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Steve Jobs leaves scant hope for Blu-ray on Macs

updated 11:15 pm EDT, Wed June 30, 2010

CEO compares format to high-end audio discs

Steve Jobs has reportedly left little hope that Blu-ray will arrive on the Mac anytime in the near future. The CEO compared Blu-ray to the "high end audio formats" that followed the CD, while voicing his expectation that it will be "beaten by Internet downloadable formats," according to an alleged e-mail response posted by MacRumors.

As the correspondence continued, Jobs reportedly argued that "free, instant gratification and convenience (likely in that order)" are the factors that have made MP3s take off. The CEO suggests the downloadable movie business is quickly moving to free services, such as Hulu, or rentals, so storing purchased movies is "not an issue."

"We may see a fast broad move to streamed free and rental content at sufficient quality (at least 720p) to win almost everyone over," Jobs said.

Occasional rumors suggested Blu-ray may have been headed to Macs, however none of the reports turned out to be accurate. Jobs had described the disc format as a "bag of hurt" because of copyright protection and licensing issues.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. whackjob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't see the point

    For Blue Ray on home PC's. I really don't. HD DVD looks very good and on home PC's it's just not that big a deal, why doe people think it's such a need for it?

    I have to agree with SJ on this one- I think in the long run he will be right on this.

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Partially Agree, But...

    That's no reason not to support it. While I haven't, nor will I repurchase all my DVDs as Blu Ray, there are several movies and titles that are amazing to watch and own on Blu Ray. The BBC series Life and Planet Earth, the Pixar movies and Lost are such examples.

    Why not make it a separate purchase? Make Blu Ray a build-to-order option that includes play back software. In addition, make the play back software a store item for $19.99 or $29.99. Quicktime Pro used to require an separate purchase... I would gladly pay extra for the play back software!

  1. SCslugger

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How many

    How many people have blu-ray that don't have internet? I would say there is a sizable rural demographic, but those people don't need the marriage of their Mac and their TV player.

    The end of the road for Blu Ray is obvious. It was obvious before it came to market.

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I usually agree.... but...

    I typically think Jobs has excellent foresight and would agree with him, but unless he knows something I don't here, the problem lies in the horrible data networks in N.A. on which these downloads depend. Music is one thing, HD video is quite another. For Jobs and the few lucky people who live in places with great Internet, it is all to easy to forget how things are elsewhere. If the Net Neutrality battle shows anything... it shows how powerful the telcos are. Jobs should know this in his dealings with AT&T and the cell carriers (IMO, he has made little headway in changing anything but the phone hardware there).

    Also, as people get bigger and bigger TVs, much of the DL over the internet video and even HD isn't going to cut it. This stuff will have to move more and more towards the level of Blu-Ray in quality, which will mean bigger and bigger downloads. I'm sure he will eventually be right... but I'm guessing it might be a good number of years down the road.

    That said, I don't really think Macs need Blu-Ray all that badly, other then for people trying to use them as media centers (which I want to do, BTW, but I'm in the vast minority). Most people simply don't need to play Blu-Rays in their computers. But.... if people DO start to buy only Blu-Ray instead of DVD, they might want to play them on their computers, not for quality reasons, but because they don't have DVD version if they want to play some movie on their computer.

    So, don't think I can agree with Jobs on this one.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    blu-ray on a apple monitor

    is really quite pointless. unless apple decides to get into the 40 inch plus market of monitors and tvs, there isnt really a point to put a blu-ray on a mac.

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Blu-Ray may die, but not 1080p

    There's a big... no, huge difference in quality when I compare a 1080p Blu-ray played via PS3 on my home theater (50" Pioneer plasma, Denon/Revel sound system) to a 720p download from the Apple store. And yeah, it makes all the difference to me, even on my fairly modest system.

    So yeah, Blu-Ray as a delivery medium may die, but not 1080p and the hi-def audio that Blu-ray brings. And downloading that much data efficiently is still a ways off for most of us. Meanwhile, there are a growing number of titles and software (on the PC) to rip backups and run a media server.

    So Jobs may be right in five+ years, but much like games in the 90s, he's missing and dissing the home theater market. And so Apple will have no influence on what happens in that arena. Frankly, I don't really care - I need a PC in the house anyway. But it's a bit alarming to think that Apple's only real product for the TV is the AppleTV - a POS mistake if there ever was one (I own one, so I know firsthand)

    One last thought - with the threat of tiered bandwidth charges coming from all sides, I'd say the download market may be looking at a "bag of hurt" heading their way. It's unlike Apple to not have options, but they seem to have chosen their horse in this race.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Once again,

    If Steve Jobs doesn't want it, YOU DON'T GET IT, YOU DON'T NEED IT.

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Computers dont need blu-ray...." um ya then that means buying every movie in both Blu-Ray and DVD or digital. NO THANKS. I want the ability to stick my movie I bought in my computer when my roommate is watching TV, I want the ability to stick the movie I bought in my computer when I am travelling. The only solutions is, Apple put blu-ray play back in Quicktime and I can buy a external player OR all movies come with a DVD version and a digital version that works in itunes. I already own a few sony movies that come with digital copies that only work on WIndows.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Even if playback of encrypted commercial BluRay movies is too painful to license, it would be nice if the format could be supported for burning our home-recorded HD videos to BluRay discs for sharing with friends and family, and simply for data use, so we can start installing Adobe Creative Suite from a single disc again, instead of the three DVDs it now spans across, something which is only bound to get worse. Leave it to third parties to license commercial BluRay movie playback if they can figure it out. Personally, I don't care about watching the BluRays on my computer; I just need to be able to rip and burn them for use on the living room BluRay player.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $99 mark

    VHS hit $99 and another technology replaced it.
    DVD hit $99 and Blu-Ray came on the scene.
    Blu-Ray is now $99 at Costco now.

    It may take another year or two, but easily-scratched media is going to be a thing of the past very soon.

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