Apple has started an online survey for users of the Apple TV device that among other things asks them about their DVD ripping and torrent downloading habits, Apple Insider reports. The survey asks users where exactly the videos on their Apple TV come from. One of the possible sources mentioned:

"Movies or TV shows from the Internet (Peer 2 peer, Bittorrent, other sources for downloading."

Users can also state how much of their video catalog comes from ripped DVDs. This is noteworthy because Apple TV officially doesn't support either, and ripping DVDs is illegal under the DMCA because it circumvents copy protection mechanisms.

So why dose Apple want to know this? One option is, as Apple Insider suggests, that the company is trying to get studios to allow the transfer of DVD copies to the device. From the Apple Insider article:

"Many observers have stated that the success of the iPod was in large part due to its ability to work with content users already had, particularly the tight integration with iTunes' ability to rip CDs. Apple TV lacks any ability to play back DVDs remotely, and requires a more complex, do-it-yourself process to transcode DVDs into playable files"

Another option would be that Apple just wants to start supporting more codecs to make the device more useful. Apple TV currently doesn't support DivX or Xvid playback, and Apple has historically been very keen on limiting the number of available codecs. Then again, the same could be said for Microsoft, and the software giant is including Xvid support in Windows 7.

Either way, Apple's interest in P2P is apparently not something the company wants to be widely discussed. The survey has been take offline after Apple Insider linked to it.

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