The New Rental-Only Apple TV and iTunes Content Fragmentation

I agree with two things in this piece by Louis Gray:

  1. It’s a problem that the iPad remains stuck on iOS 3.2. But the iOS 4.2 betas seem very far along; this isn’t going to be a problem for long.

  2. Most of the TV shows available from iTunes can only be purchased, not rented. The new Apple TV can only rent. Thus, most shows from iTunes cannot be obtained directly from the new Apple TV. You can watch them, but you have to buy them from a Mac or PC with iTunes, then play them on Apple TV via home sharing. The new Apple TV would be a much more appealing proposition if all iTunes TV shows were available to rent. The decision to make more shows available to rent belongs to the networks, not Apple, but Apple’s the one that decided to sell a new Apple TV that can only rent content.

The situation is much better for movies than TV shows, but still, there are many movies in iTunes, including a lot of new releases like Iron Man 2, that are purchase-only.

Monday, 4 October 2010