Apple preparing HUGE iTunes Store updates in many European Countries

Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reports that Apple is set to launch the iTunes Music Store in ten new European Union (EU) countries. While the exact timing of the launch is unknown, sources have indicated that Apple could launch the services “at any time”, possibly as soon as next month.

Furthermore the company also seems to be rolling out access to iTunes movie sales and rentals in a number of European countries where it already offers music content.


Movie from Danish iTunes Store

While Apple has not yet added a dedicated movie section to the iTunes Store in these new markets, but content is accessible through the store’s search function.

Movie from Finnish iTunes Store

 

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Dreamworks enter iTunes

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Finally I have been waiting for this news like forever, Dreamworks Animation have finally decided to add their movies to iTunes, which means the company’s catalog is more or less up for grabs. Kung Fu Panda is one title customers have been waiting for, and Monsters vs. Aliens, Bee Movie, and Madagascar 2 are available as well. Shrek the Third is the only movie of that series available at the moment, unfortunately, however there are still main great movies missing, but we are hoping to see these soon?

Still, progress is progress, and this deal means you and your kids have a few more options when you jump into iTunes to find a movie to watch. Whatever issues there were between Dreamworks and Apple have apparently been worked out, to some degree at least.

Digiarty is giving away a two-title combo pack!!!

In the past we have reported about Chinese developer Digiarty  and their Give Aways well now they are doing it again, currently the company is giving away a two-title combo pack, which includes a video converter and a DVD ripper, for free till May 25.

Even if you’re a fan of Handbrake —  you might still want to check out the kit’s different feature set, which includes the ability to rip even encrypted DVDs.

According to the company website the offer ends May 25th so you might wanna hurry.
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65% of movies sold online in 2010 were sold through iTunes.

Like many of our friends, movies online are mainly bought through iTunes, now a report from IHS Screen Digest puts exact numbers on the downloads, according to TUAW iTunes is the top seller of downloadable movies, controlling two thirds of the total market.

It is important to remember that these numbers are from the actual purchase of movies from iTunes, not streaming internet rentals such as those offered by Netflix. The closest runner up to Apple’s success was Microsoft, who only sold a quarter of the movies that Apple did. If you add up all the non-Apple online retail outlets for electronic movies, they make up a little more than 1/3rd of the available sales. Of course, selling movies online is a relatively new business and things could change in 2011. In the meantime, it seems if you want to sell a movie online, you really need to be on iTunes.

Digiarty Software gives MacX DVD Ripper Pro away free!

POST COPIED FROM LIFEHACKER.COM

Download MacX DVD Ripper Pro for Free Until November 1st [Updated]Mac OS X: While Windows and Linux users abound with free DVD ripping software, OS X isn’t quite as lucky—but today, you can grab the incredibly full-featured MacX DVD Ripper Pro for free.

While we’ve featured some great programs in the past, like MacTheRipper, there are few free rippers out there that are as fully featured as other premium apps. MacX DVD Ripper Pro will not only rip a DVD into any video format you want, but it can also rip straight to iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, iPad, and PSP-friendly formats. This is particularly handy, since other popular programs required you to use other apps like our favorite encoder HandBrake to play it on other devices. Obviously, we still love Handbrake, but it’s nice to avoid that second step and just rip straight to your iPhone.

The only downside is that it won’t rip your DVD into an ISO or uncompressed VIDEO_TS files, so if you want menus and extras, you’ll have to look elsewhere. You can rip it into a full-quality MPEG-4 file, however, so if your goal is only to rip the movie, it’s a pretty great program for it.

The program is usually $50, but is free for the rest of today. Update: Digiarty Software has extended this deal to November 1st for those of you that didn’t see this post in time, so you can still grab it for the next few days! Just hit the link to download the program, and copy and paste the license code BD-TGTXUVYO-OONQRP to activate the full version. Entering the key manually may not work, but it should take if you just copy and paste the key in.

Hulu Plus released, as well as iPhone/iPad app.

It has been rumored for a while, and now it is finally official the new Hulu subscription service, as guessed it is called Hulu Plus. For US$9.99 per month, you’ll get ad-supported access to the full current seasons of most shows and full back seasons of select shows. Included in the price is also the brand new Hulu Plus apps for the iPhone and the iPad.

According to Hulu the apps work over either WiFi or 3G, though the iPhone version requires iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4.

While many current Hulu are worried that everything on Hulu will become subscription only “Hulu stresses that Hulu Plus is not a replacement for the standard Hulu service, but rather an additional service.” So then you might be wondering why Hulu Plus is still an “ad-supported subcription product,” after all if you are paying for the services then shouldn’t the contents be free? Apparently not; Hulu says that the ad revenue helps it keep its subscription fees low.

Right now Hulu Plus is only availably for those few who have been invited, if you are interested you can sign up for a chance to test the service. The Hulu Plus App has also been released on iTunes, and will work over WiFi and 3G.

iTunes adds Rotten Tomatoes rating score

Those of you who have entered the iTunes movie store within the past few days will have noticed that the store just got a lot more “usable thanks to a small but significant update”

Since last week customers have been greeted with the very popular “Rotten Tomatoes” features such as Top Critics’ reviews and the Tomatometer rating score from Rotten Tomatoes.

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The reason why  this new feature will be important for movie watchers, is that some movies which have received very low ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and other rating sites, have received 4 out of 5 stars in iTunes, this means you don’t really have any objective way of knowing if the movie is really worth watching or not. The problem is that iTunes alone would’ve steered you wrong. Which is why the Rotten Tomatoes meter is such a great feature.

The Rotten Tomatoes features will also let you kniw when a movie is really worth watching. These movies have the “Certified Fresh” award icon next to the Tomatometer rating. This is an honor bestowed upon especially awesome films. You can also click through to see the actual Rotten Tomatoes page for any movie (so long as it’s actually been rated on RT, of course), which will give you access to full-length reviews from users and critics.

Apple offers Movie Bundles on iTunes

It appears that Apple has launched movie bundles in the iTunes Store, offering consumers the opportunity to purchase themed movie multi-pack downloads at discount pricing. Currently available is the Godfather I and II Bundle, which is offered at $14.99, while each film is films are available individually for $9.99 each.

The Dirty Dancing bundle comes at an even steeper discounts, with both movies being available for download for a mere, $9.99, which is pretty much the same as buy-one-get-one-free pricing. If you are more into the action movies iTunes also offers a quad-pack, with the X-Men Quadrilog which is priced at $29.99. For the more comedy interested you will be pleased to find the Austin Powers trilogy and Lethal Weapons 1-4 bundle

While all of the above mentioned are in SD, Apple has also included a pair of HD download bundles in the new offerings such as a Jason Statham “Action Pack: including Crank 2,Transporter 3, and The Bank Job.

Unfortunately for our European readers it appeasrs as if the iTunes Movie Bundles are currently limited to the U.S. and Canadian stores, where approximately 30-40 bundles are available in each store.

So whether you are traveling for Christmas and need to fill up your iPhone or iPod touch for a long trip home, or you just need some much-needed relative-escaping couch distraction we are sure you will find something of interest.