It’s been a while since Apple has introduced anything major to their most popular service, iTunes. When Apple acquired music-streaming service Lala, speculation grew of Apple offering a music subscription service that would give users an endless supply of music, able to be streamed anywhere. According to Michael Robertson, former CEO of MP3.com, Apple’s got a much bigger project in the works for 2010.
The industry’s fascination with the ‘cloud’ has rooted itself into nearly every aspect of the future. Services like Microsoft Office 2010, Apple’s iWork, and Google Apps are all emphasized with the cloud. The ability to access our all our files, even all of our data from anywhere will eventually become a reality. As our mobile computing devices like smartphones, laptops, and the rebirth of tablets become more portable and our internet connections always-on, a shift to the cloud becomes a no brainer.
Robertson, like many other industry analysts, describes the Lala acquisition as one to acquire the technology and engineering team behind it. In a major update expected to hit this year, iTunes will copy each user’s catalog to Apple’s servers making it available from any device with a data connection. Users will also get a personal URL, allowing playback within the browser with an iTunes experience. Buying media will work as it does now, but once purchased, the song or movie will also be pushed to your cloud iTunes account automatically. According to Robertson, the acquisition of Lala was to speed up the transition, getting the feature to market as soon as possible.
While it’s still unclear whether all your iTunes data will be uploaded directly, creating an insane spike in bandwidth to those with hundreds of gigabytes of content or whether songs will be tagged, and simply added to your cloud account from Apple’s servers. In early 2009, Apple began building a $1 billion data center in North Carolina, presumably for use as Apple pushes its services to the cloud. The most recent rumors put a clouded iTunes on schedule for this coming summer of 2010. Exciting, isn’t it?