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The Speculation That You’ll Never Forget

You might have heard that something’s coming to iTunes tomorrow. Apple has an “exciting announcement” for iTunes to share on its homepage, which apparently will offer some kind of streaming / webcast / press release tomorrow, starting at 7 AM PST.

Let’s recap the rumors and thoughts we posted on Twitter after Apple’s updated homepage.

  • Beatles library is coming to iTunes: that would be great, but it wouldn’t be something people will go crazy about. Something “that you’ll never forget” is a huge statement to write up on Apple’s homepage, and Steve Jobs doesn’t usually hype things unless they’re really huge. Beatles would be great and welcome by many, but it’s not something worth changing Apple’s homepage for. Even if it’s just another day.
  • Is it going to be “international”? Yes. A few minutes after we noticed Apple posted the teaser, I tweeted the new homepage wasn’t available on some international Apple websites. It is now. Plus, the world clocks suggest this is something users and media from all countries should look forward to.
  • Cloud and streaming: this is what we’re all waiting for. An Apple-powered cloud and streaming solution capable of letting us ditch the cable and start syncing everything on our devices with the cloud. MobileMe already allows us to sync contacts, mails, calendars and notes. What about media (music, movies) and apps? Most of all, is it going to be an “upload then delete from your local machine” model or a “purchase then access through the cloud” one? Which leads me to the next point.
  • Subscription service: according to the rumors, Apple has been working on a subscription-based iTunes for music that lets you enjoy an unlimited quantity of songs and albums through a monthly fee. Everything would be tied up to your existing Apple ID and credit card. Of course, a subscription-based model would suggest the actual music files are stored somewhere else and you’d be able to access them with your account. Like Spotify.
  • Apple TV update to support AirPlay: it’s coming, but obviously this announcement isn’t going to be about the Apple TV. Apps for Apple TV? Nope, it’s an announcement “from iTunes”. But what if AirPlay could stream stuff from the cloud? Now that’d be interesting.
  • The white iPhone 4: seriously, why are people even mentioning this?
  • New Ping features: with recent Twitter integration and iPad support, I don’t thin new features are coming to Ping. And if they are, they certainly aren’t something I will never forget.
  • “You’ll never forget”: as I wrote on Twitter a few minutes, there could be a hidden meaning here. Remember Back to the Mac? It wasn’t just about new Mac stuff coming, it was about iOS going back to where it originally came from. “You’ll never forget” might mean a new system to never lose files and data is coming, and that system is the cloud.
  • Apps are moving out of iTunes: with the Mac App Store opening in two months and iTunes becoming a “bloat”, it’d be great to be able to store media in iTunes, and apps somewhere else. Too bad Apple sees iTunes as a central hub for everything iPod and iPhone, so I don’t think this is going to happen.

The thing is, we don’t really know how much Apple is willing to risk in a first iteration of a new product. Plus, tomorrow should be just an “announcement”. Back at the Q3 earnings call, Apple confirmed the North Carolina data center was “on schedule” and set to be completed “by the end of the calendar year”.

Tomorrow’s just another day. We sure hope it’ll be a cloudy one.

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