New iTunes now ready for download

Among the announcements at the Macworld Keynote speech, iTunes received an upgrade that makes it possible to rent movies when they become available in February and adds features to enhance Apple TV.

Macworld 2008

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.

iTunes Rentals
Top movies like Ratatouille will be available by the end of February (Credit: Courtesy of Apple)

Once you find a movie you want to watch in iTunes, you'll be able to use your iTunes Store account to rent the title, making it available on your computer to begin watching for 30 days. Clicking play starts the movie stream in about 30 seconds. Once you start the movie, you'll have 24 hours to finish it, whether you transfer it to your Apple TV, iPhone, or iPod Touch. You can watch the movie as many times as you want in that 24-hour period.

iTunes Movie Rentals
Rented movies are easily transfered to your iPhone and iPod. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Owners of Apple TV will be able to purchase and download TV shows, music, and more, directly on your Apple TV. This latest version of iTunes will let you transfer purchases made on Apple TV back to your computer.

Rentals will cost $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases. If you want HD quality, you can rent titles for only a dollar more at $4.99.

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.