Disney, Apple Make iPod Pact

In addition to downloading the latest tracks from the Black-eyed Peas and The White Stripes, iPod owners will soon be ripping color video files of their favorite shows from Disney outlets ABC and Disney channel. In conjunction with yesterday’s unveiling of the video-capable iPod, the Walt Disney Company and Apple announced that they will jointly distribute Disney TV programming for download on Apple’s iTunes Music Store, as part of the launch of iTunes 6.

Initial iTunes video offerings will include past and present season installments of ABC’s Lost, Desperate Housewives and Night Stalker, along with Disney Channel favorites That’s So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Current season episodes of the ABC shows will be available for download the day after they broadcast, while the entire first season of Lost and Desperate Housewives will be available for download immediately.

“Disney and Apple are offering customers a new and exciting way to experience television,” says Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “To be able to download your favorite TV shows right from iTunes for just $1.99 and then watch them on your computer and iPod is revolutionary.”

Jobs, who is also the CEO of animation powerhouse Pixar, will surely want to make such films as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles available on his new gizmo. And since Disney owns distribution rights to all Pixar films to date, this latest deal bodes well for a new pact between the two companies, which is scheduled to expire after next year’s release of Cars.

iTunes 6 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Music Store and is available as a free download immediately from www.apple.com/itunes. Purchase and download of songs from the iTunes Music Store for Mac or Windows requires a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase. Television shows are available in the U.S. only for $1.99 per episode.