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Renting Apple iTunes movies – some small discoveries

By January 21, 2009apple

About a month ago I rented a movie from Apple iTunes, thinking I would watch it on a trip I was taking. I didn't get to watch it until today, and I learned some valuable lessons which I thought I would share. First, let me get some really distressing information out of the way: the movie was The Hulk.

The reason I picked that movie was simple. I was in a hurry, and it was the top choice when I went to pick a rented movie. Perhaps because I was so unenthusiastic, I never watched it, nor remembered even ordering it. So, the first thing I learned was that as you near the end of your 30 day window to watch the movie, Apple reminds you that you are running out of time. Today, I was informed that I had only four hours to watch the movie.

I decided to take drastic action.

While I was doing some other things, I started the movie (which I had transferred to my iPhone). I was hoping that, perhaps if I began watching the movie and then paused it, I would get at least 24 hours beyond my deadline to finish watching it. It seemed like I was managing to skirt the death penalty, but then I apparently paused the movie once too many times. When I fired up my iPhone I was informed that my movie had expired and all traces of it seems to have disappeared from my phone.

I collected my thoughts and assessed the situation to see if there was a 'blogable moment' worth passing along.

So what did I learn? Even though I didn't get to finish watching it, The Hulk wasn't all that bad (it wasn't all that good either). The most interesting thing I found out is that Apple has a good system of reminding you that your video deadline is about to expire. And, I was also interested in how Apple completely scrubs the video from your remote device after the deadline has passed. I think it's safe to say that this is a company that really understands how to implement DRM.

P.S. If you appreciate my observations, you might want to join my inner circle.
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