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AND THE WINNING NAME IS…

...Apple Music, sources told 9to5mac yesterday. The Cupertino overlords have not confirmed the name, obviously. More surprisingly, according to the same sources, Apple will take another stab at a social-networking feature, after falling on its face earlier in this decade with the wonky and now-defunct Ping.

Specifically, the service—which we hear will be called Apple Connect—will allow artists to have their own pages that they can use to post track samples, photos, videos, and concert updates. Artists will also be able to share the content of other artists in a novel cross-promotion feature. Using their iTunes accounts, all subscribers of the premium streaming service will be able to comment on and like these posts, but users won’t have their own social network profiles as with Ping.

Artists Activity will be a core feature of the forthcoming service, the report continues, but users will be able to disable it in the Restrictions Settings panel in iOS 8.4. The Artist Activity switch was accidentally leaked in the latest iOS 8.4 beta for developers, which sources say corresponds directly to the aforementioned Ping-like functionality. The network will be available across the iOS, Android and Mac versions of the so-called Apple Music.

Sources have said that the service will be integrated deeply into the redesigned iOS 8.4 Music application, and that users will be able to port over existing Beats Music cloud libraries. Even with overlapping functionality, iTunes Match and iTunes Radio will be retained, though the latter will get an overhaul for improved mixes and an international rollout to mirror the streaming service.

Apple Music will be introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference kickoff keynote on June 8, but the company will likely have to delay the launch of the paid service—including the rumored free trial option—later in the month, once the deal with the rights holders are finalized.

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