Downloading movies is kind of a fool’s game. You have the movie on disk, but now what? Am I going to burn it to a DVD so my kid can watch it? Probably not. I basically paid – or didn’t pay – for content I’ll never access again.
Well, it seems Apple is thinking about adding streaming to the next version of iTunes and, presumably, offering cheaper streaming prices for those so inclined. I could totally see two things happening – iTunes 8 and Apple TV offering video “rental” – 99 cents seems about right – and, and this is far fetched, some sort of little program they can put into another device to grab your iTunes content on multiple systems a la Netflix.
Will this happen? I’d say rentals are on the horizon and streaming is definitely in the cards. Creating an army of iTunes compatible hardware from other vendors is a little harder to swallow, simply because of Apple’s insistence on closing things up. But remember – Motorola got Apple to open up a little and allow them direct iTunes compatibility so it’s not too far off to assume Apple could talk home entertainment device makers into stuffing some iTunes code into their next release.