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by Mike Zazaian September 12, 2006 - 10:46am, No Comments

iTunes Blackout

Apple’s iTunes store was down this morning, displaying only a black screen and It’s Showtime in white letters. It can mean only one thing…movies are on the way for iTunes.

The built-in store in Apple’s iTunes mp3 download and organization program went black this morning, displaying only a message about the It’s Showtime event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco today, set to kick off at 10am Pacific time. The bizarre occurance all but seals the fate of the industry-leading mp3 program, which will likely begin to provide movie and TV show downloads, either for rental or purchase.

It's ShowtimeAs I’ve written in a previous, more speculative article regarding the matter, Jobs recently became the largest shareholder of the Walt Disney Company after purchasing Pixar Animation Studios, Inc. earlier this year. According to BusinessWeek, this move Provides a natural toehold for Disney to be among the first to sign a distribution deal.

The set date for Its Showtime, whatever it may be will coincide with the opening day of the Apple Expo in Paris. The event in San Francisco could also indicate a likely iPod Video update, other iTunes updates, or an Airport-based video streaming device, but all the buzz currently surrounds the notion of the movie download service, which is now all but set in stone. While the movie download seems certain now, prices aren’t available at all. Rumors stipulate that newer movies will be available $14.99, while older movies will cost around $9.99, but the same such prices were predicted for Amazon’s Unbox movie download service before its movies launched between $3.99 and $35.99 per movie download.

Stick around for further updates, as we’ll be carrying the story all the way through the event and after. And while there’s no guarantee as to what will surface today, there’s wure to be some exciting and unexpected stuff coming out Showtime.

[via Engadget]