Apple preparing to launch cloud-based music service

By on April 21, 2011, 5:22 PM
Apple is preparing to launch its long-rumored cloud-based music service, according to two anonymous sources cited by Reuters. Details are still sparse, but the service will supposedly allow iTunes customers to store their songs on a remote server and then stream the media with another connected device, such as the iPhone.

Google has been expected to launch a similar streaming service for Android devices since late last year, but the company has been stuck in negotiations with record labels. "They keep changing what they're asking for," said an unnamed label executive. The search giant wanted to launch a basic locker service and a store similar to iTunes, but it's now exploring licensing for a subscription service.

Because the search giant's efforts are stalled, Apple is poised to release its offering first, but it hasn't shared a release date. Amazon beat both companies to the punch by launching its "Cloud Drive" late last month. The service lets you store music, videos, photos and documents on Amazon's servers (5GB free, 20GB to 1TB at $1 per GB). Your data can be access through a web browser on another system or with a native Android application.

Amazon launched its service without securing licenses from the recording industry and although that moved angered some labels, Apple plans to pull the same stunt. Reuters' sources say that Apple hasn't signed any new licenses, nor has it told music partners when the service will launch.

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