Apple is signing deals with music labels for a streaming music service, according to reports. Google and Amazon already have streaming-music offerings in place.
reportedly closer than ever to launching a streaming-music competitor to Google
According to Bloomberg
, Apple has signed deals
with Sony, EMI Group and Warner Music Group "to let users of its new music
service access their song collections from handheld devices via the Internet."
Users could access their music via Apple's servers instead of storing it on a
hard drive. A deal with Universal Music Group is apparently on the table.
pundits like AllThingsD's Peter Kafka
are questioning whether
music publishers like Warner/Chappell are onboard. If not, that could
complicate the situation for Apple, if the company is indeed pursuing the
rights to songs.
indeed launches a service with deals in place from the major record labels, it
would mark a departure from the strategy embraced by Google and Amazon, which
introduced their own services without prior licensing deals in place.
patent application uncovered by the blog Apple Insider
suggests that Apple is exploring
means of faster music streaming by having its devices locally store a tiny
portion of each song; that would not only reduce the amount of space needed on
an iPhone or iPad for music, but allow songs to begin playing without a
currently point toward Apple taking steps to more deeply integrate the cloud
with its existing products. The company recently finished construction on a
massive data center in North Carolina, reportedly to help with those cloud
efforts. The Green (Low Carbon) Data Center Blog
April 13 that Apple had hired away Kevin Timmons, general manager of
Microsoft's Datacenter Services unit; Microsoft confirmed to eWEEK that Timmons
was moving on, while Apple did not return a request for comment.
To top it off,
reported April 29 that Apple had
bought the iCloud domain name from Xcerion, a Swedish hybrid-cloud vendor.
Current rumors suggest that Apple paid $4.5 million for the rights to that
name, although the company has declined to confirm any particulars of a deal.
almost certainly reveal more at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference,
set for June 6-10 in San Francisco. "At this year's conference, we are going to
unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice
president of worldwide product marketing, wrote in a March 28 statement posted
on Apple's corporate Website. "If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software
developer, this is the event you do not want to miss."
iTunes service long set a standard for digital music, Apple finds itself
challenged by Amazon and Google on that front. Amazon's Cloud Player allows
users to stream tunes over the Web, provided those music files are stored in
AAC or MP3 formats; customers get 5GB of free storage to upload their media
library to Amazon Cloud Drive, with enhanced storage plans starting at $20 a
year for 20GB.
unveiled its Music Beta by Google at Google I/O. As with Amazon, Google's
service lets users upload their personal music collection to Google's servers,
then stream it to a PC or Android device. Users are able to upload up to 20,000
songs, but the service is invitation-only at the moment.