Where's iTunes Extras for the Apple TV?
Back on September 9, 2009 - almost four years ago now - Apple introduced iTunes Extras, which allowed for the director's commentaries and other bonus features common on DVDs at the time, and now, BluRay. The original, OS X 10.4 Tiger-based Apple TV, was soon updated to support iTunes Extras, and it's musical cousin, iTunes LP. Then, on September 1, 2010, Apple announced an all-new, all-streaming, all iOS-based Apple TV 2. And iTunes Extras didn't survive the transition. Not only that, they didn't get added back with subsequent software updates, not even with the Apple TV 3 announced on March 7, 2012. As of today, iTunes Extras is still MIA. And it's super annoying.
I love bonus content - making of, creative process, deleted scenes, bloopers, and all the rest - as much, if not sometimes much more, than the TV shows and movies themselves. It's why Hollywood succeeded, on numerous occasions, in scamming me into buying the same movie more than once - the initial release, and then the bonus-laden special edition that followed. The idea of all that content in digital download form is incredibly enticing. Not being able to access it on the best possible device to really enjoy it, the Apple TV, is beyond frustrating.
Right now I'm downloading more than 5GB of bonus content from Star Trek: Into Darkness to iTunes on my Mac because right now only the Apple TV can stream (instead of download) and right now, only iTunes desktop can access that bonus content. I can AirPlay it to my Apple TV, so that's something at least, but nothing beats native.
Despite its money, despite its size, Apple is still resource constrained. But it's been 4 years since the feature was announced, and 3 years since it went missing in action on Apple TV. That's a lot of time, and a lot of downloading, for customers like me who love the bonus content.
Let's get iTunes Extras on the Apple TV already.
(For even more Hollywood insanity, check out The Digital Bits' story on how Star Trek: Into Darkness bonus features are being used as marketing ploys at the expense of customers. Maddening.)