Monday, October 9, 2017

Long overdue: no longer overdue

If you think that subject line is just intended to confuse you, well, it's not just intended to confuse you. There's a meaning in it too.

I've continued to connect to the American version of iTunes the entire time I've lived in Australia -- something Apple actually allows you to do. Take a lesson, Netflix.

The advantages have been almost total. Because release dates are generally earlier in America, you get almost all movies sooner, excepting probably the Australian movies (or rare others that get released in Australia first). In fact, this is sometimes so extreme that on multiple occasions, I have rented a movie for 99 cents -- a price that becomes available only after something has been available to rent for a couple months -- before it's even been released theatrically in Australia. The prices tend to be lower, too -- by around a dollar I think.

One disadvantage so far, though, is that Australian iTunes -- which my wife mostly uses -- gives you a full 48 hours to watch a movie after you press play on it, not only 24 as in the U.S.

That too has now finally been corrected.

I guess it happened more than two weeks ago, but this weekend for the first time I noticed that American iTunes is now allowing 48 hours to watch movies once you press play.

It's long overdue, in part because it costs them almost nothing to do it. You still get the money from the customer. What incentive do you have to force them to watch this movie within a single day?

I suppose they must have thought some percentage of customers would think they were really sticking it to Apple by watching the same movie multiple times over the same weekend. But so what if they want to watch it on both Friday night and Saturday night? For the extremely small number of people who want to do that, you make so many more happy by loosening your restrictions.

The vast majority of people watch a movie in one sitting anyway. But for those of us who sometimes don't, you do indeed worry about starting something you're not sure you can finish in the next 24 hours. Now you don't have to.

So the thing that's overdue is now you don't have to worry about your movies being "overdue" -- which is another way of saying you're cut off from watching them. (That's the meaning of the subject of this post.)

Thanks, Apple, for making a good service slightly better.

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