Apple Now Lets You Watch a Rented iTunes Movie up to 48 Hours after Starting It
So as to provide its customers with a better movie rental experience, Apple has increased the time US users have to watch the movies they rent on iTunes. It used to be that American customers would only have a measly 24 hours to watch their rented iTunes movie. Thankfully, Apple has finally solved this problem by extending the watch limit to 48 hours.
American Apple Users Catch Up To Rest of the World
Apple announced their movie rental service for its iTunes service over a decade ago. The service was first debuted in the United States, and then several months later, in Canada and the United Kingdom. However, the British and Canadian versions have always offered their customers 48 hours of viewing time. Other countries followed suit, while Americans continued to be restricted by the 24-hour time limit.
Criticism of 24-hour limit
The 24-hour limitation in the United States has been criticized since the release of the rental service back in 2008. Thus, the new extension has been long-awaited. A common complaint regarding the 24-hour window was from parents of small children. After putting their kids to bed, parents looked forward to relaxing and watching a rented movie. However, they would often find they were unable to finish it before having to head to bed themselves. The 24-hour window made finishing the movie, the following night, impossible.
Apple focuses on revenue growth of iTunes service
The extension is only one of the many updates Apple has made this year in its attempt to increase the revenue from its iTunes services. In March, the company removed their playback restriction that prevented viewing rentals on more than one device. Their ‘rent once, watch anywhere’ update was met with much praise by Apple customers. Then, hot on the heels of the 48-hour extension, Apple launched their new Apple TV 4K set-top box.
The new device is capable of streaming 4K HDR films and television shows from the iTunes Store and other providers, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, owing to the enormous size of 4K media and limited storage, content in 4K resolution must be streamed. Nevertheless, the 48-hour limit makes it possible for viewers who can’t finish their rented content in one streaming session, to finish it later.
Some Apple customers are still not satisfied
Although Apple users in the United States are happy with the extended viewing time limit, some feel that 48-hours are still not enough. Many users have criticized the Apple executives for ‘not understanding the lives of ordinary people’. Meanwhile, other Apple users have responded that the limit is necessary in order for studios to license their content to iTunes.
Apple is yet to respond to the criticism.
Renting on iTunes
In order to rent movies from the iTunes Store, you’ll need to have the latest version of iTunes specific to your device, an Apple ID with a valid credit or debit card, and a high-speed internet connection. Movies can be rented from the iTunes store on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and a Mac or PC. You won’t be restricted to the device you rent on, and you will be able to access the movie on any other supported device your iTunes account is logged into.
If you’re not ready to watch the rented movie, then you can then tap Watch Later (on Apple TV), Not Now (on iOS devices) or ‘Watch Later’ on Mac and PC. You will then have a 30-day window to begin playing the movie. Movies that have not been played within 30 days will also expire and need to be rented again. You can also download movies to watch offline, by clicking the little cloud and down arrow button.
The download option is ideal for flights and other scenarios that cause you to be offline and in need of entertainment. Once you press play, the 48-hour countdown will begin. To beat the time limit, some users have tried downloading the movie and then watching it while offline. Sadly, Apple’s iTunes support page states that the timer still works even without an internet connection.
You can watch the film as often as you like until the 48-hour period ends. Expired movies will be removed from your library immediately.