Apple Adds Movies to iTunes Store

As expected, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced "one more thing" on Tuesday: movie downloads through iTunes. Customers will initially have access to 75 films, with more being added each week. For now, however, only movies from Disney will be offered.

Disney-owned studios, including Disney itself, Pixar, Touchstone and Miramax are among those offering the first movies on iTunes. New releases will cost $12.99 USD when pre-ordered and during the first week, later rising to $14.99 USD.

Older library titles will cost $9.99 USD. Once downloaded, users will own the films indefinitely, and they will not expire like on other subscription-based services. However, the movies cannot be burned to DVD for watching on a TV.

Jobs said the movies are "near DVD quality" with a resolution of 640x480. With a cable Internet connection, downloading will take about 30 minutes, and customers can watch the films as they are downloading. Dolby Surround audio is included in each movie.

For now, the offering will be United States only, but Apple hopes to offer movies internationally sometime next year once it can work out the licensing issues. Users can watch trailers of the movies via iTunes before purchasing.

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