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This week in video tech

Apple Computer may be getting ready to take its iTunes Music Store to the movies. Also: Skype embraces video phones.

Apple Computer may be getting ready to take its iTunes Music Store to the movies.

Since May, the iTunes software has allowed users to play videos, movie trailers and even home movies. The store itself has begun selling a handful of music videos, with more being added each week.

Now record label sources say Apple has been in talks to start selling a much wider range of music videos through the store, probably as soon as this fall. The company also has indicated to media executives that an iPod that plays video could be unveiled as early as September. That leads some industry insiders to believe that Apple is working on an online movie store and a video playback device that does for movies what iTunes and the iPod have done for music.

For Net phone operator Skype, the impact of video is clear: The company has tens of millions of users but envisions attracting billions with the help of video phones, says the man who co-founded the company. The company's CEO demonstrated a beta video version of Skype during his keynote at the AlwaysOn conference at Stanford University.

The application is a plug-in based on Skype's core telecommunications technology and is being tested internally. Speaking from his office in Estonia, the executive did not say when the product would be ready for release.

DVD-swapping site Peerflix is talking with retailers about attracting more customers as well: The company is negotiating with retailers in an attempt to get them to offer a few free Peerflix trades with new DVDs. The company runs a site through which participants can sell DVDs to one another for 99 cents.

"You get rid of 'Caddyshack' or 'Rambo,' and pick up 'The Aviator,'" is how CEO Billy McNair described the process during an interview at the AlwaysOn Conference. "We have a guy in Florida that trades 60 movies a month."

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