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iTunes 9 to carry Blu-ray support?

updated 03:50 pm EDT, Sat August 8, 2009

iTunes 9 May Get Blu-ray

iTunes 9 could center on the addition of Blu-ray movie playback, according to a rumor floated on Saturday. A veteran source for BGR says that the Apple jukebox software, which currently can't play any videos on disc, will gain support for the HD movie format. It would also reportedly gain some level of interaction with Facebook, Twitter and potentially the Internet radio service Last.fm. It would also supposedly be possible to reorganize iPhone apps.

When iTunes 9 will ship isn't mentioned, though the company normally reserves significant updates to the media software for special music events in September or October.

A move towards Blu-ray video would downplay the importance of DVD Player for disc playback but would also be a shift in attitudes at Apple. Company chief Steve Jobs is well known for having referred to Blu-ray as a "bag of hurt" based on the licensing and copy protection needed to play videos, and the company as a whole has normally preferred sending customers towards 720p videos on iTunes. Upgrading to 1080p at its online store may be difficult, however, as the files are normally much larger and often won't start playing quickly without a very fast Internet connection.

However, the rumor appears just as Apple is rumored to be extending the iMac with a pair of mysterious but important new features with its next update. While Blu-ray hasn't been directly linked to the update, speculation has it as one of the most likely new additions.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. MacAssemble

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +3

    iTunes?

    My guess is that Snow Leopard may bring Blu-Ray support and that will trickle down to iTunes 9. I think Blu-Ray is too dependent on the system and OS to just be "popped-in" among a normal software update.

  1. JonathanBadeen

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    -1

    Re: iTunes?

    All you need is a Blu-Ray player and software that can decrypt encrypted Blu-Ray video discs. It doesn't need any more OS support except for drivers. You can already get Blu-Ray players/recorders for Macs but they can't play movies because there is no software. It requires licensing just like DVD's to provide such software. The only reason I can think of for doing it in iTunes is so that it can be used cross platform. If they upgraded the DVD player software that would only be available for Mac. Hopefully that will get it too though cuz that is a nice piece of software though Blu-Ray actually provides a lot of the kind of features they hacked into DVD's with the Leopard DVD Player. So yes it can be just "popped-in" with a software update provided you have a hardware blu-ray player with drivers for the Mac (which as I said do exist).

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    +3

    Re: iTunes?

    Jonathan, you are sorely misinformed as to the requirements of the Blu-Ray industry. What you list is the bare minimum to be able to decode and play a Blu-Ray disc. What you are forgetting, is that the industry has already demanded and MS has given in to absolutely insane hardware and software support for pervasive DRM throughout the Windows OS to gain the ability to play Blu-Ray discs. And this DRM adds costs to all systems, whether or not they have a Blu-Ray disc player attached.

    There's no reason to believe that the industry won't demand something similar from Apple.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    +1

    blue ray licensing

    That's what I heard also. Blue-ray licensing is more crazier and restrict than DVD.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    licensing

    Is it really worth all the hassle? The most important feature is to create and burn a BR disk, playback is not worth the 'bag of hurt' and rework the whole OS to accommodate the b*******.

    A workaround could be the iMac, the BR player could be connected directly to the screen bypassing the OS.

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    0

    Blu-Ray -- meh.

    I have no idea why people are so fixated on this so-called "feature." I couldn't care less about playing BR discs on my Mac. I'd much prefer a more data-oriented disc format that would allow me to store many GBs (100s) of data at an affordable cost.I'd also MUCH prefer an HD video format that doesn't come with massive amounts of restrictive DRM (and BR has DRM restrictions that make iTunes' former scheme look positively libertine!). If I'm buying video, I want to be able to use it on any device I want without hassle.The truth of the matter is that BR is likely to be superseded in a few years by superior formats anyway, so I'm VERY hesitant to invest much into it.

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    -3

    Blu-Ray -- meh.

    I have no idea why people are so fixated on this so-called "feature." I couldn't care less about playing BR discs on my Mac. I'd much prefer a more data-oriented disc format that would allow me to store many GBs (100s) of data at an affordable cost.

    I'd also MUCH prefer an HD video format that doesn't come with massive amounts of restrictive DRM (and BR has DRM restrictions that make iTunes' former scheme look positively libertine!). If I'm buying video, I want to be able to use it on any device I want without hassle.

    The truth of the matter is that BR is likely to be superseded in a few years by superior formats anyway, so I'm VERY hesitant to invest much into it.

  1. outdo13

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2007

    -1

    The other way around

    I think, given the slow adoption of Blu-ray by consumers, that the Blu-ray mfgrs would want to provide some incentive for Apple to adopt this, since Apple is the dominant player is electronic distribution. IMHO, tho, I don't think Steve has much interest in promoting it. He wants to go to direct download and play, foregoing any intermediate media.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +2

    I'm for Blu-ray Macs

    I'd like to see Apple add full Blu-ray (and SACD) support, but if the licensing fees will drive up the cost of Macs, is it worth it when dedicated players (which also upsample standard def DVDs) can be had for a reasonable amount.

    There are those who say that streaming HD video is the way to go, but there's not sufficient bandwidth to allow FULL-HD 1080p downloads at this point in time. I rent Blu-ray disks from NetFlix.

    For me, mainly about the audio and video quality, but I agree, it's also about mass data storage and archiving, which could be a great addition as well.

  1. CmdrGampu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009

    +3

    Slow adoption?

    outdo13, you may want to do some research. Blu-ray is going gangbusters. The recently released Watchmen saw 36% its unit sales as Blu-ray. That's more than one in three disc sets. Anybody who's not biased will admit that's pretty good for a format that's only a couple of years old and only had the last 16 months without having to fight a format war.

    Oh, and as to why Apple might already be a little interested: they've been on the Blu-ray Disc Association board of directors for years. It's not like they've never had anything to do with Blu-ray.

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