Remote Access To iTunes Content Coming to iPhone & iPod touch?
A new patent application filed by Apple describes a process which would allow users to remotely access music and videos located on their home computers over WiFi or cellular data networks. The system works by syncing iTunes metadata to the device, rather than the media itself. The metadata would list “virtual media items” which would represent every song, video, and playlist a user has in their iTunes library. Once selected, the file would be downloaded for local playback on the device.
In order for media to be remotely accessed, a user would be required to leave his or her computer on throughout the day. When a media file is requested, the computer would send it out to the device for playback. A user could also manage their iTunes library, giving them the ability to remotely edit, rearrange, add, or remove files on the go. If signal gets weak during transfers or changes, the software pauses the operation to protect the users media.
Additionally, Apple may also add some Zune-like capabilities to the iPhone and iPod touch. The system would allow users within a short distance of each other to communicate and share data using their various devices.
The new capabilities could be pushed out in the next iPhone or iPod touch software update, in combination with an update to iTunes.