Tag Archives: itunes

Spotlight On Apple iTunes Video

Apple iTunes video is Apple’s video offering that’s tied to their iOS ecosystem. Although there are always rumors of something much more grand, Apple says it is dabbling in this marketplace. They currently offer downloadable TV shows (buy only) and movies (buy and rent) in both standard definition and HD.

Offering Price
TV Shows $1.99+ / Buy
Movies $3.99+ / Rent
$9.99+ / Buy

Places To Watch Apple iTunes Videos

There are few people as proprietary as Sony, and Apple is one of them. Just like Henry Ford’s famous quote about black cars, you can watch iTunes videos on anywhere you want, as long as it is on an Apple device. Apple does allow Windows-based PCs to also view their content as a nod to not yet taking over the PC market yet.

PlayBack Device Apple iTunes
PC / Mac YES
Android Devices no
iOS Devices YES
Roku (TV) no
Playstation 3 (TV) no
XBox 360 (TV) no
Wii (TV) no
Blue-ray Players no
HDTVs no

Apple iTunes Video Bitrates

iLounge has posted a great summary of iTunes video encoding practices. Continuing the keep-it-simple theme, Apple supports one standard def encoding and one high def encoding.

High Def Audio Quality Bitrate 1 HR TV Show Size
720p Stereo 4.1 Mbps 1.80 GB
Standard Def Audio Quality Bitrate 1 HR TV Show Size
480p Stereo 1.6 Mbps 0.70 GB

Before watching iTunes videos, check that your internet provider gives enough bandwidth to get the video quality you’re expecting.

Apple iTunes Video Conclusions

The Good: When Apple does something, it does it well. Their setup just works. If you want a video, you click, get it, and then can stream it to the supported devices.

The Bad: Apple is one of the most restrictive companies for their videos. It’s computer, iPhone, or Apple TV. Purchasing requires an iTunes account.

How To Pay Less For iTunes Videos

If you’re using iTunes videos to ditch the cable company, it’s always great to pay a bit less for it. One strategy to do that is to pick up iTunes gift cards for a discount and have the credit in reserve for when you’re Jonesin’ for your next video fix. But how to do it? Say hello to Granny.

What is Gift Card Granny?

So, how does Gift Card Granny work? Well, let’s ask Granny:

Gift Card Granny is a gift card marketplace site that connects buyers and sellers of discounted gift cards. We don’t ship or sell any gift cards ourselves… instead, we do the research for you. There are literally thousands of different sites where you can buy and sell gift cards. Our staff works hard to find out which brokers have the very best deal of the day on each specific card – and we list the different deals for you to choose from. If you like the price on the card you see, you can click on a link and you’ll go directly to the broker’s site. If you decide to buy it from that broker –  they will send it to you with no taxes and no shipping fees.

So, Granny helps people locate gift cards sold online and get them at below face value. Excellent. But who are the sellers?

Gift Card Granny pulls information from different gift card resellers (Card Pool, Gift Card Castle, GiftCards.com, Plastic Jungle, and Giftah to name a few) as well as eBay. Each seller has different gift cards that they buy and sell, making it hard to find what you’re looking for. Granny aggregates together all the information about how much is available on various gift cards and the size of the discount. The dedicated gift-card websites have been around a while and have a loyal following. Ebay is, well, Ebay.

What Can You Save On iTunes Gift Cards?

I have now purchased iTunes gift cards from two places, Plastic Jungle and Gift Card Castle. For Plastic Jungle, it was $25 for $23.xx (7% off). The gift card arrived as an e-mail with a code in it. I logged into iTunes, entered the code, and my iTunes account was credited $25. Gift Card Castle sent me a $25 gift card for $22.50 (10% off). I had to wait for it to be mailed, but, once it arrived, I used the same process to enter the code and get iTunes account credit. Overall, it was very satisfying to get anything Apple at a discount.

One thing i did notice is that, occasionally, Granny isn’t up to date. The 10% off Gift Card Castle one was not indexed by Granny. I just happened to be wandering through and found a good deal.

What About Amazon Instant Video Discounts?

One last thing to mention is that while Granny will index Amazon gift cards, the only ones that turn up are on Ebay. This is because Amazon only sells “electronic” gift cards. I have not been brave enough to wander onto Ebay and take a chance with this. For the other dedicated sellers, they have clear methods to resolve disputes. I’m going to stick with them for now.

If you have bought gift cards on Ebay and had it work out, please leave a comment.