iTunes streams from the clouds: 8 questions

Apple may be getting serious about putting iTunes into the clouds -- here's what we want to know about that move.

Apple is getting close to launching a cloud-based version of iTunes that supports wireless streaming music and movies and wireless syncing, according to new reports on the effort first reported earlier this year. Boy Genius Report learned from one of its "reliable Apple sources" that a forthcoming update to Apple's music software will push iTunes into the cloud and bring three new features:

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-- Streaming music and movies from Apple's servers to your computers and devices.

-- Streaming music and movies from your home computers to your other computers and remote devices.

-- Wireless iTunes syncing with devices

Exciting rumors like this come packed with many questions. Here are eight I have about iTunes in the cloud.

When is it coming?

Apple has a season for updating each of its products, and fall is for iPods and iTunes. So if this new version of iTunes (we'll call it iTunes X from here on out) is coming, most likely it'll be in September.

How much will it cost?

Streaming and storage services such as these don't often come free -- it'd be prudent to anticipate a price tag attached to some aspects of iTunes X. The only comparison I can draw is to Apple's MobileMe cloud storage service, which sells for US$99 per year. But if iTunes X only stores music, I'd venture to guess it would sport a lower price tag.

Does this mean a fee-based subscription iTunes is coming?

A fee-based subscription iTunes service has been knocking around the rumor mill for over two years. Timing the release of iTunes X with a subscription service would be perfect.

Apple hasn't tried subscriptions before, but there were rumors last year that it would release an iTunes TV subscription service. The prices mentioned in those rumors were $30 to $40 per month, so it's possible that streaming via iTunes X could have a similar pricing model.

Tags music filesAppleInternet-based applications and servicesmedia streamersMusic and audiointernetcloud computingaudioiTunes

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