A New, Shiny iTunes
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
With the exception of some UI tweaks here and there, iTunes has mostly looked and worked the same since its introduction.
Now, Bloomberg has been talking to those stealthy People Familiar With the Matter and is reporting Apple is planning to issue iTunes a pretty big revamp by the end of 2012. According to Bloomberg, it will be the largest change to iTunes since 2003.
At nearly 10 years, it´s about time.
The People Familiar With the Matter have said the new iTunes will “more closely” integrate iCloud which will allow users a more seamless experience when managing their content, such as apps, music and videos. There may also be some sharing features included in the new iTunes, according to Bloomberg.
All told, the revamp should help users corral their content as well as discover brand new ways to throw their money Apple´s way.
As it stands, Apple excels at making it easy give them money in exchange for content. Their rumored sharing features could be one way Apple makes it easy to discover new content on their site. According to PCMag.com, Apple has been in talks with labels to allow users the ability to share a song without purchasing it.
Spotify, as an example, already allows users to share tracks and playlists via email and social networks. It´s yet to be seen if Apple will present a similar offering or take another route.
Introduced in 2003, iTunes has been elemental to Apple´s overall success. During the last quarter, for example, iTunes alone generated revenue of $1.9 billion. As the gateway and central marketplace for every iPad, iPhone and iPod, iTunes can´t help but be a phenomenal success. As such, any change could have sweeping effects on a media industry which greatly depends on the success of iTunes. It´s already the home for more than 28 million songs and 45,000 movies in addition to the App Store, which currently stands at 650,000 apps strong.
Apple has already been spending some time with their iTunes offerings this year. Earlier this year, they split their iTunes U offerings into a separate app for iOS devices.
On Wednesday, they spun off podcasts into their own app, a move which had been rumored to appear with iOS 6.
When the late Steve Jobs first envisioned iTunes, he expected it to become the “digital hub” for media content. In time, that´s exactly what it became, if not to a fault. As such, many users have been calling for Apple to slim down the bloated, do-everything app. iCloud may have only been the first step in removing Apple´s dependence on iTunes.
What´s left to be seen, however, is how well splitting off sections of iTunes in iOS will work instead of keeping them all in a central location. In any event, it is nice to see Apple spend some time on its most popular application, and it will be interesting to see what kind of features they roll out, if the rumors are true.