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Apple iTMS TV show quality review

This is an old review I wrote and never posted, but it’s still relevant today. My conclusion is up to date for 2011.

Having just purchased and watched seasons 1 and 2 of The Tudors from iTunes (I missed them on Showtime), I was searching the net for other peoples thoughts on the quality of these TV shows. One review I came across was from, concering iTunes quality vs Bit Torrent. Since their blog post in 2005, Apple seems to have upped the standard of their TV show offerings.

I’m be the first to admit that I’m an Apple fan, with my Mac laptop the primary downloader of these TV Shows, syncing to my iPhone and also viewing the shows via front row on my Mac Mini. It’s the viewing of these on the Mac Mini I will review.

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Australian iTunes Store offers TV Shows

Practically un-announced, Apple have made available a limited number of TV shows on the Australian iTunes Music Store.

While I commend the move, I have to question their pricing. The US store offers TV shows @ USD$1.99 per episode (with Some more expensive) The Australian Store offers the episodes @ AUD$2.99, which equates to approximately USD$2.85.

Why the difference? You can’t tell me Apple has set-up different infrastructure and have different hosting for Media in Australia. They are not paying to send the data over international links. So why the over 40% increase in pricing from the US?

I think the local media companies and licensers got greedy. It is as simple as that.

It’s not just the price that gets me down. The content is different. The continually stupid regionalisation of content has shown to be a road block to people GLOBALLY. For example:

  • DVDs (remember region coding at the end of the last decade?);
  • TV – why do shows still get screened outside the USA weeks or months later;
  • Movies;
  • or music.

Yes this is a global economy people. The ease of Torrent sites to circumvent this division of content drives the end user towards increased use of torrents. It is now apparently easier to get a season of your favourite show from the internet than wait for it to appear on TV; or on iTMS. The only people wising up to this are the Movies Studios whom now do simultaneous global releases, because they were losing too much money.

Until the pricing on the Apple store is the same, and Australia gets the same releases as the US at the same time (on TV or on iTMS) – people will continue to use torrent sites as their source of the latest TV shows from the USA. Plain and simple – “Listen up Media conglomerates!!”

Update: It looks like they did release a press release yesterday.

iTMS corrupted songs

An album I purchased on iTMS recently had a nasty clicking sound in one of the songs. Its was part of the intro track to an Opera, and really hits you in the ear each time you hear it unexpectedly.

I had only just got around to reporting the issue, but iTMS staff rejected the issue due to the timeliness of my report – about 3 months after the purchase. I wrote back advising that this was a “premium cost” iTunes Plus track, and there is still an issue with the track they are selling, no matter the time frame. The response:

Apple takes the quality of the items offered on the iTunes Store seriously and will investigate the issue with this item, but please keep in mind that the iTunes Store does not own the content that we sell and does not have the right to alter the files, even to repair them. The most we can do is contact the content owner and request a repaired replacement, so I can’t say when or if the issue will be resolved. Please try again in a few weeks.

This equates to the fact that they can’t fix the song they are selling. They did give me a song credit, with the advice:

I have also issued a replacement song credit to your account … Please note that song credits are not able to be used for purchasing songs that are listed as Album Only.

And wouldn’t you know it! The bad song is Album only, so IF they fix it, i would have to buy the track again.

Time to look elsewhere? Amazon is not an option as it is US only. A big Duh to the other major online emusic retailers.