By now, the entire internet knows that Apple plans for tomorrow morning an iTunes day “you’ll never forget.” Everyone is talking about what’s coming next.
It’s amazing, Apple just teases something and the internet is ablaze with speculation and rumors about what to expect. Further complicating things is that there are conflicting reports as to what we should be expecting tomorrow.
While many say we should expect an iTunes streaming service, there are reports on MediaMemo, saying that we shouldn’t be putting our money on iTunes streaming. The report says that sources from within the music industry “don’t know of any new deals between Apple and the big music labels…would rule out a new subscription service, which would definitely require a new rights deal.”
The report goes on to add that it also rules out cloud-based storage for iTunes. Their point being that Apple is working hard to negotiate deals with record executives (who was we all know are very anal about music distribution) and it’s unlikely that they would want to upset them by presenting a new service without working out some kind of a deal.
That said, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Still, let’s take a look at some of the most plausible outcomes:
Rumors We’ve Heard So far
1) Streaming iTunes – We know iTunes users want streaming. It’s already been mentioned as a possibility for tomorrow, and most users would bet that this is Apple’s big announcement. However, streaming has yet to be properly defined in an iTunes context: Would it mean streaming content that you own to your device such as what you could do with cloud-based storage? (more on that in a bit) Or would it be streaming of live video content such as concerts, television broadcasts and other live events? As we know, Apple has trademarked iTunes Live, and viewing live performances of major artists could be a huge hit. Imagine streaming a live concert of your favorite band straight to Apple TV or your iPad via iTunes with a simple purchase. Sporting events could also be a possibility, but now we are stretching things a bit. Either way, you get the idea. Possibilities are endless.
2) iTunes Cloud Storage – Somewhere along the same lines as streaming iTunes also lies the possibility of cloud-based storage. While one possibility is live video streams, the other is the ability to stream our playlist to any of our iOS devices no matter where we are. This could free up space on our iOS devices as well as make it possible to stream our playlists to Apple TV without having to have our computer running. It’s another one of those features users have been asking for, and it definitely sounds like a possibility. However, as we mentioned earlier, at least one report says, “No way!”
3) Browser-based iTunes – We’ve been fans of using the browser for previews, but we’ve never been fans of iTunes itself. Imagine a lighter load iTunes Store that lets you check out content via your browser window rather than the lumbering giant that iTunes has become as an application. While this may not be the kind of announcement for a day we’ll “never forget,” we don’t think we should count it out. Especially since we already know that whatever Apple has in store for tomorrow isn’t big enough for its own press event.
4) Wireless syncing in iTunes – Jailbreak Apps have been able to do this for a while already. It’s something Jobs said would some “someday,” according to an email sent to him. Why not make that “someday,” tomorrow? That would surely be a day iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad would never forget. We aren’t asking for full iOS updates (though that would be nice) just the ability to quickly sync when we purchase a new App, song or movie without having to connect each device individually. This would be amazing if it worked back and forth. For instance, buying a song on your iPad will automatically sync it to your computer (taking into account that your computer is turned on at the time), while buying something on your computer will automatically sync it with the iOS devices in your home.
5) Subscription service – We’ve heard many rumors of this in the past, and several services already offer something of the sort. The idea of being able to pay a flat monthly rate and download whatever you want is enticing to music junkies. Services like Netflix Streaming, do show that people don’t mind paying a monthly fee to watch/listen to whatever they want, when they want it. This is another one of those rumors that is important enough for us to “never forget” while not quite being Apple press conference material. Will Apple make it happen?
6) The Beatles – We are only including this rumor because it’s become almost as big as iTunes on the cloud. Many are saying that the Beatles will be coming to iTunes. It’s definitely something that many users have been wanting for quite some time now, even Steve Jobs himself.
Some are going so far as to post stories of how the clocks represent each one of the Beatles on the Help album cover:
Well, two can play at that game, so here’s our own theory on that rumor:
The clocks all mean something:
California – Where Lennon spent his “Lost Weekend”.
New York – The Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan show, which was filmed in New York. This was one of their most famous performances. John Lennon eventually moved here.
London – The Beatles had their first recording session at EMI Studios in London.
Tokyo – Yoko Ono was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1933.
There are also additional reports coming from the Wall Street Journal saying that Apple has finished their long negotiations over the rights to The Beatles’ catalog for distribution on the iTunes Store. It looks like this could be tomorrow’s big announcement after all.
It’s also worth adding that the only three countries the tease points to are the United States, England and Japan. That may not mean anything other than they didn’t want to post an image of 50 different clocks, but we do wonder if the announcement will be limited to those three countries, at least for now.
We have talked about some of the things that need to improve with iTunes. We definitely hope that some of those are addressed with whatever update or announcement Apple has in store for tomorrow. Perhaps we are all making more of the announcement than it actually is. Either way, we are all listening closely.