I want my iTV

This week, Apple announced a slew of new offerings: updated iTunes, including movies for sale, and a new vaporwarehardware product, called iTV.

Just a sliver shy of a year ago, Apple held a similar event, where they announced the video iPods and unveiled iTunes 6 with TV shows. Though the initial offering was just 6 shows, it rapidly ballooned to cover much of the TV landscape.

If you're an American. Or, a Statesian, at least.

Here in Canada, I can't get iTunes TV. (Well, I can , but it's complicated. The point is: I shouldn't be able to.) That is, you have to have a credit card with a US billing address to qualify for TV, let alone Movies, from iTunes.

Now — for better or worse — Apple Retail Stores in Canada do sell video iPods, but the standard, Canadian-IP-based iTunes MusicStore doesn't offer video products. At all. If you hadn't already been spammed by every new media outlet and podcast, you might never know it was remotely possible to buy/rent/borrow video from iTunes.

I'm sure the reasons are complicated, and maybe even legitimate global copyright kind of issues are to blame - but, c'mon, a year? Clearly, non-Statesians just aren't a priority. I mean, our funny money's good enough to buy your 'pods, but we don't really need to use 'em, do we?

Besides — how complicated can it really be to get Canadian content up there? A little Corner Gas , maybe some This Hour Has 22 Minutes ...

Still, this is all just icing on my pessimistic cake. For all the hoopla (Engadget's writers seem to wet themselves at the event), I can't see the i/Pod/Tunes hegemony as good news for anyone except Apple's shareholders - the system (negotiated between Apple and the major labels) seems to be blithely screwing over the artists and indie labels, and I don't see iTunes Movies doing any different.

Maybe I'm wrong, though. Maybe iTunes will be able to provide a protest-proof screening for someone like Deepa Mehta. Eh, nevermind - her stuff's not available on iTunes...

Canadian iTunes Front:

US iTunes Front:

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