Apple is prepping for an iTunes announcement Nov. 16, leading to rampant speculation over a possible music-streaming service, or possibly the Beatles' catalog.
Apple is planning an iTunes-related announcement for the morning of Nov. 16,
tipped by an enigmatic message on its corporate Website-"Tomorrow is just
another day. That you'll never forget."-predictably triggering massive
speculation across the blogosphere.
According to Apple's Website, the announcement is set for 7 A.M. PST, 10
A.M. EST, 3 P.M. in London,
and midnight in Tokyo.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggested in a Nov. 15 research note that
Apple is planning a cloud-based service for streaming multimedia content via
iTunes. "Apple is developing a data center in Maiden, N.C., that we
believe could serve as the hub for such a service," he wrote, according
to the blog Apple Insider
. "The company has indicated that the data
center is on track to be completed by the end of  and it will begin using
Munster added that a streaming
service would "leverage" Apple's growing family of mobile devices, as
well as the new Apple TV. Streaming music is currently unavailable on iTunes,
although rival services-including Microsoft's Zune
Pass-offer some form of it for a
offers up the possibility of the Beatles' song catalog
finally appearing on iTunes. If so, Paul McCartney's Twitter feed
is mum on the possibility. The Beatles' availability on iTunes, of course,
would spark the question of how many different formats of "Abbey Road"
or the "Revolver" a fan can possibly purchase in a single lifetime.
On Nov. 15, The
Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had indeed secured the rights to the
, quoting unnamed "people familiar with the
In December 2009, Apple acquired Lala Media, which hosted an online
streaming music service, and rumors quickly erupted that it planned to incorporate
the smaller company's technology into iTunes. Lala and Apple executives remained
tight-lipped about future plans, and Apple shut the service down in May.
Lala allowed users to stream a particular song as many times as they liked,
in exchange for a mere 10 cents. Additionally, users could purchase and
download songs and albums from the company's Website.
Lala Media had formerly found itself to be a chess piece in a brief game of
acquisitions between Apple and Google. The search-engine giant first attempted
to purchase the music service, before Apple stepped in with an $85 million offer.
Google's tit-for-tat response was to shell out $750 million for mobile display
ad company AdMob, on which Apple also had its eye.
Ever since, pundits and analysts have wondered how Apple would choose to
deploy Lala's assets in a new configuration. On Sept. 1, Apple
, a social-networking service that allows the 160 million
iTunes users to share their opinions on music and artists. Despite a collapse
in talks that would have allowed users to seed Ping with
their Facebook contacts, Ping
users can now use their Twitter account to follow additional Ping users
. But as with any Apple announcement, trust rumors to
fly and the company to remain predictably secretive until show time on Nov. 16.