iTunes Extras Will be Back for Apple TV and and iOS 8

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A stark difference between iOS 8 and 7 is iOS 8 will be featurer-rich. It will offer users a slew of new features. We have explained the differences in details in one of our previous posts. It seems we need to make a small entry into the previous list of new features as iTunes 11.3 update from Apple will bring iTunes Extras to iOS 8.

iTunes Extras

As per reports, iTunes Extras will be first brought to Mac by iTunes 11.3 update. iPhone and iPad will get the update later half of the year. iOS 8 will release with iTunes Extras. The update is currently available to Apple TV.

The speciality of iTunes Extras is behind the scenes videos, HD quality stills and short films along with HD movies which can be purchased exclusively from Apple Store. The 11.3 update will make it possible for users to view additional content totally free-of-charge through their Apple TV set. They only need to have an already purchased HD movie with extra content.

A study of the background of iTunes Extras could help us get an idea why this would be a revolutionary movie. Users normally prefer to buy a movie as a digital download instead of a DVD. There’s a reason behind that. Digital download is quick and easy, buying a disk means the disk will be arrived at your house, which will take few days. But the problem is director’s commentaries, special features and deleted scenes are absent in a digital download. But through iTunes Extras, users can watch these episodes.

iTunes Extras was introduced by Apple in 2009. Along with Extras, Apple also introduced iTunes LP. LP offered interactive album artwork. The reason behind introducing those features was fairly simple. If users were not getting them on iTunes, they’d eventually switch to digital download, implying loss of revenue for Apple Store.

When the second-generation Apple TV was released, iTunes Extras support was lost. After that Extras was only available from iTunes that is running on a Mac computer. But now, Apple is once again bringing iTunes Extras back and the feature will reinstated to Apple TV with immediate effect. However, it will be available on second and third-generation Apple TV.

If you have a second or third generation Apple TV, you can turn it on and open the Movies tab. There you could see iTunes Extras option in the scrolling option on top. You just need to click there and then you’d find a list of 50 movies. All those movies contain iTunes Extras content. If you browse through iTunes on a Mac computer, you can see an expanded list of 100 movies that support iTunes Extra content.

When using iTunes Extras, there are few things you need to keep in mind;

  • You need high internet connection to use iTunes Extras. The feature supports only HD movies. So if your internet connection is slow, the movie will take hours to load. The decision to limit iTunes Extras for HD movies was taken keeping US customers and It seems fair enough as Apple doesn’t have dedicated user base outside US.
  • You need to make sure that you’ve installed the newest Apple TV firmware before using iTunes Extras. You can manually update by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • After purchasing HD movies from the Apple Store, do not switch the store setting back to SD as this might result in loss of content.
  • You will be notified by a tile as to whether the HD movie carries extra content or not. Don’t forget to keep the HD resolution on.

We need to wait till iTunes Extras arrives on iDevices, which will happen in next few months.

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