I feel like I’ve already ranted about the trend of Blu-ray movies including Ultraviolet digital copies rather than iTunes digital copies, though it apparently wasn’t here on my blog. I haven’t tried an Ultraviolet movie, though I’ve heard bad things, as it doesn’t fulfill one of my main requirements for digital movies, which is to be able to watch them via AppleTV (without having to use AirPlay).
This post isn’t about that.
Recently, a viewing of the Iron Man 3 trailer led to my father mentioning that he had yet to see Iron Man 2. Post haste, I queued it up on my AppleTV and we proceeded to watch most of the movie before he left for the night. At some point it occurred to me (or possibly it was pointed out to me) that we should have been watching the Blu-ray version as the digital version wasn’t HD.
Yesterday, while killing time during my daughter’s cheer practice, I watched The American President on my iPad, having previously loaded my ripped-from-DVD copy via iTunes. The quality was terrible and I made a mental note to re-rip it when I got home, with the presumption that it was an old rip using suboptimal settings or software. Coincidentally, I had also mentally implanted a scene from Dave that was therefore missing, so I went exploring the DVD to see if it was a deleted scene or something. This led to the discovery that the DVD itself is of terrible quality (subsequently confirmed by reading reviews of the DVD on Amazon).
I checked, and the movie is available on iTunes, which the HD version being the same price that Amazon is charging for Blu-ray. I decided to to buy it now, since I had just watched it. Instead, I added the Blu-ray to my Amazon wish list. However, I do not currently have a method of ripping Blu-ray movies, nor do I anticipate acquiring such a method. Therefore, it seems like buying the iTunes version is likely a better idea. However, I am aware that this effectively locks me into Apple’s devices for playback (plus iTunes on Windows systems I suppose).
So which way to go? Get non-combo-disc-non-digital-copy Blu-rays that lock me into using physical Blu-ray players? Get Apple-only iTunes copies that are of known lower quality (though perhaps not usually noticeable)?
Plus, even when a DVD and/or iTunes digital copy are included with the Blu-ray, that still results in the Iron Man 2 situation described above.
At present, it’s pretty clear that the iTunes HD version is my best choice, but what about the future? Or perhaps I can rely on the iTunes DRM being crackable (is it already?) and let that be my escape hatch should the need arise.
Do you think putting a comment in my Amazon wishlist entry for Blu-ray movies that says “I’d rather have iTunes credit” is likely to be effective?