Apple Finally Ready for iTunes Subscriptions

Three Mac rumors sites have received anonymous tips that Apple is getting ready to introduce a subscription iTunes service in September. 

MacRumors, MacDailyNews, and The Unofficial Apple Weblog are all saying a tipster spilled the beans about a $129-a-year iTunes service that would piggyback on Apple’s MobileMe service. 

The reports are all eerily similar, suggesting that accurate or not, all the sites heard from the same source. Under the new service, Apple would offer unlimited access to half of its iTunes Store – as of an October launch – for $129 a year, or $179 for an iTunes/MobileMe combo deal, in the U.S only. If you’re already a MobileMe subscriber, you’ll only have to fork over $99.99 for the subscription service, perhaps as a payback for this summer’s disastrous MobileMe launch.

Rumors of an iTunes subscription service are not new; for 3 years, there have been rumors that Apple was getting ready to introduce such a thing. CEO Steve Jobs has historically pooh-poohed the idea of rental music – and such services haven’t exactly taken the world by storm – but Jobs has also said he wasn’t crazy about video-playing iPods and Apple-designed mobile phones, either. 

This service introduction would also reportedly include an expanded MobileMe service that would let you access “the cloud” (Apple calls it iDisk) from you iPhone or iPod Touch.

While I’m on this track, let me be the first to revive – based on absolutely nothing – the Beatles on iTunes rumors for September. It has to happen one of these days.

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