"People with direct knowledge of the matter" confirmed to Bloomberg News last week that Apple's biggest overhaul to iTunes since 2009 will appear before the end of the year.
According to the Bloomberg report, changes include the addition of music sharing features, better integration with Apple's iCloud remote storage service, and easier ways to discover new apps, music, and movies.
The upgrade is long overdue.
Launched as a mere music jukebox in 2001, iTunes has gradually added chores like media content management, an online store and syncing. As a result, it's evolved into a Frankenstein that fails to uphold Apple's legendary ease-of-use ideal.
"At some point, you've got to sit down and say, 'How do we create a really good, easy experience for consumers that doesn't involve them wading through endless tabs and subsections of the site," Carl Howe, research director at theYankee Group, told MacNewsWorld.
Although the iTunes Store generates a relatively small portion of Apple's overall revenue -$1.9 billion out a total of $39.2 billion in the March quarter - the software is a main ingredient of the glue that holds the Apple ecosystem together.
An iTunes revamp will tidy up the cluttered ecosystem that helps drive sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs - AAPL's real revenue generators.
With that in mind, it's also easy to see the iTunes overhaul as a defensive move.
It's surely no coincidence that the Bloomberg story appeared mere minutes after Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) announced an upgrade to the Android ecosystem. The Google Play store added movies, TV shows and magazine subscriptions - just like the iTunes Store.