iTunes' shrunken movie rental library

Apple promised 1,000 titles by March. It missed that mark by a long shot.

By Farhad Manjoo
Published March 4, 2008 5:13PM (EST)

When he introduced Apple's movie rental plan at Macworld in January, Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised that the system would offer 1,000 titles by the end of February.

Well, last Friday -- the last day of February -- Macworld magazine's Christopher Breen logged on to iTunes to check out all the movies available for rent. He found 399, a far cry from 1,000.

Moreover, Jobs promised 100 movies offered in high-definition video; iTunes now has only 91, and not all offer the 5.1 digital surround sound that Apple promised.

Apple will certainly get to 1,000 movies, perhaps even soon. No doubt, too, that like other restrictions on the rental plan -- including the silly 24-hour time limit on each rental -- you could probably trace the problem back to negotiations with movie companies.

Still, considering all those restrictions, what's the selling-point, again, of Apple TV? Just wondering.

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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