Report offers details on Apple’s cloud music service | iLounge News


Report offers details on Apple’s cloud music service

A new report has emerged offering details on Apple’s cloud music offering. Citing people briefed on the talks between Apple and the major music labels, Bloomberg reports that Apple will be able to scan customers’ digital music libraries in iTunes and quickly mirror their collections on its own servers, replacing low-quality songs with higher quality versions, after which users will be able to stream their songs and albums directly to their devices. According to the report, users will be able to store their entire music collections in the cloud—including songs that may have been obtained illegally, giving the music labels a way to earn money on pirated music through whatever fee Apple plans to charge. The report claims that the labels are negotiating aggressively to ensure they make a profit from the shift to the cloud, as it may be the last opportunity to stem piracy and dropping sales. Apple has already signed deals with three of the four major labels for the service, and is said to be close to reaching a deal with the final holdout, Universal Music. Apple could announce its cloud music service as early as its Worldwide Developers Conference, which begins with a keynote address on June 6.

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That’s actually a lot better than I pictured, although pricing is obviously still the real issue.

I am trying to wrap my head around this part: “ it may be the last opportunity to stem piracy and dropping sales”.

What it really sounds like is Apple has come up with an obtuse and awkward way to offer a functionally unlimited music subscription plan without calling it that, which makes the whole song and dance with the labels even more puzzling. Apple spent months in negotiation and development to arrive at where other companies effectively were several years ago, and yet it’s certain that Apple and their fans will call this a huge leap forward…

Posted by Code Monkey on May 27, 2011 at 2:11 PM (CDT)


But, obviously, it won’t be able to completely mirror an iTunes library. I have about 40,000 songs in my library (99% legal - the other 1% being either unreleased live bootlegs or else stuff that is out-of-print/never released digitally) and a lot of that material is from indie labels, or else stuff that is either too obscure or of too narrow appeal to ever make the iTunes store.

Posted by Lawrence Mikkelsen on May 28, 2011 at 4:15 PM (CDT)


I don’t understand the last comment; nothing I’ve read says that songs MUST be available in the iTunes Music Store in order to use this cloud storage.  If that turns out to be the case, it will be worthless for a good 10% (maybe more) of my library.

Posted by Cold Irons in VA on May 31, 2011 at 11:09 AM (CDT)


I will be interested in seeing what Apple actually unveils.  So far, most news reports have emphasized the compromises needed to provide benefit to media companies, not much on how the plan benefits consumers.  For example, a monthly subscription fee just to get access to music I’ve already paid for (as opposed to new music) doesn’t seem like much of a bargain, especially if I am also now paying for songs not purchased through iTunes, which may be legally obtained music.

And I don’t know whether Apple fans will call it a huge leap forward, but it looks as though google offered a huge bunch of money to the music companies and still couldn’t get a deal done, while Apple (and Amazon) look to at least have something done. 

Also, even though nothing has been said about it, I would like to see video included as part of any icloud service.

Posted by Singlestick on May 31, 2011 at 2:14 PM (CDT)


I’d wager that if a song wasn’t available in the iTMS, that you’ll be able to upload your copy.  Or, if the song has been uploaded by another user, that will be used instead.

Posted by hardcle on May 31, 2011 at 8:49 PM (CDT)


@4: Amazon and Google have music cloud services without the labels. That’s the thing, you don’t need the labels in any way to stream customers’ own music to them via the internet. Mp3tunes started offering this service nearly a decade ago without the labels. The labels are just baggage we don’t need unless… want to offer us an “unlimited” streaming music sub plan for a monthly fee where the catch is that the customers first have to get a copy of whatever they want in their personal library, and then Apple will “broadcast” a licensed copy of that same music from their own personal servers.

In the absence of either a huge price difference (storing and streaming my entire media library from Amazon would cost $500/year, yikes! - but Rhapsody is only $120/year and functionally identical once it’s set up), or some really cool features still not unveiled, the whole involvement of the labels is just one big mistake.

Posted by Code Monkey on June 1, 2011 at 7:22 AM (CDT)

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