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iTunes Movie Rental Frequently Asked Questions


iTunes movie rental FAQ

What Are the Requirements for Using iTunes Movie Rentals?

In order to rent movies from the iTunes Store, you'll need the following:

iTunes 7.6 or higher
Quicktime 7.5 or higher
High-speed Internet connection
An iTunes Store account (aka Apple ID)

A computer running iTunes and/or

  • An Apple TV
  • iPhone
  • iPod Classic
  • Third through Fifth generation iPod nano
  • iPod touch
  • iPad

What Do Movies Rented from iTunes Cost?

New release title cost as much as US$6.99 when rented in HD. Many HD new releases cost $4.99, while standard-definition new releases tend to cost $3.99 (these prices shift based on Apple's agreements with movie studios and its own choices about pricing).

Movies from the back catalog (that is, anything that's not a new release) cost $3.99 in HD and $2.99 in SD.


Why Do Some Rentals Cost More?

Some rentals cost more than this--sometimes as much as $14.99. These rentals are special releases that are available at iTunes at the same time as in theaters or are available for digital rental before they come to theaters. In this case, you're paying a premium to see the movie early or to see it without leaving home.


When iTunes Rentals Expire?

There are two time limits you need to be aware of when it comes to iTunes Movie Rentals. The first starts once you play the rented movie for the first time. After hitting play, you have just 24 hours to finish watching the movie. If you don’t finish watching it in that time, the movie will expire and be unplayable.

The second time limit is how long you have to watch it the first time after download. In this case, you have 30 days from the day you rented the movie to watch it. If you don’t watch the movie in that 30-day window, your rental will expire.


Can You Get Around the Time Limits on Movie Rentals?



Do You Need to Download the Whole Movie Before Watching?

No. Movies rented at iTunes download progressively, so once you've downloaded a set percentage of the movie (determined by Apple), you can begin watching. The rest of the movie will download in the background while you watch. When you've downloaded enough of the movie, you'll see a message letting you know it's ready to be watched.


Are iTunes Movie Rental Downloads Interruptible?

Sometimes Internet connections get lost during the download of purchased content. When it comes to iTunes Movie Rentals, just because your download didn't complete properly doesn't mean you're stuck. If you lose your Internet connection during the download, you can restart the download once your connection comes back and get your movie. Here's how:

If your connection goes out, fix it. Once you’re connected to the Internet again, in iTunes, go to the Downloads area in the tray at the left. This will show you the items that you were downloaded from iTunes.

You'll know that the download was interrupted due to the lost Internet connection (and not something else) if you see an the following message at the far right of the window:

Stopped (err = -3256)

Next to that error is a little button that looks like a curved arrow. Click that and your download will resume.


The Movie I Want Is Out on DVD/Blu-ray, But It's Not on iTunes. What's Up?

New movies released on DVD/Blu-ray aren't always available on the iTunes Store right away. Instead, some new releases come to iTunes 30 days after they have been released on DVD/Blu-ray.


Can I Rent HD Movies From iTunes?

Yes. While HD movies used to only be available for rental only using the Apple TV, HD rentals are now available from any iTunes Store-compatible device (a desktop computer, Apple TV, iPod touch, iPhone, etc). It's extremely rare for a movie not to be available in HD.

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