Special Coverage: Apple's Macworld Announcements

iTunes Rentals
Apple announced iTunes movie rentals with support from all the major studios. DVD-quality rentals will cost $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases. The service launches today and expects to have 1,000 titles available by the end of February.

Apple TV has been updated to include support for direct rentals — including ones in high-definition with Dolby 5.1 surround sound. HD rentals will cost $3.99 for library titles and $4.99 for new releases. HD rentals can only be obtained through Apple TV and cannot be transfered to iPods or Macs. 100 titles will be available on launch. The price of the AppleTV was dropped to $229.

Users have 30 days to start watching a rental and 24 hours to finish once it has begun.

Twentieth Century Fox and Apple also announced “Digital Copy for iTunes,” a file that will be included on DVD releases of Fox movies. The copy can be transferred to iTunes, iPods, iPhones and AppleTV. The first DVD with the file is a Family Guy disc that is being released today.

MacBook Air
Apple introduced the world’s thinnest notebook, a MacBook that measures only .16 inches at its thinnest point. It features a 13.3 inch LED-backlit widescreen display and five hours of battery life. The trackpad supports finger gestures for pinching, rotating and swiping on-screen elements. The computer lacks an optical drive but software allows users to “borrow” the drives of other networked computers (including PCs) for burning. It includes either a 1.6 GHZ Intel Core Duo 2 processor, 2GB of memory and an 80 GB drive. For an extra fee, users can trade the 80 GB drive for a 64 GB SSD. It costs $1,799 for the base model.

Time Capsule
Time Capsule is an Airport base station with a hard drive that wirelessly (and automatically) saves backups for computers on the network. It comes in 2 sizes – 500 GB ($299) and 1 TB ($499).

iPhone and iPod Touch Software updates
The iPhone software will be updated to include Maps with location triangulation, Web Clips and support for iTunes movie rentals. Users can now personalize the iPhone home screen and create multiple home screens (similar to the Spaces feature in Leopard). The update is free.

The iPod Touch will gain Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather and Notes. It also includes the new Web Clips feature and support for iTunes movie rentals. The software update costs $19.99.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.



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