iTunes 9 to Support Blu-Ray Finally, Does Anyone Care?

The latest rumor out of Cupertino is that the next version of iTunes, version 9, will support Blu-Ray. This rumor does not seem all that unbelievable. Its one of those rumors that seems obvious. Blu-Ray is the successor to DVD and now that the cost of the players has come down it seems reasonable that we will see Blu-Ray hardware in the next round of releases. I’m puzzled by the mention that it will be an iTunes feature. iTunes’ only contact with the DVD player today is as a data storage device. It cannot even play back DVD content, you have to go to FrontRow or DVD Player for that. Are we saying that iTunes 9 will be able to rip movies off Blu-Ray so you can play them in iTunes and on your iPod?

When I ask the question, “Does Anyone Care?”, I am referring to what I see as an irrelevant improvement in the technology. It sort of reminds me of those mini-DV tapes that were supposed to be an improvement over 8mm tapes. The vendors were improving on an obsolete design when the replacement hard drives and memory sticks had already shown up on the scene. I rarely ever burn a disk anymore. it’s become too convenient to copy a file to a memory stick or on to a server somewhere.

I must admit that I do not have a Blu-Ray player in my house. I have seen them in the stores and admit they do look nice. Am I really going to have to buy Star Wars again? The thing is that except for movies like Star Wars I don’t feel like I can justify the expense of a new player. In my case a new player actually means a new TV set and stereo system. I’m not ready to lay down that kind of cash right now when my current set does just fine. No, it’s not HDTV. I only have one HD receiver (two if you count my computer). The HD broadcast is not very good in my area. The local ABC affiliate WFAA does not work at all for me. I have Dish Network. Sure I can update Dish to HD but now you are talking about additional cost again.

This is not like the move from VHS to DVD. That change was a dramatic difference. It is painful to go back and watch some of my old tapes, including Star Wars (Han shot first). I have even been known to rent a movie on Netflix rather than watch the VHS version off my shelf.

It seems that everything related to HD is at an additional cost. If you want to rent movies on Blu-Ray from NetFlix, you need to pay more. If you want HD satellite then you have to pay more and the DVR you have is not going to work the same way so you will need two more boxes and a new dish. So for me, I plan to wait until HD becomes the norm. Eventually the studios will stop making DVDs and only make Blu-Ray discs. When that happens I will probably be forced to decide if I want to buy a new player of go with another for of media deliver like NetFlix’s Instant Watch feature.

In the mean time, I can continue to get my HD content on my AppleTV.

Leave a Reply