The word around the web is that Apple have agreed licensing with 3 of the 4 major record labels and the release of the 'iCloud' service will be in June 2011
Since late 1997 personal music files have been stored on a server in the cloud and then streamed back to computers and even mobile devices and we should thank the likes of, for example, MP3. Unfortunately this was mostly the domain of geeks and for others the concept was hard to grasp. These days, digital music is the mainstream. Everyone is now well accustomed to downloading music and carrying it around with us on our mobile phones, portable playing devices, or listening to it on laptops such as the MacBook, MacBook Pro or desktops like Apple’s iMac.
However, recently there is much talk of a whole new enterprise set to hit the mainstream: cloud-based music services. This means your music is stored on a server somewhere, distributing the stored songs as required to your ever-expanding number of devices.
In the past both Amazon and Google launched their first strikes into this exciting and brave new world. Problem soon ended up with them struggling by the lack of record label licensing. They’re essentially nothing more then a glamorized hard drives - you have to upload all the songs yourself – which can take days and slowing your computer and internet connections bandwidth right down.
Apple appears set to raise the bar and may finally be ready to make its big cloud push. According to the Times, Apple has already hammered out agreements with EMI, Sony and Warner and talks are on-going with the last of the ‘big four’ Universal. This will give Apple monopoly on cloud music.
Apple’s triumphs in licensing labels suggests that Apple iCloud, which some are calling it, means you can push your local music collection to Apple’s servers in mere minutes as no user has the time or patience to spend days uploading thousands of tunes and doing the same again when purchasing new music.
It’s clear copyright law is a massive issue. Which overly weighs down services like Amazon and Google. But Apple holds its own copyright license which means you will zing your music files around virtually, by merely identifying them trough their metadata.
So in the Apple style that we’re all very accustomed to, it has allowed its competitors to have the first input in this up and coming cloud music market. However, by taking its time, and crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s Apple could come out on top once again.
We watch and wait...
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