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Apple to Overhaul iTunes Service?

The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is looking at an "overhaul of the way it sells and stores music" and how to extend that service into the web. According to "people familiar with the matter", Apple is considering using Lala's recently acquired engineers and technologies to accomplish that.

Lala currently allows users to buy and listen to music through their web browser. An Apple version of the service would operate the same way, with music being streamed to users from a central server. This is in stark contrast to Apple's current iTunes model, where songs are purchased and downloaded locally. Record company executives are said to be optimistic about the prospect, but wary at giving Apple more power.

Such a move, however, would be a big departure for Apple, who has previously insisted that customers wish to own their music. This on-demand streaming raises issues of long-term ownership as well as technical issues if rights holders or providers go out of business in the future.

Overall, the article adds little new information but does seem to confirm much of the speculation that Apple might translate Lala's exact business model over to iTunes.