iTunes has been incredibly successful, it has sold over 4 billion songs, 125 million TV shows, but only 7 million movies. Apple decided that to make their movie business a little bit better they would now offer movie rentals in iTunes.

Apple has been able to sign on all 6 of the major movie studios for this and should have over 1,000 titles by the end of February. The rented movies will be watchable on Macs, PCs, all current gen iPods (emphasis on “current gen”), and the iPhone, but what about the AppleTV. Yes it will play on the AppleTV but I’m going to talk more about that it another post.

Apple says that you will be able to start watching the movie less than 30 seconds after it starts downloading and the movies will be priced as followed:

  • $2.99 for library titles
  • $3.99 for new releases

New movies should be released in iTunes 30 days after the DVD release.

So what are the rules for this rental service? Well, you can start watching the movie any time within the first 30 days of renting it (after that it won’t play anymore) and after you start the movie you have 24 hours to finish watching it.

From what I understand the terms of service also say that you are only allowed to have the movie on one device at a time so if you start watching it on your AppleTV and want to finish watching it on your iPhone you have to use iTunes to remove it from your AppleTV and transfer it over to your iPhone.

I haven’t been able to try it out yet because frankly there aren’t any movies that are rentable that I haven’t seen (and would actually want to see) but I’m sure better movies will come in the future.

The last thing I want to give a quick mention about is the ability to purchase a DVD by Fox (currently the only one I know of is Family Guy Blue Harvest) and put the DVD in your computer and on the disc is a digital iTunes copy that will play on your iPod, AppleTV, iPhone and computer. I’m really excited to learn more about this aspect of yesterdays news.