According to the Financial Times (registration required), Apple and Fox will enter a deal that will be announced at Macworld regarding iTunes Movie Rentals. The rental system will work much like other rental services like Amazon and the Xbox Live Marketplace. Let’s hope that if this turns out to be true, which I think it will, that we’ll get something that is a little higher quality than the current offerings in the iTunes store.
In addition to the rentals some Fox film releases will include a Fairplay DRMed copy of the movie allowing you to play it on your PC, Mac, iPod, iPod Classic, iPod Touch, iPod Nano, or iPhone. Frankly this would be a welcome addition for me, because I’d love to not have to bother with ripping and encoding something to get it on my iPod. It’s a pain, and an unnecessary step that will be eliminated through this new agreement.