As we've been hearing for a while, Apple is working to bring iTunes to the cloud. That is part of what that that 500k square foot, $1billion data center is going to support, along with MobileMe, which may be available for free soon.
According to a recent report from Financial Times (via gigaom), we can forget about the idea of having iTunes content delivered as an unlimited, subscription-based service. It's not going to happen, at least not anytime soon.
Financial Times says that they have spoken with various executives within the music industry. Being that the music industry is so defensive of its material, Apple keeps in close contact with the big dogs there in order to always let them know what's going on, and what kinds of future plans they may have.
As we reported before, the main goal of iTunes on the cloud will be for allowing users to back up their collections online with the possibility of allowing for remote access from another Mac or iDevice registered under a particular Apple ID.
This may be what we see soon when MobileMe gets that rumored revamp we've been reading so much about over the past few weeks. We wouldn't be surprised if free MobileMe is announced alongside the iPad 2 and iOS 4.3.
As most websites are reporting, there is probably little reason for Apple to jump on the subscription-based model at this time, anyway. While the idea sounds great for us consumers, gigaom does make the point that Apple does not feel any direct threat from other music distributers. Until that happens, we probably won't see them hustling to get some sort of service started. Even then, we wouldn't be surprised if Apple is keeping a watchful eye on such services to see if there is any money to be made in that business model.