Rumor: iTunes Getting Blu-ray Support

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If the latest offerings from the rumor mill prove to be true, Apple may finally be warming up to the idea of including Blu-ray support in its products, starting with iTunes. Apparently iTunes 9 will be released some time in September, and will include support for the optical disc format that Steve Jobs has referred to as "a bag of hurt."

According to Boy Genius Report, iTunes 9 will include the ability to organize iPhone and iPod touch applications, finally eliminating the slow tap-and-drag process users work with now. The app will apparently also include Twitter, Facebook and support, although there isn't any information yet on exactly how those services will integrate with iTunes.

Blu-ray support in iTunes won't be of much value without matching support in Apple's computers, and it looks like AppleInsider thinks that might be on the way, too. The Mac rumor site offered up a hint that Blu-ray could be coming to the iMac soon -- but that information came in the form of "cryptic tips from people often familiar with the Mac maker's future product initiatives."

While many Mac users would like to see built-in Blu-ray support come to the Mac, a set of rumors without substantial sources amounts to little more than speculation and wishful thinking. If, however, Blu-ray support is coming soon, Mac users will be able to use the technology to do more than watch movies; they'll also have the ability to back up more data on a single disc Blu-ray storage capacities start at 25GB, and DVD tops out at 4.7GB.


Lee Dronick

Sounds like the Mom in the laptop hunter ad. “Ohhhhhhh, BlueRay!”

Seriously has this BlueRay standard settled down now?


I don’t think the issue has been Blu-Ray itself, but rather the surrounding technology (notably HDMI). In any event, the “bag of hurt” comment was disingenuous - I have heard of absolutely nobody who has run into notable trouble with Blu-Ray. Although I’m sure some have somewhere, the majority of users like myself have been enjoying Blu-Ray painlessly for years. I think Apple’s hesitation has been either for marketing reasons (to sell 720 content through iTunes), or simply because it didn’t fit Jobs’ vision of the future (optical disks are dead). This may be a rare concession to what people are actually asking (and shopping) for.


I seem to remember that the “bag of hurt” comment related to licensing issues. Not sure.
Compared to other media, optical disks are not as reliable - in my experience. And they are easily damaged - Anyone remember Raymond Baxter on Tomorrow’s World running a match-box over a CD?  (That’s a question for the UK reader!)
And, Dual layer DVD tops out at 8.5GB


Agreed - I think the studios are very hesitant to release full HD in any online format, even though there are already well-known programs on the PC side that can “back up” Blu-Ray movies to a hard drive. I myself prefer to do this, but would rather buy the disk and digitize it than buy an online version (which is usually lower rez and limited audio). So Blu-Ray has a definite place on the computer - for how long remains to be seen.

In the end, Apple’s decision probably came about in the same way glossy screens came about - people were asking for it.


That is, if the rumors are true.


I’ve had some problems with HDMI.  I was helping someone set up their HD set, stereo, and Blu Ray, and we discovered much to our shock that while the stereo had multiple HDMI ports, it couldn’t actually extract the audio from them!  This meant that with all this expensive digital gear we had to run a line from the HDTV’s headphone jack back to the stereo. So much for pristine 5.1 digital sound!  It also meant that we needed a convoluted switching process to go from the cable box to the Blu Ray.

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