It appears that all those rumours of an iTunes streaming service may finally come to fruition soon. Boy Genius Report has been told by one of their ‘reliable Apple sources’ that iTunes will soon be getting the cloud capability that we’ve all been yearning for over the past few years.
According to the post, the cloud capabilities are split in to three categories:
1. Streaming music and movies from Apple’s servers to your computers, devices, etc.
Although the report doesn’t contain too much detail, we can still interpret Apple’s intentions pretty well. From Apple’s point of view, allowing customers to stream content from Apple’s servers to your personal devices is a big selling point, because it may encourage more users to purchase their content from iTunes.
Apple has a very successful business model when it comes to selling content on the iTunes store, be it music, TV or movies. However, a lot of people using iTunes don’t purchase any content from the store. They either rip their CD’s or pirate content and import it manually. If Apple were to allow customers to stream their purchases from the store wirelessly, whether it’s being held locally or not, it may encourage more people to buy content from the store, increasing revenue for the company.
If this does happen, it makes you wonder what might happen to services such as Spotify (with free and paid options) who despite talk of launching in the US, have not done so yet, could an iTunes streaming service kill Spotify off in the US before they even get started there?
The same would apply for movies too: if iTunes was given Apple TV like functionality, with users being able to rent movies, or stream existing purchases without storing them locally, companies such as Netflix and LoveFilm may have reason to worry.
Of course, this has its drawbacks too. What if you don’t purchase your content from the iTunes store? All of my music is ripped from CD in Apple Lossless, and I can count the number of iTunes store purchases I’ve ever made on one hand. This brings us to the second point: being able to stream content stored on your network.
2. Streaming music and movies from your home computers to your other computers, remote devices, etc.
The second point, like the first, is focused on streaming content. This time, however, instead of streaming directly from Apple’s servers, you’re streaming from your PC or Mac via your home network.
Presumably, this means that all content in your iTunes library will be instantly accessible from your other iDevices, such as iPhone and iPad. If you’ve got a large library of music (mine weighs in at around 70GB) and can’t store them locally, then this is a great feature to have.
For me, this kind of streaming support may tempt me to move to iOS from Android, as it’s currently difficult for me to listen to my music on the go without cloud support, although there is currently the nuTsie iPhone app to sync iTunes playlist and stream them to your iPhone.
In addition to this, you’ll also be able to stream music and movies to other computers on your network with ease. Whether this is considered ‘new’ is another debate entirely, as I’ve been doing this on iTunes 9 for a few months now.
3. Wireless iTunes syncing with devices
This is arguably the most exciting note on the post, with the final point hinting at the ability to have all of your iDevices wirelessly sync with each other whenever a change is made. Adding music to your iTunes library? You’ll be able to see it on your iPhone and iPad soon after.
Similarly, if you buy an app on your iPhone, you won’t have to physically connect it to your PC or Mac to have it appear on your iTunes.
For those constantly making changes to their library, and purchasing apps on their PC / Mac, it makes things considerably easier, as you don’t have to worry about connecting it every day to ensure it remains synced.
When is it coming?
Looking forward to these features is all well and good, but when are we going to be able to use this with our devices? Well, your guess is as good as mine at this stage, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it appearing alongside an iPod refresh at Apple’s September event.
What do you think to these future iTunes possibilities? Are these features that you’d like to see added and would you use them?
Via – Boy Genius Report