Rumor Has It: iTunes 9 Coming Next Month With Blu-ray Support

The Boy Genius Report is claiming to have received a tip that Blu-ray support will be coming to iTunes 9, which may be arriving as soon as next month. Also reportedly in iTunes 9 is the long sought-after ability to arrange iPhone/iPod touch icon positions from within iTunes, instead of having to do it on the device itself. In addition, there will be some kind of integration with Twitter/Facebook and Last.FM — presumably this would allow sending the currently playing song to the social-networking sites, removing the need to run a separate application to do this.

Combine this claim with another rumor this week, this time from Apple Insider, which claims that new features will be coming to the iMac that will cater to the semi-professional audio/video crowd. Lets not forget that since iTunes 8.2, the Gracenote copyright also references Blu-ray. Are the stars aligning to where we will finally get Blu-ray?

The lack of built-in Blu-ray support has been a much-debated topic by Mac users. Steve Jobs himself claimed in October last year that “Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt. It’s great to watch the movies, but the licensing of the tech is so complex, we’re waiting till things settle down and Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace.” Is it possible that nearly a year later things have finally settled down? In February this year Sony, Phillips and Panasonic announced a simplified licensing process for Blu-ray that also included cheaper fees. With more and more content being released for Blu-ray, is the time finally ripe for adoption?

There is still seemingly one hurdle in the path of Apple (s aapl) embracing Blu-ray: the strict Digital Rights Management requirements. In a crazy DRM world, it seems that the copyright powers are trying to compromise by allowing one authorized copy starting next year — however, downloading to iPods and portable devices is strictly excluded.

The bigger question for me is still: “Why do I want or need Blu-ray anyway?” It is much easier for me to download high-definition video content than clutter my house with more physical discs. How many people really need Blu-ray?