I was in the classroom for a good part of the day and evening, so I’m still getting caught up on reaction to Apple’s new stuff. I saw the news earlier and the thing that struck me as Big News isn’t the video iPod that everyone is agog over, but the addition of video to the iTunes store, and the ability to buy episodes of a trio of TV shows, some Pixar animated shorts and the like at $1.99 a pop.

According to the Apple web site, the videos aren’t overly DRMed:

…you own purchased video forever. Watch as many times as you choose, share between five computers, burn to data CDs or sync to the new iPod.

This launches a whole new market, the way that iTunes and the iPod kick-started the music download business. And it establishes the price, too: $1.99 for commercial-free, yours-to-own video. Anybody that wants to play in this new sandbox is going to have to either match that, beat that, or have such compelling offerings that they can afford to charge a few cents more.

In a post earlier this year, I mentioned a documentary I had seen an online trailer for and I said I would have plunked down some money to download a digital copy. It seems we’re closer to being able to do that. Some studios may balk at the idea, but there is a wealth of other video material available out there.

Apple has stepped out in front of a slowly-developing market (again) and that, to my mind, is the big announcement.

Although the desktop iMac with the built-in iSight is pretty sweet, too.

UPDATE: Should have checked all the details: the TV show episodes aren’t available here in Canada, and the price for music video and the Pixar shorts is $2.29 each here. Those details don’t change the way I feel about the downloadable videos being the big deal.

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