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Dixie Chicks, Commentaries, and Bonus items in iTunes


Here's the thing. iTunes is rotten at video extras and it totally rocks at music ones. I recently bought a DVD of Cars. It had Easter eggs and it had bonus features. So do a lot of my other DVDs, which unlike Cars add commentaries into the mix as well. So I handbraked the DVD and my iPod has the movie, the alternate scenes, and a sweet copy of One Man Band.

Sure, I can download a movie from the iTunes store but I don't get any of these goodies when I do so. Nor can I pay a little more to access them. Yes, there are plenty of great podcast features but they have little or nothing to do with the content that gets packed onto those DVDs.

But music? iTunes is full of bonus tracks, album-only tracks and iTunes exclusive tracks. The other day, a new exclusive single from the Dixie Chicks[1] popped onto my iTunes radar and I immediately bought and downloaded their new "The Neighbor" single and loaded it onto my iPod. A win for me, and a win for the music industry.

So when will we see the same thing happen for movies and TV shows[2]? Why aren't those fabulous Heroes commentaries available for sale at the iTunes store? Frankly, I'm sick and tired of listening to that Mark Whatever guy talk about living in his Nissan. I'd rather pay for the privilege than have to deal with the stutters, breaks, rebuffering and endless Nissan commercials. (And, contrary to all intentions, I'm pretty certain that after all the NBC/Nissan barrage that I will never buy a Nissan car. Ever.)

It doesn't make any sense to me that these items are being held back from the market--especially when there's a consumer base willing to pay a little extra for them. After all, it's not as if iTunes is a threat to DVD sales. When you think about the lower-quality video, the DRM and all the other inconveniences, iTunes weighs out as more of a luxury impulse item than a true competitor.

I paid my dollar for my Chicks track. When will I be able to pay a dollar for my commentary video?

[1] I'm not red state. I'm not blue state. I'm purple. And I love their music.

[2] Admittedly, there's a little TV bonus content out there like this season-pass only OC featurette.

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