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If we told you that Apple was planning on launching a service that allows users to search for, select and then stream music across multiple iOS and OS X devices, then it probably shouldn’t come as a great surprise. After all, Apple pretty much pioneered the shift in music and paved the way for digital downloads and the like, so the surprise would be that it has taken them this long to adopt the strategy and actually come up with a service similar to that offered by the likes of Pandora and Spotify.

According to a number of reports, the wait for an Apple service of this type could soon be over, with the company said to be in advanced stages of talks with record companies over a deal that would allow radio streaming type service using the artists and albums that are owned by the specific labels. The suggestion of such an Apple branded offering is similar to that already offered by a number of companies, whereby users select an artist or genre, and the software produces a personalized streaming radio station based on their selections.

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The actual intricacies of the potential offering from Apple are unknown at this point, but as might expect, any creation will work seamlessly across multiple devices like the iPhone, iPad and any Mac that is powered by OS X. We are also hearing the possibility that Windows users will be able to use this service, so it could be something that is tied into the iTunes software. As part of their ongoing strategy to allow seamless use of multiple devices, Apple had recently introduced their iTunes Match service that basically allows a user’s music to be stored in the cloud and then streamed to their devices using the relevant Apple ID. This new service would differ in the fact that it actually allows any music to be chosen, as opposed to just the owned and uploaded user tracks that are held as part of iTunes Match.

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Until more information regarding this possible partnership with record labels emerges, we don’t really have much information regarding a possible release schedule. With that said, the speculation is still going strong that October will see Apple holding an event that will involve new iPod based announcements, so it is possible we could see some kind of announcement then. The service is also said to be offered free of charge to users, supported financially by the company’s iAd network.

(via WSJ)

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