Rumors about an online version of iTunes have been rampant since mid to late 2009, but now it looks like there’s a little truth to the idea…maybe. Apple will be launching an online music service that will allow users to listen to music streamed over the internet. Experts say the new application could become a major threat for music websites such as Spotify, a service that allows users access to millions of songs through a paid subscription.
Each iTunes user will have access to a “digital locker,” which allows them to store music they’ve purchased through the iTunes store. If you’d like to access your locker, you simply go to the website (the New York Times says it will probably be iTunes.com), log in, and voila! Your music is there, waiting to be listened to on any computer.
With the current version of iTunes, music can only be stored on your computer or your iPod, which rules out listening to it on the go in some cases.
Last year, Apple bought Lala.com and last month, they closed it down. This led many to believe the web version of iTunes is coming. Lala’s Software allows users to store music libraries online and play them through any browser on any computer. It’s most likely that these guys will be working on the new web-based version of iTunes.
The New York Times spoke with an unnamed record label executive who said Apple had announced plans to create a cloud-based service just weeks before it purchased Lala. Others wondered if Amazon or Google would beat Apple to creating such a service.
Personally, I’m not sure I would use this service very often. I’m a big iTunes fan, but I’m never in a position where I would want to access my music on another computer. If I’m traveling with intentions to work, I generally take my laptop and/or iPod along if I plan to listen to music. If I’m on another computer, other than my laptop, I am most likely in a place where playing music wouldn’t be a great idea, though I suppose you can always wear headphones. On the plus side, I can see where it would be handy if you own multiple computers. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what Apple comes up with.