Cloud music services represent an alluring concept for both technology giants and record labels alike. So far, Amazon and Google offer such services, but they are full of constraints and have not been too successful yet.
Apple is currently working on its own iCloud service and has hammered out agreements with three of the four major record labels. iCloud could allow Apple to scan its customers’ music libraries in iTunes and then stream them back to iDevices. In this manner, customers can free up their iDevice’s memory or enjoy a better sound quality in case the native song’s quality is not good enough. Music labels could also increase their revenues via monthly fees.
Apple has definitely paid a lot of money for the agreements they signed with the record labels and part of the cost will be passed on to consumers, yet nobody knows how much. The company could achieve this by packing the iCloud digital locker into its MobileMe service which would let users store their music collection in the cloud, even any pirated tracks.
If Apple manages to get the iCloud going, the company will have a major advantage over to Google’s and Amazon’s music cloud service, because neither of them has obtained any license from music labels yet.
Apple could introduce its in-the-cloud music service at the WWDC in June.