Downloading movies

iTunes Movies in the UK - hmmmm

Back in June 2008 when Apple put movies into the UK iTunes Store I had a go and didn’t have a huge success.

So my first proper attempt to get films off the iTunes Store was not a great success, ah well maybe next time.

So now over a year later, what’s the situation?

Well I am downloading a fair few movies from the iTunes Store now, buying and renting.

I do like how quick and easy it is, and sometimes how much cheaper it is too (and annoyed by how expensive it can be too).

I usually watch the movies via an iPod through the TV, as I still haven’t got round to buying an Apple TV, but then I still don’t have that HD TV to watch them on (and I am pretty sure I can’t easily connect an Apple TV to my current TV).

I will probably get an Apple TV if I get an HD TV as I would prefer to watch HD movies on an HD screen.

I was impressed with HD on the TV Shows and downloaded Lost in HD and the newest Doctor Who special in HD too.

So is everything working?

Well not really.

My ADSL is still way too slow, which means it takes hours to download a movie. Also I have a monthly bandwidth limit which means I usually plan my iTunes downloads overnight as Plusnet my ISP gives me a “free” download time between midnight and eight in the morning.

Also now and again iTunes fails to download the movie “properly”, so it downloads it again! As a result I have two versions in my iTunes library.

However despite a few minor issues I am pleased with movies and TV on the iTunes store and use it on a regular basis.

Mobile Apps

Noticed a couple of news items on BBC News which make for interesting reading if you are interested in mobile applications. The first item I saw was on the market for mobile apps.

The market for mobile applications, or apps, will become “as big as the internet”, peaking at 10 million apps in 2020, a leading online store says.

But it is not all good news…

However, GetJar say, the developer community will decline drastically as each developer makes less money.

This is certainly apparent in the iTunes App Store where expensive useful apps, are virtually immediately undercut by similar low cost or even free apps.

But it doesn’t seem to be putting people off with the following news:

Symbian, the operating system on nearly half the world’s smartphones, is to become involved in the development of mobile applications, or apps.

So who’s creating these mobile apps and what are they creating?

Reached my bandwidth limit

Reached my bandwidth limit on my ADSL account with a day to spare!

I don’t normally get anywhere close to the cap on my ADSL connection, but some months I do get close.

The main culprit these days is the iTunes Store and BBC iPlayer. I seem to watch more video using these two services than anything else at the moment.

I do get a “free” window between midnight and 8am and I do try and schedule my video downloading during these times, otherwise I do find I use up all of my allocated bandwidth. Though sometimes you don’t want to wait!

iTunes Plus upgrades now à la carte

One of the big criticisms of the introduction of the widespread use of iTunes Plus on the iTunes Store (ie the removal of DRM) which was announced at MacWorld 2009 was the fact that you had to do an all or nothing upgrade.

That has now changed.

Upgrades now no longer have to be on a whole library basis they can be now done on an iTunes Plus upgrades now à la carte basis as seen in Apple’s FAQ (note opens in iTunes). You can now do single songs.

As a result I can upgrade my Prince songs, but not necessarily the Steps track I must have bought when I was not really with it!

iTunes Plus

12 Days of Christmas iTunes Giveaway

Apple’s iTunes Store is offering twelve days of giveaways from the 26th December to the 6th January.

For iTunes 12 Days Of Christmas, we’ve delved deep into our catalogue to pull out some real treats for the holiday season. Check back here every day for rare singles, exclusive live tracks and free music videos from some of the biggest artists in the world today. Plus classic TV programmes that you just won’t want to miss. Consider them little stocking fillers for your new iPod.

Find out more.

Amazon launch mp3 store in UK

It’s typical, I buy some tunes from the iTunes Store and then the very next day Amazon announce their new mp3 Store for the UK!

Though the songs I got from the iTunes Store were iTunes Plus (ie DRM free) the mp3 files from Amazon are encoded at 256 Kbps compared to the 128 Kbps at iTunes.

Hearing about the US version on MacBreak Weekly I am pleased to see we now have our own version here in the UK.

See what they have at the MP3 Store including lots of albums for £3.

iTunes Store

I have realised lately that I am downloading more video from the iTunes Store than in the past.  I am downloading films and TV series as well as renting films too.

I quite like the fact that I can get a TV series for £10 and downloaded Life on Mars. However that was a special offer and most series are if you buy every episode quite expensive as a result!

I still think renting is expensive at £3.49, but at least here in the UK we have 48 hours in which to watch the film, over in the USA it’s only 24 hours. Due to busy lifestyle sometimes I want to watch a movie over two evenings. I have watched a few of the 99p rentals which I think are value for money, and if there were more then I would probably rent more, but one a week!

Not tried HD, but as I don’t have an Apple TV or a HDTV not much use to me!

Renting from iTunes, hmmmm

I have finally got round to not just renting a movie from iTunes, but also taking the time to watch it as well.

Basically I wanted a film I could watch on an ipod on the train and it was one of those 99p films, “A Guy Thing“.

Not sure how I feel about renting movies, it’s not as though I have never rented a movie (as in a physical DVD) from Blockbuster before, but felt more pressure to watch a rented film from iTunes.

The terms are quite generous, you have thirty days to watch and once you start watching you have two days to watch and finish (or even watch it again).

I just felt that I had to watch it (having watched half) even though I wasn’t in the mood for it.

Will I rent again, possibly. believes iTunes receipt from Apple is junk

You might have thought that the included with OS X might have a hunch that e-mails from Apple (specifically from probably isn’t going to be a spammer.

True you as a user may mark e-mails from Apple as junk manually, but the automated process, nah!

Or so you would think!

A few days ago I “purchased” a fair few apps from the iTunes store and as per usual Apple sent me a receipt outlining my purchases. I have received many of these not just because of the stuff I buy, but also as I more often then not download the free single of the week as well.

So you can imagine my surprise when marked my latest receipt as junk! believes iTunes receipt from Apple is junk

No idea why.

App issues

It would appear that upgrading Apps on the iPhone (and in my case the iPod touch) is not as simple and straightforward as Apple would lead you to believe.

Over the internet tubes there are quite a few reports about using the in-built App store on the device itself to update doesn’t always work as expected.

Personally I have had a similar issue myself when upgrading the iDrops game on my iPod so much so I had to follow the advice given on the iDrops website.

Following the release of v1.2 of iDrops, a lot of users have reported problems with Apple’s less-than-ideal application update process in iTunes.

To help with the upgrade process, we would recommend trying to uninstall iDrops, and then installing it again (this is easy to do).

You can do this in iTunes if you manage your installed applications manually. Uncheck the iDrops application, and sync with your iPod or iPhone. iDrops will be removed from your device. Check the iDrops application again, and sync with the device again. iDrops will be re-installed. It should now launch with no problems.

So though it is possible to add and update apps on the fly, starting to look like you should avoid doing it on the iPod and if you can add and remove Apps on the computer and then sync to your iPod touch or iPhone.