Despite of expectations, Apple, a leading maker of personal computers and portable digital media players, did not announce any system featuring Blu-ray disc drive. Could it mean that the format that is supported by Apple is actually not needed by the company in any way?
Instead, the firm said that HD DVD, which is supported by Microsoft Corp., has lost the format war; currently there is no need to buy a physical disc to watch a high-definition movie since Apple iTunes now offers to rent movies in 720p resolution; as well as announced so-called iPod digital copy, which will be distributed on DVDs released by the 20th Century Fox studio.
“Clearly, Blu-ray won, but in the new world order of instant online movie rentals, in HD, no one will care about what format is where. Funny how fast tech can move,” said Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple, in an interview with CNBC.
If Blu-ray is set to take over the world, why not allow customers of Apple to take advantage of the technology early enough, especially given the fact that Blu-ray disc (as well as HD DVD) allows consumers to watch high-definition movies in 1920x1080 resolution with advanced audio, but for $20 - $30 a title? Instead, Apple offers its customers to rent one of 100 high-definition titles in 1280x720 resolution without advanced audio for $3.99 - $4.99 a day.
In addition to movie rentals, users of Apple’s digital media players from now on will be able to take advantage of the so-called iTunes digital copy, which will allow owners of portable multimedia players to enjoy their purchased DVDs on their mobile devices.
The new iTunes Digital Copy provides an easy way to transfer a DVD purchase to a user’s iTunes library. Once a customer buys the DVD, they insert it into their computer, enter a unique code into iTunes and iTunes automatically copies the movie to their iTunes library within minutes. As a result, the content can be viewed on a computer, iPod and Apple TV. Each DVD will only transfer its iTunes Digital Copy to one iTunes library.