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Apple doesn't have licensing deals in place to stream music - report

Apple does not have the explicit rights to offer an iTunes music subscription service, or to allow customers the ability to stream their libraries to connected devices, music industry sources have indicated.

Information given to Peter Kafka of MediaMemo suggests that it is "unlikely" that either music streaming or subscription plans will be announced by Apple on Tuesday. Sources in the music industry said that Apple does not have the rights to roll out a subscription service, nor can it allow users to stream content they buy.

Kafka noted that Apple does not necessarily have to have a deal in place to offer streaming, but added that it would be "hard to see Apple announcing a service without signed paperwork."

If true, the rumors would suggest that Apple has failed to make much headway in negotiations with content providers in recent months. A report in August on the prospect of an iTunes cloud service said it would be "modest in scope" if it launched within the next few months.

But that hasn't stopped speculation that Apple on Tuesday could unveil a new cloud-based service that would allow users to access their content from an Internet-connected device. Apple sent the tech community buzzing on Monday, when it suggested on its website that an unforgettable "exciting announcement" regarding iTunes would be announced Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern, 7 a.m. Pacific.

Some have also dug up evidence of streaming support in the newly released iTunes 10.1. A new, previously unseen reference to "iTunes Live Stream URL" was discovered this week within the newly updated software.