Apple preparing video streaming service called iTunes Replay?

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Apple is rumored to be close to introducing a new re-downloading and streaming service called iTunes Replay, according to sources at App Advice. The service, which is said to work alongside iCloud, could be coming within a few weeks. 

It is believed that the new service will allow users to re-download and stream movies they have bought from iTunes. A common complaint with current iTunes practices is that users must either store or delete downloaded movie purchases. Paying full price for a movie and only watching it once before deletion is wasteful, but keeping videos on a hard drive can quickly consume a lot of storage space.

Such a service would be particularly beneficial to iPad and iPhone users. These devices feature limited capacities and as such, can only carry a set amount of video content at any given time. Furthermore, streaming content would help Apple further compete against services like Netflix.

Apple already has re-download services in place for music, applications and books. Earlier this week the company added TV show re-downloads to Apple TV and iOS devices.

It’s possible that iTunes Replay could launch alongside iCloud which should be pushed to users this fall with iOS 5. iCloud was unveiled at Apple’s WWDC in June and is described as a synchronization platform between devices and will replace MobileMe. Users will be able to sync things like mail, calendar, bookmarks, documents, photos, music and apps automatically across all devices.

A beta version of iCloud was made available to developers on August 2. iOS 5 is expected to be available sometime this fall, likely coinciding with the release of the iPhone 5.

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