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Apple iTunes cloud and the next generation iPod

There is nothing new around the speculations that Apple will introduce cloud capability for streaming content to your Apple devices following their aqusition of Lala a while back. This time the rumours comes from BoyGenius who have often turned out to have reliable insight into Apple plans, refering to sources inside Apple that has provided insight into their future plans for iTunes.

There are already several providers that offer streaming of content to mobile devices, including Spotify, so it is no surprise that cloud solution is in the pipeline for Apple as well to make sure that their iTunes store stays at the forefront of peoples media habits and consumption.

What we might see is a 3 stage approach, starting with allowing Apple wireless devices, including the iPhone and iPod Touch, to stream purchased content from Apple’s servers. The benefit of this of course is that you would not have to carry your entire media library on your mobile device, allowing some relief for the growing storage requirements on the devices.

The second stage could see the opportunity to stream content from your own computer to your other mobile devices, likely to provide some relief for Apple’s own servers.

Streaming of movies and music etc over data networks to mobile devices is sure to come for Apple as well, but we are already starting to see the mobile networks having to put limits on the amount of data traffic you can have per month, often capped at 1gb in the contracts. Imagine if it becomes the norm to stream movies and music albums over mobile data networks. Some serious developments would have to take place to improve the mobile data networks, and at what cost would that come to the consumer?

The third stage is wireless syncing of your iPhone or iPod Touch with your computer, a much requested feature among users already. An iPhone app for just that has already been declined by Apple, which is another sign that they are working on their own solution to just that feature.

Now, when can we expect some of these iTunes features to start coming into play? Well, there were speculations before the WWDC event this summer that saw the launch of the iPhone 4, but nothing happened. The next big Apple event is likely to be in September when Apple usually holds their annual iPod event.

Introducing iTunes cloud features along with a new generation of Apple iPod’s would in many ways make sense, so perhaps we can all look forward to media streaming and wireless syncing, along with camera, for the new 4th generation iPod Touch 4.

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