Apple adds EMI to Warner in iCloud music deal

Apple is reported to have signed a second major music label to its much predicted iCloud media streaming and storage service.

The Mac maker has already inked a deal with Warner Music Group last month and has now added EMI Music to the list.

CNET predicts that the final two companies which make up the Big Four, Universal and Sony, will fall into line as early as next week.

Once the ink has dried, Apple will have access to the vast majority of the world's commercial music catalogues as the four companies pretty much own the entire music world between them. A quadropoly if you will.

Apple has invested a heap of cash in a brand new data centre in North Carolina, as well as 12 million gigabytes of storage, which is widely expected to become the home of iCloud.

With both Amazon and Google offering 'music locker' services, neither of which are operating with the blessing of the music industry, Apple is expected to up the ante with a revamp of its existing MobileMe subscription-based storage and syncing service.

Apple is thought to have paid $4.5 million for the name iCloud to thin client and online storage outfit Xcerion, which has suddenly renamed its own service 'CloudMe'.

iCloud will allow expensive memory components to be eliminated from Apple's portable toys because music and video will be streamed live rather than stored on the device, and could lead to the first affordable iPhone.

We fully expect iCloud to be the main talking point at this year's Apple's annual back-slapping convention WWDC which kicks of on June 6th.