] is about to get a firmware upgrade...
        • Use the SVideo out port on your video card.

          You mean after I buy a computer to put in my living room? No thanks.
          • You mean after I buy a computer to put in my living room? No thanks.

            Sorry, I often forget that most people don't use their computer as their TV. (The TV Card allows us to save a lot of space in our apartment.) My guess is that Apple is probably thinking of souping up this baby [apple.com] with an SVideo out port...
          • On occaision, I connect my powerbook to my TV (powerbook has DVI out). I keep the TV in the bedroom - lay on the bed with bluetooth mouse and keyboard - surf slashdot, watch por^H^Hreviews in full screen - I love it! Anyway, apple's notebooks are quiet and easily connected to a television -- although the ibook doesn't have dvi, you can get a VGA adapter (it comes with an S-Video adapter I believe). Of importance, neither an ibook nor a powerbook would look monstrously out of place in the same way a whirr
          • It won't be a "computer," it'll either be a set-top-box that suspiciously resembles a Mac Mini, or a video-capable version of the Airport Express.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Via a souped-up AirPort Express that has digital and audio video out, pigtailed to analog. The bandwidth isn't a problem; for half-res HD, you're only talking 2 Mbps, which is nothing. Even for full-res 1080/24p, you're still only talking about 8-9 Mbps including audio, which is totally doable with AirPort Extreme.

        The only challenge is the dedicated H.264 decoder hardware. Right now, it takes a souped-up Power Mac G5 to decode 1080p in real time. That's gonna be fixed in hardware, of course.

    • You can get DRMed full length movies, as many as you want, from Real and Starz [real.com] now for $13 a month. The quality is excellent, and if you commute long distances able to use your laptop, it's pretty cool.

      The catalog is actually pretty big, 400 titles I think. The picture is damn good on a TV as well (you'll of course need a video out).
  • by asdhwesd (253232) on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:02PM (#12484986)
    This video thing is great, but I just wish they would sell higher quality/lossless audio files first. Bandwidth wouldn't be much greater than these video files they will be selling. I won't even mind paying $2 a song if they were in FLAC or Apple Lossless format.

    SP
    • by Frank Palermo (846883) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @12:15AM (#12485432)
      I couldn't agree more... I'd love to see lossless music on iTMS too. But I'm fairly certain they'll never do it because of the old burn-and-re-rip DRM hole.

      As it stands now, if you burn your 128k AAC purchase from iTMS to a CD and re-rip the result to strip off the FairPlay DRM in an Apple-sanctioned manner, you've either a) lost some quality along the way by using another lossy format to re-encode, or b) grossly oversized the file by using Apple Lossless to re-encode the previously lossy material. But if they offer lossless tunes for download, then that same process will result in a perfect DRM-less copy (unless of course faulty hardware or something similar caused a bit or two to get lost along the way).

      They'd never be able to sell the record companies on that one. So, unfortunately, I doubt we'll ever see lossless downloads from iTMS unless they prevented them from ever being burned to CD (in which case a lot of the desirability flies right out the window).

      -Frank
  • New iPod (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thundercatslair (809424) on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:03PM (#12484997)
    I wonder if this is a sign that the next generation iPods (which are bound to be out fairly soon) will have video playback.
    • Re:New iPod (Score:3, Interesting)

      by glesga_kiss (596639)
      I wonder if this is a sign that the next generation iPods (which are bound to be out fairly soon) will have video playback.

      Probably. All the other mp3 manufacturers did it a year or so ago, so Apple are about due to catch up. And runaway with the market no doubt like they did with the iPod.

  • Okay, so (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:04PM (#12485004)
    Where's the video iPod????

    Building a device perfectly capable of playing video and using it to display photos is insanity.

    Is there a stevenote at the WWDC this year? Do you think maybe they'll announce a video iPod then?

    Also: if the videos are un-DRMed mp4, does this mean they could be loaded onto a PSP or Nintendo DS play-yan?
    • Yes, Steve will kick of the conference. http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2005/may/02wwdc.ht ml [apple.com]
    • Building a device perfectly capable of playing video and using it to display photos is insanity.

      I assume you're talking about iPod Photo. I don't know much about it's inner workings (4 iPod family, but no Photo), but has it actually been documented that it has the horsepower to play video?

      In a way I hope not, because that was the only thing that made the OGG Vorbis dead-enders shut the Hell up.
    • My guess: Apple is still working out the details of the dealings, but when they do, expect a firmware upgrade on the iPod Photo that will take advantage of video. I bet it has less to do with technical ability and more to do with business.
    • Re:Okay, so (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The One and Only (691315) <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @12:38AM (#12485528) Homepage
      Building a device perfectly capable of playing video and using it to display photos is insanity.

      Watching video on a 2 inch screen is insanity. No. It's just completely fucking stupid.
      • Re:Okay, so (Score:3, Interesting)

        by glesga_kiss (596639)
        Watching video on a 2 inch screen is insanity. No. It's just completely fucking stupid.

        Kept me busy the last time I was stuck on a bus for a couple of hours. Killed the time with a few episodes of Family Guy.

        So, are you saying there will never be a market for portable televisions with small screens? Hate to break it to you, but that already happened. Methinks you are the type who doesn't get out or travel all that much. There's a huge market for entertaining people when they have time to kill.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:09PM (#12485045)
    I think that music videos are the perfect feeler for other non-drm media - like movies. If people really buy videos (which they will) then I think we can expect to see other kinds of video follow... like possibly TV shows through iTunes. Which would make the TV industry a fortune as a LOT of people would pay $5 for a high-quality version of a TV episode even when they could go and find the bittorrents.
  • iPorn (Score:3, Funny)

    by MyNymWasTaken (879908) on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:13PM (#12485074)
    That is just what I needed. Another method to purchase & transport porn videos.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Obligatory.
    I haven't read any comments on how the Gorillaz are the greatest animated band ever. (I do nod in Daft Punk's direction however)
    iTMS has had the ability to play music video's for a while so its really not a huge stretch to download them.
    Also the video's (atleast from past albums) were freely available from the Gorillaz's website...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    C'mon, man, tell us all about how this is a prelude for some awesome iTunes Movie Store. (I'm not being sarcastic.) You haven't posted for a whole day!

    In fact, come to think of it, you stopped at comment #666 [slashdot.org]. What could it all mean??
    • by As Seen On TV (857673) <asseen@gmail.com> on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:44PM (#12485267)
      Okay.

      Everybody's wrong about the video iPod thing. A video iPod would be a dumb idea for lots of reasons, some technical, some psychological. If you want to know where we're going with video playback, look not to the iPod but to its considerably less famous little brother, AirPort Express.

      (Addendum: I see now that at least a couple of commenters have figured this out already. Good for them. You all suck for stealing my surprise. One of them even nailed the big challenge, still to date unsolved, right on the head. I wonder if you guys will know it when you see it?)

      Yes, of course we're going to be selling new types of content via the iTunes distribution model. It may or may not happen through the "iTunes" name. On the one hand, selling movies and TV shows through a store called "iTunes" makes no sense. On the other, iTunes has HUGE brand recognition right now. It's a marketing decision.

      What exactly we offer depends on whose content you're talking about. Some content will be provided to us in 720-by-486 anamorphic, which we'll encode in H.264 at between 1 and 2 megabits. (Did you notice that QuickTime 7 has additional support for anamorphic video? I knew you would.) Other content will come in at HD, and for the time being we'll scale that down to half-HD at 2 Mbps. Doing full 1080/24p at 8 Mbps just isn't practical right now given that even the fastest cable modems in the US top out at 4 Mbps; in order to get real-time streaming of full-HD content, you'd need one of those new-fangled fiber optic Internet services that the telcos are starting to roll out. That's too forward-thinking for phase one. But we can do 2 Mbps now to the same customers we're shipping iTunes songs to.

      Pricing, terms and dates will be totally up in the air until five minutes before we announce, and maybe even after that. Remember the Australian store? We had to put that roll-out on indefinite hiatus when The Label That Shall Not Be Named pulled out. All of this depends on the content-providers. Yes, somebody out there is going to say "Pixar." To that person I whisper the name "Disney" and the phrase "subsidiary rights." It's not as simple as you think.

      Basically what stands between us and roll-out today is 10% technological and 90% business. It strikes me as kinda funny that some people look only at the technology part of our operations for clues as to future directions. Yes, we shipped iTunes 4.8 with video playback. Whoopty-do. iTunes is built on QuickTime. Adding video support was so incredibly trivial, you wouldn't believe it. It's a tiny thing. What's a much bigger thing is the gradual shift, over the past two years, in the way we as a company do business. We are very serious about IP. We've made a name for ourselves as being the one company in the industry that, better than anybody else, understands the need to zealously protect intellectual property. So when we go to (say) Disney and ask them to let us distribute their unimaginably valuable IP over the Internet, we're going to have a little bit more credibility than whatever copycat tries to come along behind us (cough*Napster*cough, cough*Walmart*cough).

      These are the things you guys need to be paying attention to. Not the product releases. The lawsuits. That's where you'll find the clues.
      • Just thought I should point out that while high speed broadband (i.e. 8Mbps and faster) may not be commonly available in the US, there are plenty of other countries where it is.I'm in Australia, and we've had 8Mbps for a while now, with ADSL2+ (up to 24Mbps) being rolled out in the next year or two. Don't even get me started on what Korea and Japan have available.

        My point is that there are markets outside the US ready for these types of innovations *now*, and I don't see why we should be waiting for the US
      • Will the Mini be the device of choice for video content, and the iPod will make video portable. Download it at home, transfer to an iPod, take it with you and play it at a friend's home.

        We already know that LOTR used the iPod in a similar fashion.
        • by As Seen On TV (857673) <asseen@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @12:21AM (#12485458)
          No, pretty much everything you said here is wrong.

          The Mac mini is meant to be a computer, nothing more. It was designed to be an inexpensive entry to the Mac product line for people who already own PCs and want to step up to something better. It doesn't have anything like the CPU power required for HD playback. You might be able to squeeze 4 Mbps out of it, maybe, if you hold your mouth just right and you're willing to live with some dropped frames. But anything more is not going to be an option this year, and maybe not next either.

          And the iPod is not repeat not gonna say it one more time not meant to be a video-playback device. It's not even remotely designed for it. The iPod has a tiny hard drive that's designed for embedded applications, and a 32 MB (I think it is) RAM buffer cache that's optimized for dealing with song-sized chunks of data. That's about 4 MB. Even a half hour of HD content is gonna be half a gigabyte. There's basically no way for the iPod to play that without constantly keeping the hard drive running, and that will burn out the drive very quickly. Seriously, under constant use, the iPod hard drives' life spans are measured in tens of hours.

          (How can we do photos, then? Easy. Photos are even smaller than songs. And unlike video, people often do want to carry photos around with them. Keep reading.)

          Remember when I said the problem was part technology and part psychology? People like to listen to music while they do other things: Ride on the train, exercise, shop. People like to multi-task with their music.

          Video, whether short-form like TV or long-form like movies, isn't like that. Video is an immersive experience. You sit down and you watch it, and you don't do anything else until it's over. That's a totally different interaction model than music.

          So there's basically zero reason for video to be portable. You're not going to carry it around with you. You're going to watch it at home.

          Exceptions? Sure. But Apple isn't a company that makes a habit of marketing to the exceptions. We shoot for a pretty clearly defined target market and let the exceptions buy their gadgets somewhere else. Chiefly because there aren't nearly enough exceptions out there to make it worth going after, financially speaking. We'd never be able to recover what we invest in R&D and design by selling a few hundred thousand units. We have to sell millions of units per quarter, otherwise the business plan just doesn't work.
          • Seriously, under constant use, the iPod hard drives' life spans are measured in tens of hours

            This is bullshit, and all sorts of other Apple employees are quite pissed at ASOT for repeating it.

            There are reasons Apple doesn't want employees ad-libbing like ASOT does, and this sort of best-intentions misinformation is a perfect example.

            As an Apple emplyee myself, I have little doubt that ASOT works for Apple. I also know how working here gives one a ton more insight into what the company is up to. But that
      • We've made a name for ourselves as being the one company in the industry that, better than anybody else, understands the need to zealously protect intellectual property.

        Whaaaa...?

        Maybe I'm mistaken, because I don't follow these things closely, but isn't one of the main "features" of iTMS for slashdotters the ridiculously simple process for stripping FairPlay DRM? And isn't the complaint about WM* that it is possible to create more content restrictions and that nobody has been able to reliably crack it?

      • Well, at first I thought he was an evangelist or a product manager. The problem is that he bridges divisions inside Apple, knows too much, and is not afraid.

        That means he's Avie Tevannian (80% probability). I was thinking Phil Shiller, but a marketing guy would never say the word "dumb" when he could use another word that was more buzzword compliant. Plus, only a technical guy would whack the competition (couldn't resist, huh?).

        ---

        That said, let's get to a use case that shows what he's talking about.

        The
      • Assuming you actually do work for Apple, I'm impressed that you haven't been fired yet. Unless you're working under direction from Steve and Phil, which would actually not be a bad idea, but it's not in keeping with Steve's desire for absolute secrecy. Moving on:

        What's a much bigger thing is the gradual shift, over the past two years, in the way we as a company do business. We are very serious about IP. We've made a name for ourselves as being the one company in the industry that, better than anybody else
        • by As Seen On TV (857673) <asseen@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:34AM (#12485783)
          I know you're going to say I'm being a dick here, but I'm going to give you the pure, unvarnished truth:

          Neither Apple's management nor Apple's shareholders give a shit about what the "alpha geeks" think.

          I know, I know. It's harsh. But it's absolutely true. See, the "alpha geeks" are not our market. We don't sell to them. The "alpha geeks" are defined by one key characteristic: they're irrational. Now, I'm not trying to insult you. I mean it literally. Geeks are not rational. They base their purchasing decisions on things that, from a rational point of view, just don't make any sense. Things like politics, lack "openness," like "customizability." Things that just don't add up in the cost-benefit analysis.

          That's fine. That's totally legitimate. But it's not our business.

          We sell products to people who want them to work. We don't sell products to people who want to take them apart. There are other companies that do that. We don't seek to dominate them or to put them out of business. We don't see them as competition at all, because the kinds of people who buy our products would never buy a motherboard. They'd never buy Linux. Never in a million years.

          Is there some overlap? Sure. We love the fact that some prominent hard-core geeks use Macs. But we're not going to abandon our business plan to woo them. We're not going to turn our backs on the vast and untapped market for next-generation content delivery services, a market which we basically created, in order to please some Internet message board guys.

          Again, I'm sorry for sounding so harsh here. I don't mean to be rude. I'm just not going to sugar-coat it for you. You do your thing, whatever makes you happy. We'll do ours.
          • Is there some overlap? Sure. We love the fact that some prominent hard-core geeks use Macs.

            I'm not famous or anything, but I've got a Mac and a Linux PC sitting on my desk right now. Since I got the Mac a year and a half ago, I've been raving about it to everyone I know. I'm personally responsible for converting at least one of my friends; he's got a Powerbook and a Mac Mini now, as well as an iPod. My girlfriend has an iPod, too. My dad's on the verge of replacing his PC with an iMac. So, my opinio

          • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @10:30AM (#12488881)
            The fact that you and many other persistent "AppleTurfers" are hanging out on Slashdot pretty much undermines your point.

            If the Geek Vanguard is not Apple's market, why are you guys so insistent about articulating Apple's positions to them? Obviously the perceptions of this community is important to Apple's advocates or we wouldn't see you here.
          • Yeah, Apple would be crazy to listen to Slashdotters as a focus group, but wouldn't it want to disseminate information to the developer community?

            Apple is a clever company with clever people. Surely they realize how important the "network" factor is. Surely they realize that little rocks dropped in this pond spread pretty far?

      • well, it was a fun ride pretending you were the real thing, but all good things come to an end.

        quicktime's support for anamorphic video has, and continues, to suck.

        go ahead and try it. record something in anamorphic 16:9 on some hot shit dv camera (i use a canon XL1, you can use something even hotter, like a dvx-100, or even sony's new hd thing. doesn't matter.) import into imovie, or even better, final cut. both of them will probably recognize that you're dealing with anamorphic 16:9 and react accord
        • by As Seen On TV (857673) <asseen@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:44AM (#12485816)
          quicktime's support for anamorphic video has, and continues, to suck.

          You're confusing QuickTime with QuickTime-based applications. In QuickTime 7 we added new attributes that tell QuickTime applications to take a movie with native size X by Y and play it back at size A by B. But the applications have to set that attribute.

          besides, why the fuck would you offer online movie downloads as anamorphic video?

          Because that's what the video is. Standard-def TV masters are stored on videotape in anamorphic format. When they're played back on a widescreen set, they're stretched out to about 850 by 480. That's how widescreen SD works.

          It makes no sense to stretch content before encoding it; at that point, you're just compressing noise. It only makes sense to encode it in the native format, 720 by 480, and then stretch it during playback. That's how you get the highest picture quality out of widescreen SD content.

          24p describes how cameras like the dvx-100 record video--24 frames per second, progressive scan. not necessarily HD (the dvx-100 shoots straight DV).

          I don't understand this comment at all. When I said "1080/24p," maybe I should have been more specific. I was referring to video in the 1920-by-1080 format playing back at 24 frames per second. That's what the vast majority of scripted TV drama is, as well as high-def movie transfers. When that TV goes out over the air, it's converted through a process called "pulldown" to 60i, sixty fields per second interlaced. But that's for broadcast. We obviously won't want to do that, because again, we'd just be compressing noise. If 3:2 is required, we'll add it during playback just like DVD players do.

          jvc's HD cameras record 30 progressive frames at 720p, the other HD spec.

          Actually, 720p is usually shot sixty frames per second, not thirty. That's why it's so great for sports.

          But the vast majority of scripted content is still shot at 24 frames per second, either on film or in 1080/24p. Motion at 24 frames per second has a very distinctive look, totally different from what we're used to seeing on video. Because people are used to seeing 24-frames-per-second content, giving them 60i or 60p is a distraction. Plus it's more expensive, because storing 30 interlaced frames or 60 progressive frames per second obviously takes more disk space than 24 frames per second.

          We're going to deliver whatever the master format is. If that's 24p, then we'll deliver 24p. If it's native 60i (like shot in 60i, not interlaced from 24p source), then we'll deliver 60i. QuickTime doesn't care. If adjustments need to be made between the movie on disk and the screen, like adding 3:2 pulldown for display on an interlaced-scan television, then we'll add it at the end, not at the beginning.
  • I Cringely [pbs.org] predicted this (more or less) back in January. An interesting read.

    On an related note, I'd really like to take a peek at Robert Cringely's stock portfolio!

  • Old Skool (Score:3, Funny)

    by Adrilla (830520) * on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:33PM (#12485203) Homepage
    Do they have older videos available? I'm not that interested in a lot of newer, higher profile artists, but if I can find some old videos that I loved from about 5+ years back, it might convince me to actually give iTunes a try. Second, how much do these videos cost to buy, and how much do the record labels get out of this, I need to know how much disgust I need to have for myself when I start giving the RIAA and their companies my money. (oh the dilemnas)
    • Right now they're just selling a couple, bundled when you buy certain albums. In all but one case, if you buy the album, they include a short video for free with it. I've seen reference to one where you can buy the video separately when you buy a single song, but that's only one song as far as I can tell. Right now I have a feeling that they're just testing the waters, making sure that everything works out OK both distribution- and consumer-wise.
  • Not 3ivx (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nermal6693 (622898) on Monday May 09, 2005 @11:42PM (#12485256)
    The videos aren't in 3ivx format, they're in QuickTime MPEG-4. QT reports them as being 3ivx if you have the 3ivx codec installed, which is likely where the confusion arose.
  • i wonder if they'll provide support to burn dvds if they do decide to offer movie downloads, sort of like how they're supporting burning cds (5 per song) when you download music from them.
    • by dn15 (735502) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @12:40AM (#12485537)
      FWIW that's not 5 burns per song, it's per playlist. All you have to do is make a new playlist and you can effectively burn any given song an unlimited number of times.
    • I really doubt it, audio CDs just contain the uncompressed audio(like a WAV file), however DVDs are MPEG2. Encoding to MPEG2 from MPEG4 without losing much quality is a pretty CPU intensive task(doing it in real time takes a fast computer).

      It's not impossible that Apple would do it, just that it's not trivial like CD burning.
  • by ejaytee (186527) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @12:14AM (#12485421)

    I've wondered since shortly after the mini was released if it wasn't a PVR in disguise. Virtually every plasma and LCD television sold today features a DVI connector... just like the Mac Mini. Combine that with Apple's excellent streaming technology and the established ITMS distribution channel, and Jobs might be on to something (again).

    With a big external firewire drive the mini could make Apple the first serious contender to mass-market full-length HDTV content over IP.

    • People keep saying you could use it as a PVR, but just how do you plan to do this? Sure, it has DVI, but so does every modern graphics card. From what I've read, its simply not powerful enough to handle video encoding + playback at decent levels at the same time.

      To turn a mac mini into a decent PVR, you would need an external encoder, external storage, an IR receiver + remote, and good software to manage it all. At that point, you're talking about a hell of a lot more then the $499 sticker price, and ta
    • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:42AM (#12485811) Journal
      Virtually every plasma and LCD television sold today features a DVI connector... just like the Mac Mini.

      Just like EVERY GRAPHICS CARD IN THE PAST 5 YEARS. Give me a break.

      Combine that with Apple's excellent streaming technology

      Excellent? Really? Quicktime streaming isn't any better than any other streaming technology I've seen. Besides, it's not as if Apple's streaming server is some secret technology that only they happen to have access to (as iTunes is), absolutely anyone else could stream media using the exact same protocols and even the exact same software.

      With a big external firewire drive the mini could make Apple the first serious contender to mass-market full-length HDTV content over IP.

      No it couldn't. The Mac Mini isn't really powerful enough to playback HDTV video in realtime on it's CPU, and it only has hardware support for MPEG-2 playback. Nobody is going to want to download 30+GBs of MPEG-2 video just to watch a 30-minute video (minus commercials). So, any HDTV service would use a more advanced codec such as MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)/VP6/etc., which the Mac Mini doesn't have the power to playback.

      Besides, if the Mac Mini was intended as an HDTV PVR, it would have come with a 3.5" HDD that could hold 300GBs, not a tiny drive, requiring numerous external expansion devices. Remember the iMac? Jobs would simply never put out a device that needs all sorts of add-on hardware.
      • Be as sarcastic about those comments from the OP as you want but then go ahead and name one company with all those elements in place the way Apple has them. I've been of the opinion that Apple is furtively lining things up to introduce a video/movie service a la iTunes for quite some time. Add in to the equation the fact that the iPod is clearly moving in a multimedia direction (photo capabilities, connecting to the TV) and Apple is unveiling products that allow you to stream content wirelessly across your
      • Try this riddle (Score:3, Insightful)

        by amichalo (132545)
        What Apple product comes standard with...

        ... a processor [apple.com] powerful enough to playback HDTV

        ... a video card [apple.com] able to decode MPEG-4

        ... an OS that includes a H.264 client [apple.com]

        ... a BTO option for a 400 GB [apple.com], 7200 RPM internal hard drive

        ... a double-layer DVD burner [apple.com] capable of archiving large movies

        ... a VESA mount [apple.com] for dramatic installations

        ... and a 17" or 20" 16:10 [apple.com] aspect ratio screen built in?

        Give up? [apple.com]

        Now that's what I call an Apple PVR!

    • the mini could make Apple the first serious contender to mass-market full-length HDTV content over IP

      That may be true, but it won't be the current mini. As another poster pointed out, the mini's hard drive and processor are not up to the task of HD.

      Consider the recent hardware launches. Apple waited until the release of 10.4 to put half-decent video cards in the iMac, eMac, and base Power Mac. When Apple introduces on-demand video, it will introduce a new machine to match.

  • From what it sounds like they are offering the video for free if you buy the song.

    Can you buy the video by its self? Or is it offered for download (free?) after you buy the song?
  • by Qacer (304731) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:15AM (#12485698) Homepage
    I purchased the Gorillaz's Feel Good Inc. single about two weeks ago using ver 4.7. Shouldn't I qualify for the video downloads?

    I'm guessing Apple only validates new purchases, eh? Hmm. Anyone else had this experience?
  • Video in iTunes? (Score:4, Informative)

    by TCQuad (537187) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:27AM (#12485761)
    That's been an option [apple.com] for a little while now, and doesn't require iTunes 4.8. iTunes 4.7 is handling it fine right now.
  • by 5n3ak3rp1mp (305814) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @07:06AM (#12487045) Homepage
    I've wanted this feature for forever- being able to add music videos to an iTunes playlist so that if, say, I'm entertaining people, I can have the visualizer playing for the regular audio content and the actual song video playing for those songs that I have a video for...

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