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Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Apple to Announce iTunes Movie Rentals

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs will reportedly use his keynote address to announce the debut of movie rentals through the iTunes Music Store, at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next month.

Apple is said to have ironed out agreements with Walt Disney, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros., and is currently in talks with other major movie studios as well. It's unknown to what extent content will be available come the August 7 announcement, or whether Apple will announce all its studio deals at that time.

The rent videos are expected to be coded with a date stamp that will restrict playback. Industry experts believe that Apple's software would likely either limit the number of playbacks or provided unlimited viewing for a period of time, after which the movie will be "turned off" and no longer available.

Apple had been trying for months to persuade the movie studios that the model of buying individual titles, as the iTunes Music Store offers with music, was the way to go. The studios, however, has been fixed on offering only a subscription or rental-based model.

New iPod Nano
Apple is also expected to roll-out the second generation of its iPod nano music player at its Worldwide Developer's Conference. The new nano is said to be very similar to the current offering but will feature increased capacity and be available in multiple colors.

Exact capacities are not known, but reasonable speculation suggests the line will top out at 6GB or 8GB. Separately, rumblings suggest that Apple has procured a large number of 40GB and 80GB 1.8-inch hard drives for use in an updated 5G iPod.

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