Will iTunes and Safari be merged?

Interesting article on MacRumors: “Questionable Rumor Claims Safari and iTunes to Merge Into Single Application”. A complete merge does not seem like a good idea, iTunes is already much too bloated and I don’t see how browsing the web fits with browsing your media. What does make sense, though, is to move the iTunes store, and possibly other means of acquiring media, to the web. Amazon lights the way with its Kindle bookstore: Its combination of website for purchase and app for consumption is perfect. A web-based iTunes store would have the following advantages.
  1. It makes the user interface of the store more malleable. The UI has already changed from an XML-based engine to an HTML-based engine.
  2. Linking is important: Link sharing via blogs, Facebook or Twitter is becoming more and more important for the visibility of a product. With iTunes, the linking experience is horrible.
  3. Bookmarking is important: With the web, if you want to remember something, you keep a bookmark. The iTunes store does have no simple means for doing so.
  4. Branching out while browsing is very useful, at least for power-users. In web browsers you can open a new tab. In contrast, the iTunes store always feels a bit limiting.
It remains to be seen whether Apple will closely tie this to Safari. If so, it would not be a smart move and would limit the power of (2). Being sent to iTunes when clicking on a link to an iOS app is already very annoying.