Is Apple getting ready to offer some sort of iTunes subscription service? Maybe, but maybe only if you feel like reading way too much into some recent moves the company has been making. It seems that everyone (well, mainly AppleInsider) is a-flutter over their recent hiring of Julia Miller, who was in charge of marketing for Microsoft's Xbox Live service and who has tons of experience with monthly subscription services. Yeah, seems a like bit of a stretch (especially since no one will even say what Miller's going to be doing at Apple, but AppleInsider says that Apple has definitely been trying to negotiate some sort of subscription service where the labels would receive approximately 5 cents per month for each song downloaded and then transferred to an iPod. We're not saying that they're feeling the heat from Napster's new Napster To Go subscription service (because honestly, who knows what's really going on down in Apple HQ these days), but we would most definitely not be complaining if Apple decided to go toe-to-toe with Napster To Go.
Oh, and there's a second semi-related part to all this rumormongering: Think Secret reports that Apple is one of several companies fixing to buy HipSolve Media, a small startup which offers a Windows Media-based solution for record labels to distribute DRM'd music downloads directly to consumers, bypassing online shops like the iTunes Music Store. We're not even gonna touch this one.