It only took a month for us to figure it out, but version 1.2 of Apple’s iDisk (the file storage service bundled with MobileMe) has a nice little feature: audio playback, even in the background.
Theoretically, you would sync your music files with iDisk on the Mac or PC. Then, when you wanted to play them, simply fire up iDisk, select it, and then go update your Facebook status. Or browse the web. Or play a game.
Of course, there are limitations; for example, you won’t be able to do this unless you are on a device that supports multitasking in the first place (iPod touch G3: 32/64GB, iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 4). You will also have to have data (WiFi or 3G) to access the cloud.
So why is this relevant? Because of the timing, some have speculated that this may be the beginning of ‘iTunes cloud,’ which has been rumored for years. Also, Apple recently purchased a popular music-streaming service, Lala.
On the flip side, some argue that, because it is so simple to add support for backgrounding audio, it would be insane for Apple not to utilize it’s own tools. After touting how easy it is for developers to add various kinds of multitasking, there really is no excuse for any iOS Apple software to not include it.
Regardless, the rumored September iPod event will likely give us some answers as to how Apple plans to expand iTunes to infinity, and beyond.