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Rotten Tomatoes Reviews and Ratings Now Available in iTunes

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The iTunes (s aapl) movie store just got a lot more usable thanks to a small but significant update that went live today. As of now, the iTunes movie store features Top Critics’ reviews and the Tomatometer rating score from Rotten Tomatoes prominently displayed above customer reviews on every movie page. It’s the only review source I really trust when deciding whether or not to see something, and now I don’t even have to leave iTunes to check it.

As an example of why this is such a handy thing to have, take Valentine’s Day, a movie well recognized as one of the great stinkers of the year so far. But if you check it out in iTunes, at least here in the Canadian store, the average rating is four stars. iTunes alone would’ve steered you wrong. The Tomatometer rates it 18 percent rotten, and the Top Critics all pan it. Saved from a bad purchase.

The Rotten Tomatoes features will also let you know when a movie is exceptionally good. The screenshot that accompanies this article shows the Rotten Tomatoes box for Office Space, a modern classic by Mike Judge that you really should see if you haven’t already, especially if you’ve spent any time working in a cookie cutter cubicle-farm type office. Note the “Certified Fresh” award icon next to the Tomatometer rating. This is an honor bestowed upon especially awesome films.

You can also click through to see the actual Rotten Tomatoes page for any movie (so long as it’s actually been rated on RT, of course), which will give you access to full-length reviews from users and critics, more information, and the ability to buy it in physical form or add it to your Netflix queue.

Kudos to Apple for introducing a small, simple change that has a significant positive effect on overall user experience. But will it encourage you to buy movies on iTunes?

Related TechUniversity Screencasts: iTunes 101 and Smart Playlists (subscription required)

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