iTunes 'set for major overhaul'
Apple is planning to overhaul its iTunes store in one of the biggest changes to the music store since its 2003 debut, sources have claimed.
The firm is to unveil the changes by the end of the year, people close to the matter, asking not to be identified as the plans aren't public.
They said Apple is planning to integrate more closely its iCloud file- storage service with iTunes so users can more seamlessly access and manage their music, videos and downloaded software apps across different Apple products.
There are also plans for new features to share music.
A spokesman for the California-based firm would not comment.
The iTunes store generated revenue of almost $1.9 billion last quarter, making it an important part of Apple’s success. The store has more than 28 million songs and 45,000 movies. It also houses the App Store, which offers more than 650,000 applications that can be downloaded for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.
The overhaul is intended to improve how people manage all their files, one person said. That includes changes to how users find new material and how they access what they already own on different Apple devices.
One of the main ways Apple will attempt to improve discovery is by making it easier for people to share songs, a popular feature of Spotify’s music-subscription service.
Apple is said to have been negotiating with major record labels for rights that would let a user listen to a song sent to them from a friend for free.
Apple also has announced tighter integration of social networks Facebook and Twitter in iTunes, allowing people to share what they are listening to. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in October, often spoke about making Apple the "digital hub" in people's lives. ITunes has been the critical product to fill that role, starting with music sales and expanding to movies and TV shows.