iTunes Extras was first introduced in 2009. It gives consumers a wider scope of movie content by featuring everything from behind-the-scenes, cut scenes, commentary from the director, short films and image galleries in high resolution. Each HD movie purchase comes with an automatic download of Extras with new extras added to previously purchased movies once they are available at no extra cost.
Following the release of Apple's second generation AppleTVs in late 2010, the support for iTunes Extras was aborted and became available solely on PC-installed iTunes. This time, Apple is resurrecting its support to Apple TV for consumers of second and third generation Apple TV, excluding those that use the first generation.
Hollywood wanted to bring a whole new meaning to buying digital movies, making consumers understand its benefits compared to renting or watching titles from a subscription-based movie provider. It aims to provide movie buffs with a whole new level of home viewing experience.
"Apple is helping to take that digital experience to the next level. You now have a substantial amount of people who have access to additional content on the big screen in the living room," said president and CMO Mary Daily of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
The latest release is packed with an updated version of iTunes Extras. Dubbed as iTunes 11.3, it is now available at Apple.com and at Mac App Store. It boasts of several new releases and library titles from a number of entertainment studios which include A24, Starz Digital Media, Disney and Pixar, Paramount, Fox, Lionsgate, Warner Bros, Universal, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
One example of bonus content is "Scenes" which feature a collection of iTunes movie highlights and the most notable scenes in a movie. Some of the movies that have this added bonus include "300: Rise of an Empire" by Warner Bros, "Frozen" by Disney, and "American Hustle" by Sony.
Apart from understanding that a consumer should have the second generation Apple TV or even its third, accessing iTunes Extras would also require that the settings of the iTunes Store are set to HD movies. Quite amusingly, setting it back to SD movie will disable access to any extra content even after an HD movie has been successfully purchased prior to reset.
iTunes Extras with the updated 11.3 version will soon arrive on the iOS 8 in the coming fall season. This means that the feature will soon become supported across all devices of Apple such as the iPhones, iPods and iPads.