Will Apple Be Next To The Cloud?

The battle for cloud supremacy is about to get pretty stormy, if recent rumors are true.

Late yesterday (4/21) Reuters reported that Apple had finished its online storage service and was preparing to launch it ahead of Google, also long rumored to be getting in the cloud business.

The article claims that iTunes customers will be able to store songs on a remote server, which will then be accessible from online devices. Presumably that means iPhones and iPads in addition to computers, but it remains unclear.

Apple has also been in talks with the major music labels to attain licenses for its service, but there seems to be disagreement over the progress in that area. Reuters claims that no new licenses have been signed for the services, but other reports say Apple already has at least one of the four majors on board.

Amazon launched its Cloud Player and Storage services late in March without the blessing of any of the majors. The company’s argument is that the service functions like a hard drive and the music belongs to the consumers. (Side note: we’ve been spending a little time with the Amazon Cloud Player and a review of its high and low points is forthcoming)

Most of the reports say the advantage of attaining licenses through the majors is primarily an improved and full-featured end user experience. So if the goal is to shift consumers’ purchasing and listening habits for the good of the music industry, then this is going to be a critical point for Apple, Amazon, and Google.

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