updated 02:30 pm EDT, Tue September 12, 2006
Apple releases iTunes 7
Apple today announced iTunes 7, which it said is "the most significant enhancement" to its jukebox software and online music/video store since it debuted in 2001. iTunes 7 delivers new features such as the new album and Cover Flow views of music, TV shows and movies, enabling users to both quickly find titles in their library as well as casually browse through and re-discover titles they already own. In addition, the iTunes Store is now offering over 75 movies from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films--all of which customers can purchase and download to watch on their computers and iPods, and soon on their flat screen televisions with Apple's upcoming iTV player. 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; they will be $14.99 thereafter. Other library titles will available for $9.99.
"Here we go again! First music, then TV shows, and now movies," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "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."
Apple said that the iTunes Store has quickly become the world's most popular video download store, selling over one million videos per week. The iTunes Store began selling TV shows with five shows from ABC/Disney less than a year ago, in October 2005, and rapidly expanded its library to over 220 television shows from over 40 networks today. The iTunes Store also features the world's largest catalog of online music with over 3.5 million songs and has sold over 1.5 billion songs, making it the world's most popular digital music store.
"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," said Robert Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. "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."
Hi-res movies from Disney
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." Customers can purchase and download movies--using the same one-click technology--from iTunes the same day they become available on DVD, or pre-order upcoming movies which are automatically downloaded when they become available.
With iTunes 7, all videos purchased from the iTunes Store are downloaded in near-DVD quality at a resolution of 640x480 (up to 480, depending on the aspect ratio), which is four times higher than before. Downloaded videos can be played on both 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.
Written, edited and compiled by Jeff Valvano