I've been a consumer watchdog of sorts when it comes to Apple: They announce release dates and miss them, constantly. They make bogus claims, endlessly. Fastest/biggest/smallest/thinnest whatever in the world. Market share figures. The closed captioning issue I've raised twice lately. On and on it goes. Outright lying and gross exaggeration has been a staple of the Steve Jobs years, a weird offset to the high-quality products they actually do regularly ship. (Which makes me wonder: Why exaggerate? The stuff is good to begin with.) But then, not being under the Apple halo, one might expect someone like me to notice these things. What's interesting is that one of the biggest Apple supporters, Macworld, is finally seeing the light as well:

According to Apple’s January 15th Apple Premieres iTunes Movie Rentals With All Major Film Studios press release:

iTunes Movie Rentals launches today and will offer over 1,000 titles by the end of February, including over 100 titles in stunning high definition video with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound which users can rent directly from their widescreen TV using Apple TV.

As it’s the last day of this long February, let’s see how that’s going.

On my Apple TV I examined the All HD area and found that Apple’s close to the promise of 100 HD movies. The total as of the morning of February 29th is 91 HD movies. Note, however, that not all are offered with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound.

Choose All Movies on your Apple TV and you’ll find 351 titles for rent.

Dash to the iTunes Store from your Mac or PC and you’ll see that you can rent 378 titles if you use the All Rentals link. Use iTunes’ Power Search feature, however, and 399 titles appear. When you select iTunes’ All Movies link, 770 titles appear, the combined total of movies for rent and for sale.

So they're not even close. They don't have "over" 100 HD movies, let alone HD movies with 5.1 sound. They have significantly fewer than 1000 non-HD movies. It's six weeks after that announcement was made. Excuse me for finding exception with this. And bravo to Mr. Breen at Macworld for having some credibility.

Thanks, Holland.