Apple's experimented with allowing iTunes to stream over the internet as well as your LAN in the past and quickly removed the feature (probably due to RIAA pressure), so we're not placing too much stock in this, but AppleInsider's unearthed a patent that seems to describe a way to stream music over the 'net to your iPhone / iPod touch. The goal is to prevent you from having to selectively sync content to your device -- instead, you'd sync just the metadata and stream whatever you wanted direct from your machine as though it was all stored locally. There are some obvious problems here -- it wouldn't work if you didn't have service (or over EDGE, really), most home upstream connections aren't that fast, etc., etc., -- but it's certainly interesting, and a welcome addition to local storage if it ever makes the scene. In the meantime, how about working in some of those new UI elements from the Remote app into the iPod app?

[Via Macrumors, thanks Mark]