Come Tuesday, if Santa pulls through, I'll have my first real iPod (I don't count that Shuffle marked with my old employer's logo, which I got for free). It isn't that I couldn't afford one before; it's more that I'm finally caving in. But at least I'm caving in at a good time. There's talk that iTunes movie rentals could finally be arriving in early 2008, and if they are somehow allowed to be transferred to iPods, then I'll be a very happy subway rider. Sure, we've been hearing about the possibility of iTunes rentals all year, and back in September, Engadget even pointed out an error made by Apple that was evidence that it was coming soon. Three months later, Video Business is passing along the rumor that Apple may announce the service at MacWorld next month. Apparently the developments have been slow going because Apple has been trying to get more of Hollywood's studios on board (currently iTunes only offers movies for purchase from Disney, MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount). We can expect to hear about new additional distribution partners at MacWorld, too.

According to Video Business, the iTunes rentals are likely to only be watched on a PC or via Apple TV, for which Apple is to introduce a software update that will allow rentals to be downloaded directly to the machine (making it like a DVR, sort of). However, considering the new iPod Touch (this is the one that made me cave in) features the iTunes store and can directly download movies from the web via Wi-Fi, I don't see why it wouldn't be able to play movie rentals, as well. If Apple does it right, this could be the new Netflix -- of course, iTunes would have to have some kind of monthly plan, which I doubt they'd do, at least not at first. Last summer it was reported the prices for rentals would be $2.99 each. That's still a whole lot better than the $14.99 for new release purchases. Santa, if you read Cinematical, please don't fail me. And if you happen to know Steve Jobs, tell him not to fail me either.