Deal with Paramount adds Star Trek Films to iTunes Store

During the Macworld expo keynote a week ago, Steve Jobs made the off-hand comment that Paramount Pictures had joined Disney in selling films through the iTunes Store. Of course, that deal means that all of the Star Trek motion pictures (except the Search for Spock) are now available for digital download, enabling portable viewing on a iPod or streaming to a new Apple TV.

Like all movie downloads from the store, the films cost $9.99 each, decent-enough price I you just have to have it now. For my money though, I’d much prefer the physical DVDs with all the special features and bonus materials. Still, if you don’t care about those things or already own the DVDs and don’t mind having your fair use rights sold back to you, downloading might just hit the spot. If not, I suggest you give Handbrake a shot.

Anyway, back to iTunes. At 640 pixels wide, the resolution of the pictures is adequate for most viewing situations. Compression artifacts are few, and motion is smooth and seamless. The sound was also acceptable, but I was using my PowerBook’s speakers.

Artifacting is usually very noticeable with red. Click to see this shot (PNG-24) from the First Contact trailer. It shows that the store’s compression holds up pretty well.

Direct links to the Star Trek films at the iTunes Store if you’d like to do your own exploring.

Star Trek the motion picture on iTunes

The intellectual Star Trek film. Slow pacing and deep thinking, this one is usually underrated. Features visual effects that are still impressive twenty-five years later and Jerry Goldsmith’s most magnificent score.

This version is the original version, not the director’s edition.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek the wrath of khan on iTunes


This film would be worth it for that line alone. Fortunately, there’s more to it that that. Not much more though. This film is simply a revenge-soaked submarine-cum-spaceship action adventure. And it’s a helluva lot of fun to watch. James Horner’s score is engaging, though he rips off Prokofiev to do it.

Star Trek search for spock on iTunes

After a bit of a wait, the Search is over.

Star Trek the voyage home on iTunes

Star Trek meets 1986, complete with punks, boomboxs and humpback whales. This film is generally popular with the fans, particularly those who enjoy watching the world they live in, rather than a far-fetched outer space series. Leonard Rosenman’s is probably the most unique in the franchise, featuring lots of high brass. It’s also probably the weakest, but it does feature Chekov’s Run which is pretty fun. And hey, they save the whales, so that’s cool.

Star Trek the final frontier on iTunes

Shatner’s opus! Yes, the good captain finally took the director’s chair, for this, the ugly duckling of Trekdom. Worse than Nemesis? You be the judge. Still, separated from the film, Jerry Goldsmith’s music, once again, is full of contemplative genius.

Star Trek the undiscovered country on iTunes

Star Trek shines again with another action-packed adventure. Whowouldathunkit, peace with the Klingons? Everyone really. By the time the film was released, TNG had well established that the Feds had entered a time of detente and alliance with their ridged-foreheaded neighbors. However, some folks are just opposed to change and will go to great lengths to combat it, thus we have a really good movie. Cliff Edelman’s score also shines.

Star Trek generations

The Next Generation’s big-screen debut! The crew of the Enterprise-D in higher definition than television. Crisp, clean production put the ship and characters in a new light and some BIG changes occur before the end of the film. Unfortunately, the film can’t help but feel like a well polished TV episode. Perhaps, part of that is due to the score by Dennis McCarthy, veteran of the series. On its own, McCarthy’s music is actually pretty good. It just can’t compete with the scale of the other films’.

Star Trek the first contact on iTunes

Another fan fave and another big adventure. This one has everything: The Borg (before they became laughably overused supervillains), a new Enterprise (and a neat one at that), an engaging story, a moving score (by Jerry of course) and some really loud Steppenwolf. What’s not to love.

Star Trek insurrection on iTunes

TNG’s third silver screen installment, with a big title that’s actually a pretty small story (and hardly an "insurrection"). The "Briar Patch" is a pretty backdrop and Riker gets a (non-bedroom) maneuver named after him. Jerry Goldsmith does it again with a beautiful pastoral and action-packed score.

Star Trek nemesis on iTunes

When a director brags about how much doesn’t know about the history of the franchise, how could this be anything but a doozy. A flimsy premise and out-of-character characters make this one hard to stomach for diehard fans. The scene where the Enterprise rams the Scimitar is pretty cool though. This was Jerry’s final Star Trek score and the penultimate score of his lifetime. Like the Final Frontier, the music is best enjoyed without the film.

3 thoughts on “Deal with Paramount adds Star Trek Films to iTunes Store

  1. Nice. I have to admit I still haven’t seen Nemesis. II, III, IV, VI, VIII are my faves. I can’t believe how bad V is…


    tunequest Reply:

    I’m tempted to tell you to save yourself from that train-wreck, but there’s a glorious mastery of suckitude in Nemesis that you really have to see for yourself.


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