31 Comments

Summary:

The Boy Genius Report is claiming to have received a tip that Blu-ray support will be coming to iTunes 9, which may be arriving as soon as next month. Also reportedly in iTunes 9 is the long sought-after ability to arrange iPhone/iPod touch icon positions from […]

The Boy Genius Report is claiming to have received a tip that Blu-ray support will be coming to iTunes 9, which may be arriving as soon as next month. Also reportedly in iTunes 9 is the long sought-after ability to arrange iPhone/iPod touch icon positions from within iTunes, instead of having to do it on the device itself. In addition, there will be some kind of integration with Twitter/Facebook and Last.FM — presumably this would allow sending the currently playing song to the social-networking sites, removing the need to run a separate application to do this.

Combine this claim with another rumor this week, this time from Apple Insider, which claims that new features will be coming to the iMac that will cater to the semi-professional audio/video crowd. Lets not forget that since iTunes 8.2, the Gracenote copyright also references Blu-ray. Are the stars aligning to where we will finally get Blu-ray?

The lack of built-in Blu-ray support has been a much-debated topic by Mac users. Steve Jobs himself claimed in October last year that “Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt. It’s great to watch the movies, but the licensing of the tech is so complex, we’re waiting till things settle down and Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace.” Is it possible that nearly a year later things have finally settled down? In February this year Sony, Phillips and Panasonic announced a simplified licensing process for Blu-ray that also included cheaper fees. With more and more content being released for Blu-ray, is the time finally ripe for adoption?

There is still seemingly one hurdle in the path of Apple embracing Blu-ray: the strict Digital Rights Management requirements. In a crazy DRM world, it seems that the copyright powers are trying to compromise by allowing one authorized copy starting next year — however, downloading to iPods and portable devices is strictly excluded.

The bigger question for me is still: “Why do I want or need Blu-ray anyway?” It is much easier for me to download high-definition video content than clutter my house with more physical discs. How many people really need Blu-ray?

  1. Don’t forget how over priced blueray discs are. The media companies are using blueray as a new cash cow. Especially on TV series.

    Share
    1. It’s Blu-ray, not blueray dumb-dumb. There is no merit in your comment if your can’t even spell the medium correctly.

      Share
    2. Pointing out spelling mistakes is far more lame than making them in the first place. It is also not a valid form of argument. I’m pretty sure that makes you the dumb-dumb.

      Share
  2. Interesting, so this is coming at roughly the same time as the much speculated iTablet?

    Share
  3. I have a new MBP 17″ with HD screen. I have no interest in buying Blu-ray’s, but would love the option to rent them. DVD upscaling is just no match, plus HD from iTunes is not full HD (oh, and I have to wait a month longer to rent movies compared to my local Blu-ray rental store.

    Share
    1. I agree, Blu-ray is much higher quality than anything (currently) available for download, from iTunes or anywhere else. The downloaded files aren’t bad, but if you really care about video and audio quality, and if you like all of the bonus features included, there is no substitute for Blu-ray right now.

      A 17″ MacBook Pro w/Blu-ray would be my dream laptop. I’m waiting with cash in hand.

      Share
    2. heartily agree with you!

      Share
  4. While I agree that I’d prefer to just download or stream movies over the Internet, I’m guessing Blu-ray is going to be around a handful of years. Today if you watch a lot of movies online, it’s pretty easy to start bumping into the limitations on choices compared to physical media. I would attribute those limitations to the distribution chain dragging their feet on releases and the mainstream population not being so far up the online movie watching adoption curve.

    It seems to me the perfect bridge is a online device that also offers Blu-ray. Those features on AppleTV would be cool, but I’d actually like to have the full capabilities of a Mac mini at the heart of my home entertainment center. If the Mac mini offered Blu-ray, I’d be first in line to buy one.

    Share
  5. I rent discs from Netflix, so I’d love to be able to play Blu-ray discs from Netflix rental on my Mac mini, which is already hooked to my HDTV. However, I would hate having to use iTunes as the application to play them (it’s just too big and clunky). Maybe just integrating Blu-ray capabilities into the DVD player would be more streamlined and easier to use.

    Share
  6. Howie Isaacks Sunday, August 9, 2009

    I wonder if this will make it necessary for Apple to change the name of iTunes to meet the changing feature set. I’ve often wondered why Apple hasn’t done away with the DVD player app. They could simply bundle that functionality into iTunes. The challenge would be to make sure that iTunes does not become so loaded down with multiple functions that it launches slowly.

    Share
    1. And it’s already incredibly slow and bloated with interface elements all over the place. Not only that, but it doesn’t play half of the movie codecs that are out there, let alone show subtitles.
      Even for playing my home-produced quicktime movies, I wouldn’t dream of playing them with iTunes. It’s just not a video app.
      I’m not saying I wouldn’t like iTunes 9 to become a video app, just that it needs a serious, serious overhaul.

      Share
  7. Bluray has no value to me. Optical drives are out of fashion and have been for some time for me. Like the author wrote. Downloading content is much more appealing to me. Same for music. It no use buying a physical CD since i rip it the minute i get home into iTunes.

    Share
  8. [...] more at The Apple Blog Categories: theAppleBlog Tags: Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment [...]

    Share
  9. I apologise if this question seems silly, but will my existing optical drive in my iMac be able to play Blue-ray discs? Also, does the screen/monitor itself need to be compatible to get the best output?

    Share
    1. Paul Frederickson Sunday, August 9, 2009

      If this is somehow true, you will need a Blu-ray drive, the regular DVD drive will not read BD discs. In my opinion before iTunes support would be available, new macs would need to come with Blu-ray drives built in.

      As far as monitor support, the new iMacs have a screen resolution of 1680×1050 (20″) which is technically HD already.

      Share
    2. No, you need a dedicated drive.

      The name Blu-ray Disc derives from the blue-violet laser used to read the disc. While a standard DVD uses a 650 nanometre red laser, Blu-ray uses a shorter wavelength, a 405 nm blue-violet laser, and allows for almost six times more data storage than on a DVD.

      Share
  10. Paul Frederickson Sunday, August 9, 2009

    I don’t see the point of Blu-Ray iTunes support, it doest really have DVD support.. it’s not like you can rip them anyway. I would be more impressed by BD support announced as a surprise for the DVD player application in snow leopard.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post