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iTunes Movie Rentals almost made me stop pirating. Almost.

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[photopress:movierentalsalmost_1.jpg,full,center]

They were this close from getting me to stop pirating movies. Next year, maybe.

The just announced iTunes Movie Rentals isn’t a bad deal at all. For $3.99, you can download standard-def “new releases” (more on that in a moment) and watch them on your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod, and whatever else in the iTunes family. Older releases are $1 cheaper, while high-def version add $1 to the standard-def prices. Movie rentals expire 24 hours after hitting “play.”

The problem I have, and what I see as a big “oh, so damn close” moment for movie industry, is the timing of the releases. You have to wait 30 days after the DVD release of the movie for it to hit the iTunes Store. What’s with the time delay? Who made the decision, “Yeah, let’s hold onto our DVD sales for just a little while later”?

You know what would’ve been great and what would’ve have stopped my pirating ways? If the movies hit the rental store 30 days after their theatrical release. Don’t most movies make the bulk of their money in the first weekend? What’s the harm in, one month later, throwing the movie on iTunes and letting you rent it. I don’t even have to buy the movie. Nine times out of ten I’m fine with watching a movie just once,

Here’s my line of thinking: If the movies were on iTunes one month after hitting the theaters, which you know I hate going to, I’d have no reason to pirate them. What’s the point in downloading a crappy CAM or Telesync if I can get a DVD quality version in one month? At that point, the $4 rental price might as well be $0 and I’d be all over it.

But no, movie industry, keep getting dragged into the 21st century by the likes of Apple. Give me a decent alternative and I won’t have to download your movies (when they’re good enough to even warrant a download in the first place).

iTunes [Apple]

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