When browsing through movies to rent or buy, iTunes users will now be able to gauge quality using the recognizable Tomatometer. The update, which was quietly added this week, joins the customer ratings already on offer, and marks the first time that Apple has introduced external review information into the iTunes store.
However, despite Rotten Tomatoes’ popularity, the rating method has often been labeled as an unfair aggregation system. It currently gives a movie either a 'fresh' or 'rotten' rating, but if only a small number of reviews are available, then a heavily biased picture is quickly painted. The Adventures of Robin Hood is a perfect movie in the eyes of Rotten Tomatoes, whereas One Missed Call is a total flat-out turkey. Whatever your opinion on the above movies, it's clear that the results on offer are not always representative, which is interesting considering Apple's "don’t rock the boat" philosophy.
In order to see the newly included reviews, just open the iTunes Store and navigate to a movie listing page. When viewing the listing for a movie, the page now displays the Tomatometer in addition to a few select review excerpts from the Rotten Tomatoes site.
You can also click through to more Rotten Tomatoes reviews, or continue to read the customer reviews and ratings that have always been on offer.
Rotten Tomatoes was formed in 1998 and quickly gained a following as the place to go for a round-up of esteemed movie conclusions. Following the site’s rise in popularity, Rotten Tomatoes was snapped-up by IGN in 2004, and again by social movie site Flixster earlier this year. Rotten Tomatoes’ main draw for many is the aforementioned Tomatometer feature. The noteworthy Tomatometer provides a movie with an aggregated score; a score which is calculated from all available 'trusted' reviews. Depending on whether a review is favorable or not a 'fresh' or 'rotten' label is awarded. It's these labels which provide users with a quick way to determine a movies quality, a convenience which is now yours in the iTunes Store.
The addition of Rotten Tomatoes data does offer potential customers a simple rundown of selected reviews, including scores from the likes of Roger Ebert, Stephen Hunter and others. However, it's always worth spreading your wings and doing your research before laying down your green.
So, if Apple are is happy to introduce external reviews for movies, will they do it for music? M etacritic is another site that also offers an aggregated look at entertainment products, including albums, games and like Rotten Tomatoes, movies. If Apple were to make use of their reviews, it could easily see external music reviews in the iTunes store.
Would you like to see sourced reviews for music join the new movie information? Let us know in the comments.
This story, "iTunes Store Gets Movie Reviews From Rotten Tomatoes" was originally published by PCWorld.