Apple unlikely to unveil iTunes subscription service Tuesday

Although such a service as been rumored for some time, Apple still only has licenses with the major labels to offer digital downloads, sources said.

Music industry insiders are buzzing about the press gathering Apple is hosting on Tuesday. The invitation shows a dancing man wearing an iPod and the slogan shouts, "Let's Rock."

Sure, this suggests that Apple is gearing up for a music announcement. The trouble is, nobody in music appears to know anything about it. My sources say that they don't expect Apple to announce anything to do with music content, and they are sure Apple won't be rolling out an iTunes music subscription service.

Such a service has been rumored for some time but Apple still only has licenses with the major labels to offer digital downloads, sources said.

This means of course that the rumor skittering around about iTunes offering a social-networking service similar to iMeem or Last.fm may be bunk as well. Apple would have had to cut licensing deals for things like free streaming music and this hasn't happened either.

Most people that I talked to connected with digital music are guessing that Apple's announcement will focus on iPods. But again, they don't know for sure.

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