Apple Announes Full-Length Movie Downloads

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Apple Computer is set to announce its newest offering in the world of digital video. The company already makes it possible for customers to download music videos and TV shows to their computers and iPods. Now, there's talk that Apple may be ready to offer full-length movies as well.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Let's wrap up the business report for this morning with Apple Computer's move into digital video. An announcement is expected today. The company wants to extend the success it's had in selling music online to selling full-length movies.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN: The invitation for today's event reads It's showtime! And industry experts expect Apple to unveil a movie download service, a sleeker, higher capacity video iPod and a film distribution deal with the Walt Disney Company.

But there may well be something more. Last week, Amazon.com announced a new service that allows users to download feature films and TV shows to PCs. Apple had begun offering music videos, short films and TV shows ten months ago.

But watching a full-length movie on an iPod or even a PC isn't ideal. And experts, including Jason Snell, the editorial director of Macworld, suspect that Apple may be ready to announce new technology that will enable movie lovers to stream digital content directly from a Mac or other Apple device to a TV screen wirelessly.

Mr. JASON SNELL (Editorial Director, Macworld): It is going to allow for a degree of instant gratification that you can't get now. Right now, the way you've got to do it is you've got to go out to the store, or wait for the Netflix envelope to come in the mail. And with this sort of scenario, you just stay at home and you say what movie do I want to see right now? What am I in the mood for right at this moment? You press a button and down it comes. That's pretty compelling.

KAUFMAN: Snell says the downloaded movies might be purchased or Apple might offer them for rent.

Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.

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