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Apple music streaming promised by iTunes 11, says analyst

Changes in iTunes 11 suggest Spotify-rivalling iRadio music streaming will arrive soon, before the much-rumoured new Apple TV.

Radio, what's new? Someone still loves you... Apple, that is. Changes in iTunes 11 suggest iRadio music streaming will arrive soon, before the much-rumoured new Apple TV.

At least one analyst believes radio is a sound salvation, claiming that iRadio is set to launch in 2013. Richard Greenfield of BTIG argues that the Radio button in the latest iTunes software has been given more prominence in readiness for an ad-supported music-streaming service to rival Spotify, Rdio and Pandora.

iRadio is set to involve streaming of music to your iPhone, iPad or computer,  with targeted adverts that know where you are and what you like. In other words, the invisible airwaves crackle with life... and echo to the sounds of salesmen.

Currently, the primitive Radio feature in iTunes streams a wide catalogue of online radio stations, but lumped into unhelpfully broad categories and with no element of discovery.

If a more sophisticated music-streaming service does launch next year, it's likely to arrive before the much-discussed Apple TV. Apple currently makes a small media-streaming box that it calls Apple TV, but word on the street is that the Californian company will begin selling actual TV sets with the half-eaten logo on the front.

Apple's foray into tellies could take a while because of rights issues, among other things. Apple is also likely to hold back on releasing a television until it's ready to make a sufficient impact: after all, Internet-connected TVs services such as Google TV and YouView are yet to make a splash with viewers.

Is it about time Apple got into music streaming? Can iRadio kill Spotify and the rest? Stream your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.