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iTunes to merge with Safari? Be a web-only app?

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Three Guys and a Podcast claims that Apple is preparing to discontinue the iTunes software application found on Macs and PC’s and replace it with a web-only application that is exclusive to Safari. The move is said to incorporate Apple’s new technology from Lala and leverage their new North Carolina data center. You will potentially download all your iTunes content from the web and play it through new iTunes controls in Safari. The move would bring a large new market to Apple’s Safari web browser, and the browser’s market share will probably climb significantly.

The report claims the new iTunes/Safari application will be unveiled later this year at Apple’s annual Fall music event. The report’s source claims “movingiTunes organizational side-bar into Safari isn’t a monumental task.” We personally don’t see this rumor becoming completely true. Some new cloud-basediTunes features are very probable, but the discontinuation of the much-loved (except for the icon) iTunes application seems like a stretch. Let us know what you think in the comments.