Thursday, December 8

Video streaming reaches iTunes

There is talk that Apple is preparing to provide video streaming to iTunes users with a web-enabled device.

The AppleInsider is reporting that Apple will implement a video streaming service on iTunes 8, allowing users to stream purchased video content, primarily movies and TV shows, from the company’s servers directly to portable devices without the need for local storage. Called iTunes Replay, AppleInsider was unsure whether consumers would be charged for the service, however, stated that Apple would serve as a media center alternative, addressing complaints from users not wanting to store files on the hard drive. or media discs. .

Apple’s iTunes Replay service could mark the company’s passive attempt to dethrone Netflix and its streaming rental service. While the latter company offers the streaming service for free to paying subscribers, Apple may introduce a similar service that would allow consumers to pay an unlimited monthly fee for streaming movies and TV without needing to be owner. Netflix has already gained a large share of the online rental business, offering streaming services to both PC owners and Xbox 360 console owners. A Netflix app is also included on many ready-to-use DTVs and Blu-ray players. Internet.

But streaming video content has its drawbacks. As AppleInsider points out, users will need to maintain high-quality bandwidth during playback; otherwise, they will face an interruption while the transmission is stored in memory. However, Apple TV owners would benefit from iTunes Replay in many ways, eliminating the need to sync and copy files from the PC. No longer would iPhone and iPod Touch owners suffer from storage limitations, they can now view streamed video content through the QuickTime app.

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In light of the news, Apple may be building bridges with content delivery networks to provide the necessary bandwidth not just for iTunes Reply, but for other iTunes content spanning downloadable apps, music, and media. Although Apple used Akamai Technologies to carry some of the bandwidth luggage, last month, CDN industry observer Dan Rayburn reported that Limelight Networks is also helping with the load. He notes that the domain is starting to show up in some of Apple’s downloads, indicating that the company is looking to rely less on a single CDN.

“I don’t know the volume of Apple’s traffic, but considering how many iPods and iPhones they keep selling, you have to imagine that their traffic is growing insane every quarter and moving to a dual-provider strategy should help prevent Apple’s services from having a slowdown. future performance problems, “he said. “We already know that no CDN has unlimited capacity and can only handle a certain amount of traffic at any given time, and if you’re Apple, using more than one CDN is just smart business.”

Currently, iTunes 8 offers high-quality DRM-free music; however, consumers recently discovered that purchased media comes with the user’s personal information embedded in the file. But if Apple really does roll out the iTunes Replay service, not only will end users be DRM-free when it comes to syncing nightmares, they will have the freedom to watch HD video content anytime, anywhere there is one. broadband connection.

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