Apple to Overhaul iTunes Service?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
47,517
9,355


The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is looking to "overhaul of the way it sells and stores music" and to extend that service into the web. According to "people familiar with the matter", Apple is considering using Lala's recently acquired engineers and technologies to accomplish that.

Lala currently allows users to buy and listen to music through their web browser. An Apple version of the service would operate the same way with music being streamed to users from a central server. This is in stark contrast to Apple's current iTunes model where songs are purchased and downloaded locally. Record company executives are said to be optimistic about the prospect but wary at giving Apple more power.

Such a move, however, would be a big departure for Apple who has previously insisted that customers wish to own their music. This on-demand streaming raises issues of long term ownership as well as technical issues if rights holders or providers go out of business in the future.

Overall, the article adds little new information but does seem to confirm much of the speculation that Apple might translate Lala's exact business model over to iTunes.

Article Link: Apple to Overhaul iTunes Service?
 

iphones4evry1

macrumors 65816
Nov 26, 2008
1,197
0
California, USA
Thumbs down for several reasons

"I have an announcement for everyone. We're going to make iTunes like Youtube. There will be no more downloading. You have to watch it on our website. You will never have your own copy."

I'm with the other 99.9% of users that prefer to OWN the music that they BUY and not just RENT music. How in the heck am I supposed to burn CDs and download songs PERMANENTLY onto my iPod if I am only allowed to stream music on my computer?

And on the idea of extending Apple music to the web browser? The main benefit of iTunes is that it's an Apple application, and it's fully controlled and secure (security) by Apple. Users then connect their devices (iPods, iPhones) to iTunes to transfer music. Using a web browser would make security vulnerable (on both ends; it would also open up Apple to an attack and theft of music files). I say thumbs down to this idea.
 

ziggyonice

macrumors 68020
Mar 12, 2006
2,386
1
Rural America
^^^
Way to force your opinion. :rolleyes:


I absolutely love this idea. Obviously, iTunes wouldn't be "stream only" — because there's plenty of people with Classics, Nanos, and Touches who would be without music. But what if it meant that you didn’t have to store everything on your computer. What if it meant you could save all that space on your hard drive (or on your iPhone) by putting stuff into the "cloud"? How about being able to store your music online, and download a copy of a song onto your device if you really want it?

I would love to have music streamed to my iPhone over 3G — saves space on my device for other things. I would love to have music streamed to my Mac via the Internet — once again, it saves space for other things.

Imagine if you could take all the gigabytes of music stored on your hard drive, and suddenly get it all back. Plus, because the music wouldn't actually be stored on any of your devices, backing it up becomes a thing of the past (provided that Apple keeps it safe and sound on their servers, which I'm sure they would).

Perhaps this means that if I actually want to "own" the track on my physical hardware, I could just download a copy off the server… to use in my iMovie, or iPhoto slideshow, etc.

I would jump on this in a heartbeat. Now, will they do the same for movies?
 

r.j.s

Moderator emeritus
Mar 7, 2007
15,026
35
Texas
I could see it as some kind of hybrid system ... where you download the music to a certain number of computers, but you can also login and stream the music to others - such as work - for an additional fee.
 

talkingfuture

macrumors 65816
Dec 4, 2008
1,216
0
The back of beyond.
Would be good to see some evolution in iTunes, I hope we see some video streaming to go with the music. Perhaps this could link up the subscription TV rumour and the enormous data centre that they are building.
 

amarcus

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2008
335
2
London, UK
I doubt that the local download model will be made obsolete. Instead I see this as a way of moving the iTunes Music store out of iTunes. I for one think this is a great idea. Not only will an online store be more accessible but iTunes will get a much needed trim. Remember when iTunes was just for playing music?
 

Otaviano

macrumors 6502a
Nov 22, 2007
593
225
"I have an announcement for everyone. We're going to make iTunes like Youtube. There will be no more downloading. You have to watch it on our website. You will never have your own copy."

I'm with the other 99.9% of users that prefer to OWN the music that they BUY and not just RENT music. How in the heck am I supposed to burn CDs and download songs PERMANENTLY onto my iPod if I am only allowed to stream music on my computer?

And on the idea of extending Apple music to the web browser? The main benefit of iTunes is that it's an Apple application, and it's fully controlled and secure (security) by Apple. Users then connect their devices (iPods, iPhones) to iTunes to transfer music. Using a web browser would make security vulnerable (on both ends; it would also open up Apple to an attack and theft of music files). I say thumbs down to this idea.
What the heck is wrong with you? You start your post with a quote you made up ... that says it all.

What makes you think Apple will do away with their very successful iTunes model? If anything all this article means is that iTunes will expand to include other services. It really makes sense for them to explore this avenue. With my iPhone I'm already connected to the net all the time ... Apple streaming music into my iPhone from their servers isn't such a stupid idea. There are a lot of people that might want to pay for such a service, especially considering the popularity of services like Spotify in Europe. Just imagine certain customers paying 10 dollars a month to access iTunes entire catalog, and then purchasing songs they especially like at a dollar a piece. Apple is smart to explore this, because there are a LOT of companies looking at it. If they use their install base to gain an advantage on these up and coming services they can ensure iTunes remains a powerhouse in the coming decade.
 

haravikk

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2005
1,490
19
I hope this is as an alternative to downloading and keeping music.
I can understand that some users may want a large amount of new music and as a result a pay-per-month for unlimited songs scheme is ideal for them, however I only buy an album once every two months or so, and maybe the odd individual song as well, so paying "full price" for these and keeping them is ideal for me.

It's similar to getting pay-as-you-go rather than a contract for a phone; I simply don't use my phone enough to justify paying a flat-rate as I only spend £10 every two months on it.
 

Maleficent

macrumors newbie
Dec 7, 2009
20
0
Edinburgh
Not interested in streaming services. Don't like the idea where you pay £9.99 (Spotify) per month and don't get to keep the songs.

Good luck to Apple if they're going down this path. Spotify at least is doing well.
 

MarcBook

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2008
956
114
United Kingdom
Looks like Apple might try and beat Spotify to the US music-streaming market. I'm a Spotify Premium subscriber and I absolutely love the service. Having a premium account lets me keep my playlists stored offline on my Mac, my iPod touch and my phone (Nokia 5800 XpressMusic), which is an absolute dream.

Basically any music that I discover and like I can just put into a playlist and keep it on my three devices. It lets you store 9,999 files offline (spread evenly over three devices meaning 3,333 actual tracks), which would cost over £2,500 on iTunes. With Spotify you pay £120 per year to do the same, meaning it would take a long time before you'd make a loss against iTunes' service (plus you can keep changing your stored music as your tastes change).

I seriously doubt that iTunes would switch to a rental/streaming-only service, but if they were to make such a change, it would need a similar offline mode to Spotify's.

The quality is also better (on the desktop application) than iTunes. Spotify Premium streams and saves at 320 Kb/s, compared to 256 for iTunes Plus.

Clearly Apple sees Spotify as a threat to iTunes and might try and beat it to the US market, which Spotify is planning on entering in the next year or two...
 

joelypolly

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2003
418
44
Melbourne & Shanghai
Next year is going to be super.

I think it will be the same buy to own model but with the ability to access your music from the cloud for a subscription fee. This would mean that people who buy exclusively from iTunes store can now have an online library that can be streamed to any computer they log onto which would mean I can listen to my music from any computer with a net connection.

You could also have a online subscription model only that you pay say 10~15 bucks for a month to have access too all the music online. Any why stop at just music subscription you can also do magazine subscriptions, tv shows(you can do that now but its downloaded and not streamed), movies. All your media consumption can occur from iTunes which is now suddenly Hulu + Music Subscription + Mags.

This would tie into the tablet which now becomes the new media delivery system. iPhones, iPods and AppleTV have always relied on a computer being at the centre of the equation but now it can all live in the cloud and be streamed on demand giving people a new way to consume media. Books, Magazines, Music, TV Shows, Movies and App all available from an appliance that has a unified interface.

The Airport Express now can stream music but Apple can bring out one that can do Video at 720p or 1080p that is compatible with the tablet. Just imaging the possibilities! iTablet as a remote that can stream iTunes content directly to your TV or Stereo. :eek:
 

Jelite

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2008
668
1
UK
I rarely buy music anymore since getting spotify, if Apple combined this model into iTunes it would mean one less application. If it was subscription only though i wouldn't use it.
 

Otaviano

macrumors 6502a
Nov 22, 2007
593
225
Not interested in streaming services. Don't like the idea where you pay £9.99 (Spotify) per month and don't get to keep the songs.

Good luck to Apple if they're going down this path. Spotify at least is doing well.
They aren't doing too well, they have 2% conversion rate. Only 2% of their user base pays for a premium subscription. Their success is really built on people using the free service, and that is hindering their growth. It's kept them from making it into the United States in 2009 and with this news of Apple looking at similar model that might have cost them dearly.
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,642
1,423
You can buy music from Lala and store it on you local system. If anything Apple is looking to have the option of both owning and renting your music.
 

aaronsl

macrumors newbie
Dec 10, 2009
1
0
I cant believe I am the only one...

I have been so thrilled since I switched to the mac ecosystem a few years ago, but the one thing I miss dearly is Rhapsody with my iRiver mp3 player. I would much rather for a flat monthly rate to listen to whatever I want, and take it portably. I well understand that I dont actually own any music, but I rarely listen to songs I downloaded more than a few months ago, so where is the benefit in owning it?

Just what I prefer, and I'm curious if others feel the same way.

Remember steve said video would never fly on the ipod? Look at it now. Im betting hes just waiting to perfect it before he releases it, and it looks like the lala acquisition is leveraging him to do so.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
To bad the Zune is just a WiFi device and the iPhone has a continuous 3G connection.
I hope when you say "continuous" you say it tongue n' cheek since there is nothing continuous about ATTs 3G service. In fact, maybe ATT should buy the "spotify" brand from Spotify. I love my iPhone but ATT's service is not ubiquitous and where it is available, not always at a decent speed. I also wonder if ATT is going to allow continuous music streaming since they have so many other iPhone roadblocks up when it comes to using data.
 

sishaw

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2005
1,147
19
"I have an announcement for everyone. We're going to make iTunes like Youtube. There will be no more downloading. You have to watch it on our website. You will never have your own copy."

I'm with the other 99.9% of users that prefer to OWN the music that they BUY and not just RENT music. How in the heck am I supposed to burn CDs and download songs PERMANENTLY onto my iPod if I am only allowed to stream music on my computer?

And on the idea of extending Apple music to the web browser? The main benefit of iTunes is that it's an Apple application, and it's fully controlled and secure (security) by Apple. Users then connect their devices (iPods, iPhones) to iTunes to transfer music. Using a web browser would make security vulnerable (on both ends; it would also open up Apple to an attack and theft of music files). I say thumbs down to this idea.
None of us know what's going to happen exactly, if anything, but I suspect that the above is NOT the scenario. What we may be looking at is an added feature allowing streaming of music (your music? All of iTunes? Who knows, but with Spotify competition coming, I suspect the latter), presumably for a fee, in addition to your own local storage.
 

flapperdink

macrumors member
Jan 25, 2009
80
0
I hope when you say "continuous" you say it tongue n' cheek since there is nothing continuous about ATTs 3G service. In fact, maybe ATT should buy the "spotify" brand from Spotify. I love my iPhone but ATT's service is not ubiquitous and where it is available, not always at a decent speed. I also wonder if ATT is going to allow continuous music streaming since they have so many other iPhone roadblocks up when it comes to using data.
agreed. also, who's to say that AT&T will actually allow Apple to do this? AT&T is already very stingy with their bandwidth.
 

sammich

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
4,285
215
Sarcasmville.
"I have an announcement for everyone. We're going to make iTunes like Youtube. There will be no more downloading. You have to watch it on our website. You will never have your own copy."

I'm with the other 99.9% of users that prefer to OWN the music that they BUY and not just RENT music. How in the heck am I supposed to burn CDs and download songs PERMANENTLY onto my iPod if I am only allowed to stream music on my computer?

And on the idea of extending Apple music to the web browser? The main benefit of iTunes is that it's an Apple application, and it's fully controlled and secure (security) by Apple. Users then connect their devices (iPods, iPhones) to iTunes to transfer music. Using a web browser would make security vulnerable (on both ends; it would also open up Apple to an attack and theft of music files). I say thumbs down to this idea.
This is totally out of left field.

So you think Apple is going to DITCH the tens of millions of people who own iPods (not the Touch or the iPhone)? They can't stream music, and Apple won't confuse the market by splitting it into two: networked iPods and classic iPods. Is Apple going to strand tens of millions of people with iPhone's who have limited download/coverage to stream? This would be an optional 'cloud' based service.
 

iOrlando

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,811
1
"I have an announcement for everyone. We're going to make iTunes like Youtube. There will be no more downloading. You have to watch it on our website. You will never have your own copy."

I'm with the other 99.9% of users that prefer to OWN the music that they BUY and not just RENT music. How in the heck am I supposed to burn CDs and download songs PERMANENTLY onto my iPod if I am only allowed to stream music on my computer?

And on the idea of extending Apple music to the web browser? The main benefit of iTunes is that it's an Apple application, and it's fully controlled and secure (security) by Apple. Users then connect their devices (iPods, iPhones) to iTunes to transfer music. Using a web browser would make security vulnerable (on both ends; it would also open up Apple to an attack and theft of music files). I say thumbs down to this idea.

i say thumbs down to you.

1) Burn CDs? I stopped doing that in 2004. Come on...really?
2) Where are you getting this whole rent thing? You buy a song and you then can get it from any internet connection. What is with this need of wanting to hold the song in your hand in order to feel like you own it. Who cares you dont have the CD. Everyone then says oh what if I lose my music...yet that doesnt happen (of course someone will respond..well it happened to me in 2005 at camp and blah blah blah). The appeal of this new form is heads and shoulders above the notion of buying a cd...buring the song...etc. etc.
3) You need to embrace the change and accept it. Buying CDs and then having to transfer a particular song from device to device to listen to it is absurd and very old school.
4) I'm not saying apple is or isnt going to do this, but the idea is not out of left field and makes sense.
 
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