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Blu-ray support in iTunes 9 and OS X Snow Leopard?

The rumour mill speculates iTunes 9 could be on track to support Blu-ray disc playback. This could tie in to more exciting news: native Blu-ray support for OS X Snow Leopard and QuickTime X

Four years ago, Apple joined the Blu-ray Disc Association's board of directors, but spent the subsequent years ignoring the format, commercially at least. Perhaps this is about to change: iTunes 9 could support Blu-ray disc playback.

A "reliable source" this weekend told Boy Genius Report -- a blog with a decent track record when it comes to publishing leaked insider information -- that the hi-def format would be supported by the next version of Apple's iTunes software.

Typically, Apple releases major new versions of iTunes and iPod hardware at special events it holds every September. This year, September will also be the month in which OS X Snow Leopard goes on sale, and just so happens to include an entirely new version of Apple's QuickTime video player -- QuickTime X -- as well.

One of the key features of QuickTime X is better support for modern video codecs. So could Snow Leopard, QuickTime X and iTunes 9 all bring Blu-ray playback to a new line of Macs fitted with Blu-ray disc drives in September? We'll be spending the rest of this unnecessarily hot Sunday afternoon hoping so.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and don't miss our feature about the seven features of iTunes 9 we'd kill for (Blu-ray support wasn't actually one of them -- we'd only severely injure, not kill, for that).

Update: You can now read our full iTunes 9 hands-on report and download it from Apple's Web site