• Cloud-Based iTunes Next Month?

    It's possible that the new iPhone may not be the only big announcement in June. According to "several online rumors," the long-rumored streaming version of iTunes may be revealed at the Worldwide Developers Conference taking place the beginning of next month. Launching just days after Lala.com shuts down on May 31, the new service, Macsimum News is reporting, will implement Lala's "online locker" technology to allow users to store all their digital content in the cloud.

    Apple acquired Lala back in December of last year. Observers have generally concluded that the purchase was a talent grab: Apple wanted engineers with cloud computing expertise that could take their online services to the next level. Digital music pioneer Michael Robertson of MP3.com opined after the deal was concluded that it was a part of Apple's "secret cloud strategy." The company would push a new version of iTunes through Software Update, he asserted, sucking all of users' music into its cloud servers in the background. "Once loaded," Robertson wrote, "users will be able to navigate and play their music, videos and playlists from their personal URL using a browser based iTunes experience."

    If true, the move would represent a major evolution for Apple's online presence. MobileMe, the existing Apple cloud service, is estimated to have between two and five million subscribers. The re are currently over a hundred million iTunes accounts, and the amount of space that would be needed to store all that data is staggering. As has long been rumored, this could be the reason why Apple built its massive data center in North Carolina.
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