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  • Apple to Retool iTunes for the web

    Big changes could be in store for iTunes. That's the word from the Wall Street Journal this morning in a new article addressing how Apple may retool the popular music service and move it to the web.

    Apple is looking into the possibility of overhauling iTunes for the purpose of finding newer and more efficient ways of selling and storing music. Evidence of such a plan? Look no further than Apple's recent acquisition of music-streaming service La La.

    Where Apple's iTunes requires users to download music onto a specific computer, Lala.com lets users buy and listen to music through a Web browser, meaning its customers can access purchases from anywhere, as long as they are connected to the Internet.
    The inability to connect to iTunes through a web browser has been a longstanding criticism of the service since its inception. If corrected, the move would once again prove that Apple "eventually" gets around to making widely sought-after changes. Although Apple would likely not be keen on consumers having a way to utilize iTunes without first downloading software, the company has more to gain from going with the flow of consumer demands and facilitating a way for music lovers to purchase, organize, and access their music from anywhere at any time using nothing more than a web browser.

    That new business model extends Apple's grip on the music business, giving it the ability to sell music through search engines and other Web sites and broaden its reach beyond people who come to its virtual store.
    Although its too early to estimate when such changes will come to iTunes (if ever), those sourced in the WSJ article imply that no major announcements are imminent. In fact, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling tried to play down the recent acquisition of La La saying only that "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not comment on our purpose or plans."

    Others think Apple cold take iTunes to the web by the middle of 2010.

    It is also possible that Apple would use Lala's streaming technology as the basis for a subscription service, for which users would pay a flat rate in exchange for unlimited access to music. Such offerings already exist but have never gained much traction with users, mainly because most don't work with iPods or iPhones.
    Image via Apple
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple to Retool iTunes for the web started by Michael Essany View original post