There is a very intriguing rumor going around that Apple is pushing for music companies to allow the iTunes customers to download music more than once after a purchase.
As reported in Apple Insider, the people familiar with this matter claim that, “Apple is in talks with music companies, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Group, to change its download policy to provide greater flexibility to iTunes customers, Bloomberg said on Thursday. An updated agreement, which sources said could come as early as the middle of this year, would allow users to re-download purchased music, even after losing the original copies. Currently, Apple’s iTunes Music Store does not offer free re-downloads of previously purchased music.”
This would be a much welcomed upgrade to iTunes because it would allow for customers to download music onto their iPods, iPhones, iPads, and other devices that are also linked to their iTunes account. This move is considered to be a “step closer to universal access to content centrally stored on the Internet.” It would also give customers a welcomed ease of relief if the original download was lost or ruined from a computer crash, or even if their device was stolen with all of their music on it.
There have been rumors before about Apple using a centralized streaming media service with iTunes and MobileMe. These rumors gained more interest when Apple reportedly planned to spend over $1 billion on a massive data center located in North Carolina. Last month, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer revealed that this center will be used for iTunes and MobileMe and is set to open in the Spring of 2011.
One rumor suggested that Apple plans on using a MobileMe online “locker” that would allow their customers to access their files online. Another rumor suggested that iTunes media could be stored on a user’s home computer and then streamed over the Internet to their connected devices.
As stated in Apple Insider, “Over the years, Apple has sought to leverage its continued success with the iTunes Music Store to negotiate more favorable contracts with the record companies. For example, Apple was successful in reaching a deal to remove DRM copy protections from iTunes music purchases in exchange for a variable pricing model. More recently, Apple negotiated the extension of iTunes music previews from 30 seconds to 90 seconds.”