There have been plenty of rumors suggesting that Apple’s interested in moving beyond simply selling its users music through iTunes as an a la carte experience, and introduce something along the lines of services like Spotify, where users can get access to a huge library of music to stream for an ongoing monthly fee. Despite all the reports along this line, we’ve yet to see anything of the sort materialize, an absence that separate rumors have pegged to Apple’s struggles in working out the necessary licensing agreements with rights-holders. Rumors suggest that this kind of service could still be right around the corner, but in the meantime the discovery of some new icon imagery in iOS 6.1 could be evidence that Apple is already setting the groundwork for such a thing, or possibly just introducing a new way to buy individual tracks.

The icons below appear in iOS 6.1 for the iPad, but are apparently not in builds for iPhones. On their own, the images really don’t give us much to work with, but the file names themselves add a little bit to the puzzle, referring to the icons as “radio buy buttons.”

That’s still open to interpretation, and could suggest a few different possible uses. Maybe you’d click it to purchase a track you’re listening to through a future iTunes Radio streaming service. Maybe upcoming iOS devices will offer you the ability to listen to an FM radio tuner and similarly purchase songs through iTunes which strike your fancy. For now, we really don’t know just how this will work, but it does seem clear that Apple’s working on something along these lines.

Source: 9to5 Mac

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