Apple is cooking up something around iTunes. Nicholas Deleon at CrunchGear thinks it will be an “iTunes Stream” announcement effectively killing off the MP3. I don’t disagree but for streaming to work for the iPhone we need a couple of things that we don’t currently have. First, we need a reliable 3G connection. Second, we need close to unlimited data. Both of these we don’t have currently with AT&T.
I think Apple will add the option of streaming to our current collection. And MP3 will most likely stay. Here’s my reasoning.
Like the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) we know now I think we’ll be given the option to purchase music individually as well as the entire album. This won’t go away. The streaming portion would be an add-on, allowing you to stream the music you purchased. When I think of this situation I feel like the music we will buying from the iTMS will be special and unique from all others. For 10% extra (just a guess) you can stream your music. That means if you bought your 99 cent tune you can stream it to your Macs and iPhones for 9 cents more. There’s probably going to be a stream-to maximum of five or so gadgets.
I think Apple will also give you the option of storing your MP3 files on its servers so you don’t have to ‘carry’ them around. If you think about it having your iTunes library on your Mac and another copy on your iPhone is a bit redundant. It becomes ridiculous when you have more Macs and iPhones. I think Apple will give you the option of sending up the iTMS-bought music files that you currently have to the cloud, too. That would be nice.