Why the inclusion of Gracenote 'Blu-ray' in iTunes 8.2 beta is nothing
Thanks to the fine-toothed comb that the Mac faithful run over their updates, readers of MacRumors noticed a passage contained within the iTunes 8.2 beta "About iTunes" window that references DVD and Blu-ray.
Because iTunes does not support the playback of DVDs or Blu-ray discs, the rumor mill's first train of thought went directly to Blu-ray Macs, and then to DVD ripping in iTunes. But before you too head down that bumpy road, let's look at the context of which the discs were mentioned.
It simply reads: "CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and music and video-related data from Gracenote Inc. copyright 2000 to present," and then goes on to list Gracenote's copyrights and patents, including CDDB, MusicID, and MediaVOCS.
This does not mean iTunes will be able to read or recognize Blu-ray Discs. Though Gracenote was not at liberty to directly confirm this fact to Betanews this morning, it appears as though the iTunes beta incorporates Gracenote's VideoID, which all previous versions of iTunes lacked. The company's synopsis of the software says, "With VideoID integrated into user-facing applications, the consumer can easily flip through thousands of films via their cover art images, read the synopsis of a film, find out the actors and actresses in it, or link to contextual commerce opportunities. VideoID is capable of identifying discs whether they are in a tray, drive, changer, on a hard drive, on network storage; anywhere you have access to the original disc information files."
Gracenote VideoID does not need the disc to be present to identify content.
The company goes on to say, "In an exclusive partnership with the British Film Institute, Gracenote is integrating the world's largest film and television archive of more than 800,000 total works into its service. Data from Muze and Stingray will provide the Global Media Database with virtually every DVD, and Blu-ray disc released in the US, UK, and Japan, including cover art, credits, synopsis, reviews, and more."
Now that the iTunes store is beginning to carry high-definition video in greater concentration, all this fine print means is that the film's information either on playback or in the iTunes store itself could have been pulled from Gracenote's immense database.