Don’t expect Apple to announce a streaming version of iTunes anytime soon. The long rumored service, sometimes referred to as “itunes replay”, would theoretically allow users to stream purchased content from the cloud down to any capable iOS device. The problem, though, is that Apple would need to acquire separate licenses from record labels in order to operate such a service. Moreover, and a point not too often raised, is that streaming from the cloud, to a certain extent, would all but negate the utility of having devices with varying storage capacities. After all, why by a 32GB iPhone if you can buy a 16GB model and stream a good chunk of your library down to your device.
But that’s not to say that Apple is standing idly by and letting iTunes languish unchanged. On the contrary, All Things D is reportingthat Apple is looking to inject a little bit of social media flavor into its music client in the form of a web based version of iTunes.
That said, music sources tell me they’re expecting a lightweight, Web-based version of the iTunes store. The new version would be designed to synch up easily with the rest of the Internet and make it much easier for customers to share their musical tastes (but not songs) with friends.
Right now, you can get to the iTunes store only by using a downloaded program on your Mac or iPhone/iPod/iPad. But a Web-based version would allow buyers to get there without having to quit other applications. And if Apple makes it easier for services like Twitter and Facebook to link into the store and share recommendations, playlists and the like, then you can imagine some pretty interesting possibilities.