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Rumor: Apple about to launch iTunes Replay streaming service

AppAdvice isn’t terribly reliable, but their latest exclusive is worth mentioning. They claim Apple is on the verge of launching a new service called iTunes Replay, which the rumor-mill has been calling for over the past two years:

AppAdvice has been told and was able to confirm independently that Apple is on the edge of finally launching a full-fledged re-downloading and possibly streaming service named iTunes Replay. As Apple secures the remaining rights, TV Shows as well as Movies in iTunes will be given little arrow indicating whether they’re “iTunes Replay eligible”, that is, available to be downloaded subsequent times. Note that some content will unfortunately only be available to download five times and we don’t know how streaming will count towards that limit. The feature will be giving users access to movies they bought as far as back as January 1st 2009, and all of this will be available to stream on the Apple TV, and probably iOS as well. It’s not clear however what Apple has planned for the desktop in this regard.

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Mind you, it’s not a stretch. When you think about it, Apple has lately been expanding the re-download feature on its content stores, including apps, as well as e-books, music and television shows in the mix. For example, the company on Monday rolled out a software update for its set-top box dubbed Apple TV which now lets users buy and stream television shows (previously, you could only rent TV shows for on-demand streaming). That same day, Apple flipped the switch in iTunes allowing users to re-download any television show they purchased in the past, effectively creating a cloud-based locker for television shows.

With that in mind, isn’t it reasonable to assume they’ll do the same with movies? With movies in the picture (no pun intended), Apple will have in place a compelling streaming entertainment offering in iTunes, ready to be streamed on demand anywhere, anytime. They are also believed to be building super data centers around the world akin to the $1 billion North Carolina facility to support hundreds of millions customers using their mobile gadgets and personal computers. The AppAdvice story may or may not be connected to a rumored iPhone nano that big media describes as having no or little storage, relying instead on streaming media files off Apple’s servers.

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