With three weeks until Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, I heard that CEO Steve Jobs will use his keynote address to announce the debut of movie rentals through the iTunes Music Store. While the announcement will undoubtedly be billed as a further extension of iTunes' dominance in digital media downloads.
Apple is said to have made agreements with Walt Disney, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros., and is currently in talks with other major movie studios as well. It's unknown to what extent content will be available come the August 7 announcement, or whether Apple will announce all of its studio deals at that time.
The movies will be rented and not sold on the itunes store. It is not known exactly how the coding system will work, but Apple may either limit the number of playbacks or provide unlimited viewing for a period of time, after which the movie will be "turned off" and no longer available.