Apple overhauling iTunes for sharing, cloud integration?
Apple Inc. may be working on an overhaul of its iTunes software to improve music sharing and integrating files with its iCloud service.
People familiar with the matter said Apple may unveil the changes to iTunes by the end of 2012, Bloomberg reported.
"The company will more closely integrate its iCloud file- storage service with iTunes so users can more seamlessly access and manage their music, videos and downloaded software apps across different Apple gadgets, the people said. Apple also plans new features for sharing music, the people said," Bloomberg said.
It noted iTunes, which debuted in 2003, has been the key to Apple’s success, generating revenue of almost $1.9 billion last quarter alone.
The software also serves as the gateway between computers and Apple products such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod.
Bloomberg noted Apple’s iTunes Store presently has more than 28 million songs and 45,000 movies, and its App Store offers more than 650,000 apps.
Bloomberg said the overhaul aims to help people improve how they manage their files.
As such, the changes may include how users find new apps and how they access what they already own on different Apple devices, it quoted one of the insiders as saying.
It added Apple may try to improve discovery is by making it easier for people to share songs.
Apple has been negotiating with major record labels for rights that would let a user listen to a song sent to them from a friend for free, Bloomberg quoted an insider as saying.
Tighter cloud integration
The report said Apple also may work toward tighter integration of social networks Facebook and Twitter in iTunes, allowing people to share what they are listening to.
It noted the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had talked about Apple being a “digital hub” in people’s lives.
Bloomberg also said Apple is creating separate applications for features that had been included within iTunes.
Also, iTunes is part of Apple’s plans to expand in Asia. The company this week opened the digital store in 12 areas in Asia, including the Philkippines.
Bloomberg reported music labels also have been urging Apple to offer a music- subscription service similar to Spotify’s.
Such a setup will allow customers to pay a monthly fee to get unlimited access to songs.
However, it said Apple is not likely to announce that type of service, at least for now. — TJD, GMA News