Wed, 16 Jan 2008

iTunes Movie Rentals, part 1

rental screencapAfter 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…

:: 01:27
:: /entertainment/movies | [+]
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