Apple Inc may be planning an overhaul of iTunes to improve music sharing, cloud storage services, and integration with social networks. According to a Bloomberg report, people with knowledge of the matter said the technology giant could unveil the changes – expected to be one of the largest changes since its launch – by the end of this year.

“The company will more closely integrate 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 gadgets. Apple also plans new features for sharing music,” Bloomberg quoted the sources as saying.

The massively successful iTunes has been a major contributor to Apple’s growth. Bloomberg reported that the online store generated revenues of almost $1.9 billion last quarter and tethers users to a widening family of Apple products. Apple’s iTunes Store has millions of songs, thousands of movies and its App Store has more than 500,000 apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Quoting one of the sources, the report said the overhaul is intended to improve how people manage all their files, including “changes to how users find new material and how they access what they already own on different Apple devices”.

To be Intergrated with iCloud

iTunes may get its biggest overhaul yet…

Apple intends to improve the music sharing facilities on iTunes. According to the report, the company has 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. The music sharing feature overhaul will also include better integration of social networks like Facebook and Twitter in iTunes.

In a bid to simplify and smoothen the organizing process of users’ data on various Apple devices, the company is planning to further integrate the iCloud Internet-based storage service with iTunes. According to Bloomberg, as users also use iTunes to activate and update iPhones, iPads and iPods, as well as to synchronize their libraries of music, videos, photos and application, the further integration of iCloud is aimed at fixing some of those problems.

The report added, “Apple is creating separate applications for features that had been included within iTunes. Podcasts now are a separate app on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices, instead of being part of the iTunes app.”

To add more multimedia features to iTunes, Apple has been asking music labels for more band photos and videos that can be included, Bloomberg quoted the sources as saying. The report added, “iTunes is also part of Apple’s plans to expand in Asia. The company this week announced that it will be opening the digital store in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and nine other markets in Asia.”

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