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Sling, Apple discuss streaming music to iPhone

Sling Media CEO has talked to Apple about his company's ambition to stream iTunes music and video to the upcoming iPhone.

LAS VEGAS--Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian said on Tuesday that he has spoken to Apple about his company's ambition to stream iTunes music and video to the upcoming iPhone. It's unclear, however, what Apple thinks of the plan.

Krikorian made the comments after participating in a panel discussion at the National Association of Broadcasters conference, but he declined to offer details about the talks or say whether Apple welcomed such a plan. He did say Sling Media "would love to support" the iPhone.

"I think the question for them is going to be, how are they going to phase the (iPhone) out?" Krikorian said of Apple. "There's been some talk about whether it's going to be a closed device, or whether they'll phase it (out), so I think it's going to be up to them to see when (streaming) might be available. But I cannot comment any more than that."

An Apple representative could not be reached early Thursday morning.

Last week, that San Mateo, Calif.-based Sling Media is working on making the Slingbox, which transmits digital media from set-top boxes to Web-enabled devices, compatible with the Apple TV. Should Sling succeed, the potential is there to enable iTunes users to access their music libraries on a mobile device.

Naturally, with Apple's iPhone due to arrive in June, Apple fans have speculated whether the cell phone might offer such a feature.

To make it work, content must be streamed from a PC to an Apple TV and then to a Slingbox before finally landing on an iPhone. The system, besides being complex, would also require consumers to shell out for a Slingbox, an Apple TV and an iPhone.

Analysts and Apple fans are confident, however, that Apple has the technology chops to come up with a less expensive and more elegant solution. Could Sling Media be enlisted to help in such an endeavor? Few companies have as much experience with "place shifting."

"Our whole goal is turning every single display into your living-room TV," Krikorian said. "I don't really care what network it is or (what) device it is."