It's little surprise to hear that Apple is plotting its move into the music-streaming market, with the acquisition of Beats Music last year an obvious signal of intent.

The Cupertino tech giant has been expected to launch a Spotify-rivalling paid streaming service since completing the Beats deal, with plenty of rumours suggesting what it might look like.

And now it appears we have some idea of how Apple plans to take on the streaming services at their own game - after 9to5Mac reported multiple sources with "in-depth details".

MORE: Apple posts record $74.6bn revenue; iPhone sales up, iPad sales down

Apple's new service has yet to be given a name, but the most unsurprising detail is that the company aims to make full use of Beats Music's technologies and music content. The service is also completely designed in-house.

It's also believed that Apple is planning to "deeply integrate" Beats into iOS, iTunes and Apple TV – new Music apps complete with the Beats influence are being developed for multiple iOS devices.

The cloud-based service will base itself around your music library, with its search function allowing you find any song in the Beats catalogue to stream directly, and it will add it to your personal collection.

MORE: Monster CEO – Apple's Beats deal is "steal of the century"

More after the break

Elsewhere, it's predicted that you'll be able to select specific tracks to store on your devices or keep in the cloud. Beats' Playlists, Activities and Mixes features will also be carried across the service.

In terms of design, we're expecting to see the Beats black-and-red theme abandoned in favour of a new Apple-designed interface that fits more closely with iTunes and the iOS Music app.

Existing Beats Music subscribers will also be able to merge their accounts with iTunes or Apple ID profiles and migrate their libraries at the same time. Current iTunes features will also remain.

MORE: Apple buys Beats for $3bn

With Apple going up against some well-established services in the streaming market, cost is likely to be an important factor in gaining momentum.

Beats Music is currently priced at $10 per month or $100 per year, but sources have told 9to5Mac that Apple is looking at an $8 per month model – undercutting Spotify and many others.

And what about that all-important launch? Well, the March release predicted late last year now seems a little premature, so it's now thought that June's Worldwide Developers Conference is a possibility.

MORE: Best music streaming services 2015 – comparison review


[via 9to5Mac]


plc's picture

Audio quality?

Do we know anything about the likely quality of the streamed audio? Is this likely to be yet another lost opportunity to promote hi-res audio - or is Apple simply playing catch-up with Spotify, forcing consumers to receive their music as low-res MP3 audio?

I'm getting a bit fed up of the major players dragging their feet with regards to audio.  Any one (or all) of Apple, Spotify & Amazon could have launched a hi-res audio service by now (or at least provide the option of MP3 for portability and/or FLAC for home use).

Amazingly, while the television industry continues to move forwards in leaps & bounds, from wide screen, flat screen, plasma, LCD, LED, HD-Ready, 1080P, 4K, 8K, Smart, streamed etc, audio technology has virtually stood still.  Yes there are some players such as Tidal, Deezer, but seemingly everybody is missing the point.  To Neil Young I would say - "Nobody wants to pay £16 for a hi-res download.  The Pono is simply doomed to fail as a result".  Arguably, Spotify have got their pricing about right at £10/month - but the quality is dismal.

Somebody out there - if you're reading this - please take note - there are many others who, like myself, demand hi-res audio - but at a reasonable price.  We really don't want to pay £20/month for it.  Clearly we want a lot of choice in terms of albums available to stream on your website, and we don't want to have to wait months or years for music to appear.

I'm incredulous that in 2015, the audio quality on most of the major players' websites equates to that of a C90 cassette from the 1970s.  Wake Up!

Graham Luke's picture

"I'm incredulous that in 2015

"I'm incredulous that in 2015, the audio quality on most of the major players' websites equates to that of a C90 cassette from the 1970s.  Wake Up!"

Apple? 'Low Res'? Have you not been listening to anything from the current iTunes catalogue?

Even at 256kbps AAC, much Mastered for iTunes material sounds superb. I recently purchased a jazz album from the ECM label and the sound is stunning. If the streaming of albums such as 'Spark of Life' is the same as the download, most consumers should be very satisfied.



Audio_ELF's picture

No, nothing is known about

No, nothing is known about the streaming quality because NO BODY KNOWS ANYTHING about Apple's plans.

This is NOT news, this is reporting of speculation based on rumours and half facts.