Apple iTunes - 6.0

bobw

The Late: SuperMacMod
With iTunes 6, you can now preview, buy, and download over 2,000 videos on the iTunes Music Store and sync your music and purchased videos with iPod to enjoy on the go. After purchasing music from the iTunes Music Store with iTunes 6, you will also need to upgrade your other computers that purchase music from the iTunes Music Store to iTunes 6.
 

Robn Kester

I heart nothing
Golfer, just wait it out. Alot of people are doing exactly what you are doing so you will just have to be patient.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
After a new product announcement at Apple, like Robn said, there is a massive flow of people to the Apple site and Apple's servers. I couldn't even view the new iPod and iMac pages for most of the day until now.

Patience.

From what I've heard, these videos Apple is offering are extremely low-resolution, suitable for viewing only on the iPod's screen (unless you like miniscule video on your monitor)... can someone who has downloaded an episode confirm?
 

Robn Kester

I heart nothing
The videos are only 320x240. Have confirmed this on another forum.

Was told they look less than great scaled up, and that they default to playing in the "Album Artwork" window in iTunes.
 

Satcomer

In Geostationary Orbit
i just received the iTunes update in my Software Update (along with Quicktime 7.0.3) in the U.S. So far along with the video playback some bug fixes are in QuickTime.
 

Damrod

Registered
Is iTunes worth the upgrade from version 5.01, or is the only new stuff the video playback? If there are bugfixes in it, I might bother loading it. But I'm not really keen on getting that video function
 

kainjow

Registered
I haven't heard any website or anyone mention the new beta Just For You feature in iTunes 6. It lists recommendations for you based on what you've bought. It's pretty cool, and is quite accurate. I just might buy some albums it showed "just for me" :)
 

IslandJordan

Registered
Has anyone been able to successfully view previews of TV shows yet through iTunes? Any word on video quality/resolution for TV shows?
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
I agree with Bryan Chaffin of The Mac Observer:
There are DRM restrictions for videos, not too surprisingly. I do so loathe DRM.

Frankly, 320 x 240 is a crappy resolution for a music video I am paying $2 for. It's great for an iPod, but on a Mac? Completely lame.
I actually don't think that's too awful for music videos, but TV shows it's a joke. Gimme a break. It seems like Apple hacked this together just to get people to shut up about it. It's a worthless implementation as far as I'm concerned.

Does anyone know what format these movies are in? I mean file format, not video format. Are they bastardizing the mp4 standard with proprietary DRM (again)? I think this could be very bad for H.264 and MPEG4 from a PR standpoint, just as the iTMS is bad for AAC. People assume that all AAC audio is locked and proprietary, which is nonsense. I don't want H.264 to get that kind of rep.

I find it interesting that the iPod has a 4:3 screen. That makes it seem like they're not gearing up to create an actual movie store, but are instead focusing on TV content. And even TV content is becoming widescreen with the slow rise of HDTV.

I am very unimpressed. I'm not paying $2 for a 320x240 TV show.
 

kainjow

Registered
I want to know if the iPod will show normal sized H.264 videos on it without any extra downsizing from iTunes.. anyone know?
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
kainjow said:
I want to know if the iPod will show normal sized H.264 videos on it without any extra downsizing from iTunes.. anyone know?
That's the big question. If it's capable of outputting 640x480 movies to a TV, then that's awesome. But I'm betting they didn't cram that much power into it. If they did, they'd probably be selling their movies at that resolution. Even if they were at the same bitrate, higher-res movies would just look better.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
They didn't. It's really just the 320*240 deal. Strangely enough, the iPod page at apple.com says at the tech specs that MPEG-4 movies can be up to 480*480 (?!) at 2.5 Mbps, whereas H.264 can be up to 768 Kbps at 320*240. I guess that's what the decoder chip can do, but basically it means you have to reencode to 320*240.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
480x480 isn't too bad. That's SVCD resolution. Of course, I'm assuming it will be doing real-time scaling to adjust the aspect ratio (like with an SVCD), because otherwise....that's just weird. But 480x360 would work, too. Not great, but definitely a step up.

480x480 MPEG4 (scaled to 640x480) would probably look a good bit better than 320x240 H.264.

Edit: With the supported bitrate disparity, MPEG4 would definitely look better than H.264.
 

Veljo

Mac Enthusiast
It's exciting to have all these features, but a punch in the stomach to know THEY'RE OF NO USE TO ME!

The ignorance of Australian music companies drives me insane. Still, in late 2005, Australia has no iTunes Music Store. All I can do is browse the US store, listen to high quality clips and do nothing about buy them. Piracy in Australia will continue.
 

mindbend

Registered
I for one have absolutely no interest in a tiny screen video iPod first of all and have equal interest (zero) in 320x240 video, especially if I'm going to pay for it. I may have been slightly interested in the video iPod if it output full res DV footage (720x480) or even 640x480 to a TV. That would be nice for client presentations, but I'll just stick to my iBook for now.

I said months ago in another thread that I have no idea who the hell has any interest in a 2.5 inch screen for watching video content. I still have no idea. Now something like the PSP I can see watching video on.

The only thing I can be optimistic about is that this is just the beginning. The first baby step in the inevitable future of all on-demand high res HD video downloadable (and ownable) on a whim.

I suspect that, in spite of my disinterest, the teen crowd will find it cool.
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
Does anyone know what format these movies are in? I mean file format, not video format. Are they bastardizing the mp4 standard with proprietary DRM (again)? I think this could be very bad for H.264 and MPEG4 from a PR standpoint, just as the iTMS is bad for AAC. People assume that all AAC audio is locked and proprietary, which is nonsense. I don't want H.264 to get that kind of rep.
Apparently they are H.264, with the same Fairplay DRM that is used for purchased AAC songs - the only difference being you cannot burn to CD/DVD. They allow playback on up to 5 computers and an unlimited number of iPods. The system is not making a big deal of the fact they're H.264 format, so I doubt its likely to have much of a negative impact on the image of H.264 as an open standard that *can* support DRM.

As for the resolution, I think it sounds about right. Bumping it up to 640x480 would significantly increase the time taken to download these. As Steve said, a TV episode will take around 10-20 minutes to download a one hour (read that as "43 mins") show. This is ideal for today's technology and makes it a handy way to catch up on the shows you've missed or grab a few favourites for a long plane trip, etc.

I hope that in the near future they provide users with the choice of two resolutions, with the default being 320x240 and offering 640x480 as an option when the vid is available in that size. This would mean practically tripling the bandwidth and storage footprint of these videos, though, but at least Apple are taking the first steps toward this.
 
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