It's probably a pretty common question for people who have been following Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) skyrocketing popularity in musical venues -- from both a user and an investing point of view. What's next?

An article on CNET's site today highlighted one interesting new development. The new version of Apple's iTunes online music service and QuickTime includes the capability to watch video through iTunes, and the article ultimately brings up the question many might have been wondering -- just how far into digital media Apple's going to go.

The news definitely gives some food for thought concerning Apple's possible future plans. It looks pretty obvious that Apple would like iTunes to be a repository for more than just music -- try music videos and maybe (conjecture, here) someday even movies. It's already proved that the model can work, and iTunes is popular and subsequently very well-known.

On the other hand, there have already been a lot of questions about the way that video streaming over the Internet will work -- and which companies will be most positioned to benefit when the technology is finally viable for mainstream use.

For example, much has been made of the agreement between Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) to try to work out movies over the Internet. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) launched its Portable Media Centers last summer, and Sony's (NYSE:SNE) new PlayStationPortable also integrates video, although Apple's Steve Jobs has traditionally put a thumbs-down on the idea of the mainstream business viability of video content on portable devices such as iPod. Of course, that doesn't mean he doesn't mean business when it comes to content and computers -- in particular, his own Macintosh line.

For now, the service sounds like it just provides quick video clips as bonus content to songs that are purchased -- a perfectly good way to go in terms of bolstering users' loyalty. However, there doesn't seem to be a good reason to underestimate this move with the coming reality of media convergence -- it seems pretty likely that Apple has plenty up its sleeve. For now, there's no reason for investing excitement, just the usual conjecture and questions. It's obvious that Apple continues to indoctrinate the public into the iTunes fold; will iTunes soon become iLiving Room? Only time will tell.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. She tried to watch the trailer for Tim Burton's upcoming Halloween flick Corpse Bride on her Mac using some combination of QuickTime and iTunes the other night, but the program hiccuped, much to her chagrin.