When I was a college student living on a lowly work-study salary, few things angered me more than shelling out dough for a required course book, only to have the professor assign a single chapter for reading. (It's been 10 years since I took the class, but I still remember fuming as I paid $30 for 30 pages in From Max Weber.) And don't get me started on science textbooks that cost hundreds of dollars but only net you a few bucks once the class is over.
Update at 6:15 p.m. PDT to add areas that may likely see delays in delivery.
Update at 7:55 p.m. to reflect that the site has since come back online.
Netflix customers expecting a little red package soon may be disappointed.
The largest online video-rental service has suffered a technical glitch that has knocked out its Web site as well as its logistics and delivery systems, according to a Steve Swasey, a company spokesman.
The malfunction, the source of which the company won't reveal, began at about 7 a.m. PDT. The site came back online … Read more
Updated at 4:00 p.m. PDT: We have posted a completely new story here that details how Netflix will be forced to delay deliveries.
Internet movie rental company Netflix suffered a site outage beginning at 7 a.m. PDT Monday, and the company doesn't know when it will have the problem fixed, a Netflix spokesman said.
Customer service personnel told CNET News.com that they were told the site was undergoing routine maintenance when something went wrong, information they then passed on to customers. That is incorrect, according to Steve Swasey, the company's director of corporate communications. … Read more
Apple fell far short of its goal of rolling out 1,000 movies for rent through the iTunes Store by the end of February.
Macworld's Christopher Breen checked in Friday on Apple's promise, and found that just 351 titles are available to rent through the latest version of Apple TV. If you check the iTunes Store from a Mac or PC, there are 399 movies available to rent. Breen notes that even if you include all the movies available through the iTunes Store, for both purchase and rentals, there are only 770 available.
At Macworld, when Apple CEO … Read more
If Warner Bros.' decision to go exclusively with Blu-ray Disc was an industry-rattling earthquake, Monday's news that Netflix would begin to phase out HD DVD rentals is an inevitable aftershock: much smaller impact, potentially damaging, and still leaves everyone feeling unsettled.
By the end of the year Netflix will no longer offer HD DVD movies to customers, opting to exclusively stock Blu-ray Discs in its online rental service. In the company's announcement, Netflix said it made the decision based on Blu-ray's recent momentum--Universal and Paramount are the only remaining major Hollywood studios with agreements to release … Read more
It's going to be a few more days before the world gets a crack at the new and improved Apple TV. Looking to kill some time during that interminable delay? It's a perfect opportunity to check out the major competing hardware options that already offer the same on-demand Internet movie rental functionality. … Read more
From an iPod perspective, the biggest announcement from Macworld 2008 has to be iTunes video rentals. Beginning in February, those of you who own an iPhone, iPod Classic, iPod Touch, or 3G iPod Nano, will be able to rent and transfer movies from iTunes. iTunes movie rentals will be priced at $3.99 for new releases and $2.99 for older titles. While I'll have to wait and see how well renting movies in iTunes works, at first glance this looks like a huge win for the iPod.
Only a few competing MP3 players have dipped their toes into integrated video rental services. Specifically, the Archos line of portable video players and the Samsung YP-P2 have an arrangement with CinemaNow, which allows identically-priced movie rentals. While Apple might not be the first to pioneer DRM-protected movie rentals, no one has pulled it off at this scale. The built-in audience of iTunes users and iPod owners provides a staggering amount of leverage for Apple to completely change the way people rent and watch movies. But will it really stick?… Read more
Update: Check out three related videos with more info on the forthcoming Apple TV upgrade: Steve Jobs comments during his keynote address; the video guided tour on Apple's Web site; and a summary from CNET's Donald Bell. This post has also been updated since its original publication with additional information.
The Apple TV just got a whole lot more useful.
Steve Jobs unveiled a major feature update to the Apple TV today during his Macworld keynote address in San Francisco that aims to transform the device from a TV-based iTunes media viewer to a more full-featured media-on-demand device. The hardware will remain the same, with the entry-level 40GB model dropping from $300 to $230, but a free software upgrade--available in two weeks--will add the following functionality:
Among the new product announcements at the Macworld 2008 keynote, iTunes received a brand new feature: movie rentals! With the latest version of iTunes for both Windows and Mac, you will be able to rent movies from all the major studios including Touchstone, MGM, Miramax, Lions Gate, Fox, WB, Walt Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Sony. Apple was able to strike a deal with studios which allowed iTunes to receive new releases 30 days after the DVD release. The first wave of movie rentals will launch by the end of February with over 1,000 titles.
Once you find a movie … Read more