With the recent unveiling of Movies Anywhere, Apple has—willingly or not, I do not know—opened up the world of iTunes to movies from other places. Stated another way, you can now have movies in the Tunes ecosystem that weren’t purchased there, or that weren’t digital versions acquired by using an iTunes redemption code with a physical disc purchase.
To put it bluntly, this is huge; I’ve long wanted a way to get all of my movies into iTunes (and iOS) so that they could sync to devices, easily stream (without the computer on) to the TV, etc. The service goes well beyond iTunes/iOS, of course—the full list of supported players is quite extensive.
Important: As of now, Movies Anywhere is a US-only service. If you’re not in the US, hopefully something similar will be coming to your country at some point in the future.
What’s really amazing, though, is that you can not only combine purchases from multiple sources into iTunes, but convert and/or upgrade them in the process. Thanks to Movies Anywhere, I’ve been able to do two seemingly amazing things…
- Put an UltraViolet-only (i.e. no iTunes version) digital redemption movie into the iTunes ecosystem.
- Paid a modest fee—not to Apple—and converted an old physical DVD into a high-def —digital version.
Note: The original version of this post stated that you could convert a DVD into a 4K iTunes video. That is not the case, based on this article and my own testing. Thanks to @netnothing for the pointer.
How does this magic work? Honestly, I don’t really know.