Apple is reportedly working on a iTunes Replay service to allow users to re-download purchased content. Currently, users have to contact Apple and cross their fingers in effort to recover rightfully-purchased content, a process that is desperately in need of a redesign. The update may be part of an full-fledged streaming service similar to Netflix and Spotify, which has been rumored for ages but never officially announced. With Apple making the transition to iCloud, it’s necessary to overhaul iTunes with deeper cloud integration. iTunes 11 may be built “from the ground up” with an improved UI and iCloud support, and could be released alongside iOS 5. iTunes Replay could start rolling out in the next few weeks.
In a nutshell, iTunes Replay is an extension to what Apple is already doing with iCloud and free re-downloads of previously purchased music. As Apple secures the remaining rights, TV Shows as well as Movies in iTunes will be given little arrow indicating whether they’re “iTunes Replay eligible”, that is, available to be downloaded subsequent times. Note that some content will unfortunately only be available to download five times and we don’t know how streaming will count towards that limit.