iTunes movie purchases can not be re-downloaded
Ok, I admit up front that this is more of an [informational] rant regarding the iTunes Store. In addition to iPhone / iPad apps, I purchase music, television and movies. I rented a movie once but was disappointed by the asinine expiration rules of digital rentals.
- After hitting play I have 24 hours to finish the rental (is a problem)
- I have 30 days from the date of rental to watch (unlikely problem)
Digital rentals should be leisurely. The most unusual of renters should be able watch 10 minutes of a film every other day if they wanted. Once it’s finished, done. No more access to the rental. But that’s rentals and I will rarely if ever go down that path again.
My rant is about movies downloaded from the iTunes Store. Earlier this month I was packing up for a trip to Whistler, BC for a weekend of snowboarding. Last minute I decided I’d download some epic snowboard / ski films for downtime at the lodge. I opened the iTunes Store and purchased The Art of Flight, All.I.Can and One for the Road. Easy. The weekend happens and I capture lots of GoPro Hero2 footage. I’m running out of disk space on my MacBook Air so I start deleting previously viewed movies from iTunes.
Once home, I sift through the GoPro footage – deleting a good portion of the files and recovering some disk space. After reviewing my homemade clips, I decide I want to watch The Art of Flight again. I had grown so accustomed to how the iTunes Store treated app, music and television purchases that I assumed the same applied to movies.
- Purchase and download [iPhone / iPad app, music or TV show]
- Use app, listen to music or watch TV show
- Grow tired of app, music or TV show
- Months later decide to use, listen to or watch show
- Re-download free of charge
Who hasn’t done that?
You can re-download songs, apps and TV shows from the iTunes Store however you will not be able to re-download the movies.
Lesson learned. Digital movie purchases aren’t really yours to keep unless you really do keep them in your possession. I guess if I plan on keeping my Air as a main machine, I’ll have to consider carrying an external drive with me to hold my iTunes Library. So continue enjoying the freedom of re-downloading purchases from iTunes free of charge – just don’t forget movies are not re-downloadable.
P.S. If it’s a bandwidth thing, Apple can start saving some immediately if high-def (HD) and standard-def (SD) variants of videos were not bundled. If I want to purchase the HD version, don’t force the SD download as well. Note: even if you pause and delete a SD variant during download, the iTunes Store will continually attempt to serve the file until you accept.
UPDATE: On March 6th, 2012 Apple announced the ability to re-download movies via iCloud – the same feature previously extended to apps, books and music.