Apple looks set to launch cloud-based music service

May 23, 2011 by Chris Lefkow
A man uses a laptop computer at a wireless cafe. Just weeks after Amazon and Google unveiled their music offerings, Apple appears set to raise the bar. The Cupertino, California-based gadget-maker is expected to launch a new Web-hosted music service next month, according to multiple reports, after negotiating deals with at least three of the four major record labels.

Just weeks after Amazon and Google unveiled their music offerings, Apple appears set to raise the bar.

The Cupertino, California-based gadget-maker is expected to launch a new Web-hosted next month, according to multiple reports, after negotiating deals with at least three of the four major record labels.

The service is likely to be presented at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which opens in San Francisco on June 6 and which has been the venue for past launches of high-profile Apple products.

According to The New York Times, Apple's service will allow music stored in the Internet "cloud" to be listened to on multiple devices -- from computers to smartphones to touchscreen tablets.

A cloud-based service would allow streaming of digital music from an online collection and free up a user from having to connect their various devices to transfer songs housed on a .

Online retail powerhouse Amazon launched a Cloud Drive and Cloud Player music service in late March that allows subscribers to upload digital music to Amazon servers and play it on a computer or an Android device.

Internet search giant Google jumped into the music market in early May with a Google Music service that lets people store their in online libraries for streaming to computers, smartphones and tablets.

Google Music, which is in beta, or test phase, and is invitation-only for the moment, does not sell songs, however, and only allows users to upload the music they already own to Google servers, a time-consuming process.

While Amazon and Google may have gotten the jump on Apple in taking music to the cloud, the maker of the , iPod, and appears poised to launch a more comprehensive service.

Apple's ace in the hole is likely to be iTunes, the online music store it launched in 2003 which boasts more than 200 million customers and which has sold more than 10 billion songs.

In addition, Amazon and launched their music services without agreements with the four major record labels: EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and the Warner Music Group.

According to the Times, Apple has already hammered out agreements with EMI, Sony and Warner and talks are ongoing with Universal.

Discussions are also continuing between Apple and the music publishers who control copyrights and represent songwriters, the newspaper said.

Besides allowing for music purchases through iTunes, Apple's agreements with the record labels and the publishers should give users instant online access to their existing iTunes music libraries.

"With these licenses, Apple will have secured the cloud music high ground despite being the last to launch," MG Siegler of technology blog TechCrunch said.

"Apple is likely going to be able to do the one thing that is absolutely crucial for cloud music to take off: offer library syncing without uploading," Siegler said in a blog post.

The New York Times said Apple's cloud music offering may be integrated with its MobileMe subscription service which allows Macintosh owners to access files stored on Apple servers.

Apple is also likely to include features from Lala, a Palo Alto, California, company it bought in December 2009 that hosted digital collections on the Web. Apple shut down Lala just a few months after the purchase.

Explore further: LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google to launch online music service: report

May 10, 2011

Internet giant Google could launch an online music service as early as Tuesday to rival Amazon's "cloud" service, which allows users to store digital music online, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Amazon puts music in the 'cloud' (Update)

Mar 29, 2011

Beating Apple and Google to the punch, Amazon unveiled a service on Tuesday that allows users to store their digital music online and play it on a computer or an Android device.

Apple nears music deal with labels

May 21, 2011

Apple Inc. is close to securing deals with all four major recording companies on a music service that will allow users to stream songs stored on remote computer servers, presumably to an array of portable ...

Google unveils cloud-based music service

May 10, 2011

Google Inc. unveiled its long-planned music service Tuesday, but it will likely need deals with the recording industry to reach its full potential.

Recommended for you

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

Apr 18, 2014

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

Apr 18, 2014

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

Apr 18, 2014

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...