Earlier this week, customers who love buying movies through Apple found out that their digital purchases may not be as permanent and secure as they originally thought. After one iTunes user recently discovered some titles were missing from his movie library, he found out they were no longer available in the iTunes store, and it seemed they were no longer his to watch whenever he wanted. But that’s not entirely true.
If you’re one of the millions who has bought a movie through iTunes, but you end up missing a few of them at some point, don’t worry. You still own digital movies you’ve bought from Apple (mostly), and there’s a way for you to still get access to the vanished movies.
Gizmodo has called our attention to the fact that digital rights management allows customers to buy a digital file of a movie and save it to your hard drive. You might have already figured this out if you’ve ever had to transfer your iTunes purchases to a new computer (there’s more about that here), but you can download the actual movie files that you’ve bought from iTunes to your computer.
If you’ve bought movies through your Apple TV, iPhone or iPad, there’s no actual file for you to access unless you use iTunes on a computer. That means if you use iTunes without having a computer to store files locally, then you’re kind of screwed unless you get a computer of your own. But for those of you who have a way to access those files, all you have to do is go into iTunes, go to Store > Purchased from the top menu, and you’ll find a whole list of your purchases. Then all you have to do is click “iCloud Download” and that file is now on your computer.
This is certainly a workaround that shouldn’t be necessary, and it would be especially annoying for customers who have a large library of purchases they have to sift through. But I guess that’s the price you pay for the convenience of access to movies from your various mobile devices. The digital rights to movies is what makes this a problem, but if you go over to Gizmodo’s full article on the matter, they have some links to get around them for the more tech savvy among you out there.
It just goes to show you that the easiest way to have movies whenever you watch them is to own a physical copy of the movie, especially since most physical copies of movies come with a digital copy that you can have on the go anyway. So get a Blu-ray or DVD player, maybe one of those new 4K players, and start buying discs like a real cinephile.
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