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Apple to make big iTunes announcement Tuesday -- cloud-based music everywhere? [Updated]

November 15, 2010 |  8:45 am

Cloud[Updated, November 16th, 7:46 a.m.: Apple has announced that it will indeed carry The Beatles' main catalog, including the band's 13 studio albums. The announcement did not involve cloud-based music.]

[Updated, 4:50 p.m.: The iTunes announcement reportedly has to do with the Beatles finally making their catalog available on iTunes, sources told the Wall Street Journal.]

Apple's homepage is alerting consumers that the company will have an iTunes-related announcement Tuesday at 7 a.m. PST.

In grandiose language that is increasingly typical from the company (think its "magical, revolutionary iPad," and "everything has changed -- again" for its iPhone 4), Apple is trumpeting the iTunes change by calling it "just another day ... that you'll never forget."

Hmm ... what would it take to put the memory-making power of a new iTunes feature strong enough to compete with the great unforgettable moments of life -- the births, deaths, marriages, graduations and so on?

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray & Co. says he believes that the announcement will be related to the long-rumored "cloud" element of iTunes, in which users can forgo storing their music libraries on a home machine (or machines) in favor of uploading their music to Apple's cloud -- and being able to access it from anywhere forevermore.

"Apple is developing a data center in Maiden, N.C., that we believe could serve as the hub for such a service," Munster said in a note to investors Monday morning. "The company has indicated that the data center is on track to be completed by the end of [this year] and it will begin using it then."

If Apple provided storage for music, that would also mean it could allow users to keep movies, TV shows and any other kind of media online. But holding such a huge repository of consumer music opens the company up to a slew of legal concerns relating to copied material. Apple has very likely been spending plenty of time sniffing out the implications there.

-- David Sarno

Photo credit: Mish Sukharev / Flickr

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