Look inside the code of the latest version of iTunes (version 7.5), and you will find eight lines that speak volumes about Apple’s next move in video. Movie rentals and video-on-demand, it appears, are now baked into iTunes, just waiting to be turned on.
When Evan DiBiase bothered to look at the code of the new version of iTunes and compare it to the last version, these eight lines popped out at him:
GET VOD ACCOUNT SELECTION LIST
Apple has not announced anything on the movie rental or video-on-demand (VOD) front, but these lines suggest that these options may be turned on soon. It is not clear what the difference between a rental and a digital VOD would be. Perhaps the VOD option will be for Apple TV?
When it comes to movies, rentals are more appealing to consumers, who tend to watch most movies only once or twice and have been trained to rent them cheaply. Who wants to fill up their hard drive with huge movie file downloads that cost $9.99 apiece? (A digital rental would presumably disappear after a certain time, as opposed to a permanent download that you might be hesitant to trash after you watch it because you actually paid for it). Sounds like Apple is finally coming around to the realization that movies are for renting. Too bad Amazon and Netflix are already way ahead of Apple on the digital movie rental front.