After watching the Macworld 2008 keynote, the first thing I wanted to try out were the new movie rentals from the iTunes store. After updating to iTunes 7.6 and visiting the movies section of the store, I saw, confusingly, that there was a pane for “Top Rentals”, but no movie I selected was actually available for rental. Hmm…
I visited the store a few more times over the course of the evening, but I didn’t actually see rental buttons start to appear on movies until after midnight EST.
Seeing as I’m on the road this week stuck in a hotel room, it seemed like a great opportunity to try a rental. I went ahead and clicked the RENT MOVIE button, which popped open a dialog asking me if I really wanted to rent the movie, and then added it to my cart. After switching to my cart and clicking the purchase button, I got a screenful of legal gibberish to agree to before I could actually complete the transaction. Dumb — why couldn’t this screenful of garbage have been tacked onto the other screenful of garbage I had to blow past when I ran iTunes 7.6 for the first time? To add insult, after agreeing to the clickwrap, iTunes informed me that I’d have to attempt my purchase again. Yes, I had to go back to the movie’s screen, as assenting to the license helpfully emptied my cart. Asstastic usability there, guys.
During the keynote, Jobs was able to start viewing his rental a few seconds after beginning the download. In the real world (i.e. on sketchy hotel wifi) it looks like the download is going to take about 2 hours (for a 1.14GB movie). I guess I won’t start my 24-hour viewing window until tomorrow sometime — it’s time for sleep.
addendum: Download stalled at about the 75% point (did I mention how flaky the hotel wifi was?) Resumed when I woke up…
First as to speech. That privilege rests upon the premise that
there is no proposition so uniformly acknowledged that it may not be
lawfully challenged, questioned, and debated. It need not rest upon
the further premise that there are no propositions that are not
open to doubt; it is enough, even if there are, that in the end it is
worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy. Hence it
has been again and again unconditionally proclaimed that there are
no limits to the privilege so far as words seek to affect only the hearers’
beliefs and not their conduct. The trouble is that conduct is almost
always based upon some belief, and that to change the hearer’s belief
will generally to some extent change his conduct, and may even evoke
conduct that the law forbids.
[cf. Learned Hand, The Spirit of Liberty, University of Chicago Press, 1952;
The Art and Craft of Judging: The Decisions of Judge Learned Hand,
edited and annotated by Hershel Shanks, The MacMillian Company, 1968.]