Earlier this week Apple announced the availability of “Extras” for a select (but reasonable range at launch) group of Movies available on iTunes. These extras are akin to the old DVD extras you might remember when flicking through the menu of a DVD in the good old days. “Yeah, great” you’re thinking. Well, as the father of three kids under 8 the youngest two being just massive fans of the Movie Frozen – I reckon this might be the best $25 you spend.
If you’ve got an Apple TV this is a no-brainer. You know full well if you rent the movie for $6.99 and watch it once, they will want to watch it again, and again, and again. That’s ok for 48 hours, but after that you’ve got to disappoint the kids with a “no” or rent it again.
Then there is the singing – wow, the singing – we’ve given the YouTube clips of Let it Go and Love is an Open door an absolute hammering in our household, and I’m pretty darn good at the male part in the latter if I do say so myself, but I digress. Here’s the reason this is great value.
With iTunes Extras you can buy “Frozen” for $24.99 (you have to buy the HD version to get “iTunes Extras”), then when you launch the movie – instead of getting straight into it, you get what looks like a crummy old DVD menu (but in HD). Along the bottom you’ve got options for Songs, Extras and more.
Firstly, the songs, oh – hello – full HD quality direct from the movie – all the songs your kids are going to want to sing. You own them – play them any time on your PC/Mac iTunes or Apple TV. Bingo (coming soon to iOS 8 for iPhone/iPad also).
Now the songs are being streamed at all times, they are never downloaded for use on your music library, but the lounge room Apple TV will satisfy most kids and their passion for over-performing.
Next jump into the Extras menu. There’s a tacky musical video called the “Making of Frozen”, There’s a very interesting look at Disney’s journey to create Frozen, and there’s a fantastic collection of pictures – sketches, mock ups and animation frames from the movie production. The kids will flick through these with great joy.
Oh, and the Movie is there to watch any time you want in HD. Over, and over again.
iTunes Extra is available on a bunch of titles, Captain Phillips for example, there are several long behind the scenes looks at the movie and the story as well as the movie itself.
Digital movies need to add value if the industry is going to get us right away from the physical disc. As a parent, Digital is a godsend because we’ve had a lot of scratched discs mean the movie was unwatchable.
To access iTunes extra you need to update your Apple TV software to version 6.2 or iTunes on your computer to version 11.3.