A cloud-based iTunes service is something that many people have been hoping Apple would implement for some time now, and if reports today are to be believed it may be taking the first step towards such a service.
Bloomberg is quoting not one, not two but three people with “knowledge of the company’s plans” who say that Apple is in discussions with with a number of major record labels to allow unlimited downloads of music purchased on iTunes. This in effect would mean that once a song is purchase by a user in iTunes, they can then download that song to their iPhone, iPad and iPod separately for no extra charge.
As Apple already allows this type of service with its apps in the App Store, it seems logical that it would create a similar system for music. Apple is apparently in discussions with Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music and EMI in an attempt to thrash out a deal to suit everyone. Apple currently has 70 percent of the digital download market in the US, but digital music sales worldwide are stagnating and this could be seen as Apple embracing change out of necessity. The move would see iTunes become more attractive to people who may have moved away from it to streaming services such as Spotify or Grooveshark.
The sources quoted by Bloomberg said this service could be rolled out by mid-year and Apple's investment of $1billion in a new data centre in North Carolina for MobileMe and iTunes services should be able to handle the extra pressure.