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More Details on Apple's Cloud-based Music Locker


Apple seems to be getting ready to launch their cloud-based digital music "locker" service that has been rumored for many months. But contrary to an earlier Reuters report, All Things D has heard that Apple has already come to terms with two of the four major record labels about the service, and that Apple's Eddy Cue will be in New York tomorrow to try to finalize the remaining deals.

The negotiating of these deals is in contrast to Amazon's music storage service which notably launched last month without any deals in place -- a fact that the record labels were not very happy about. Apple is said to have been "very aggressive and thoughtful about it" and "It feels like they want to go pretty soon", according to an unnamed music executive. All Things D also provides some details about how the service might work from Apple:

The industry executives I've talked to haven't seen Apples service themselves, but say they're aware of the broad strokes. The idea is that Apple will let users store songs theyve purchased from its iTunes store, as well as others songs stored on their hard drives, and listen to them on multiple devices.

All Things D points out that having official licenses can allow Apple to store a single master copy of a song rather than storing individual copies for every user. Amazon's original argument against needing the licenses was that their service was the same as any upload storage service. This meant that users needed to upload copies of their old music to be able to stream them. With the proper deals, Apple could avoid the need to upload individual copies and simply allow users to stream off of the single master copy. This could save on significant upload time for the user and storage requirements for Apple.

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48 months ago

A lot of people have more than 5GB in their music collection, so for these people the Amazon service doesn't work.


Purchase an MP3 album from the Amazon MP3 Store by 11:59 PM PST on December 31, 2011.

* If you qualify for this offer and either have not signed up for Amazon Cloud Drive or have the 5GB Amazon Cloud Drive plan, you will be automatically eligible for the 20 GB plan for one year from the date of your MP3 album purchase. Unless you set your account to auto-renew to a paid plan, the 20 GB plan will revert to a free plan one year from the date of your MP3 album purchase.

* If your Amazon Cloud Drive account is already at 20 GB or higher when you qualify for this offer, the offer will be saved to your account as a $20 credit toward any future Amazon Cloud Drive plan fees you may incur at the time your plan renews or at the time you upgrade your plan. If you elect to downgrade your plan to a free plan at the time of renewal, your upgrade offer will be applied towards the 20 GB plan at that time.

MP3 albumes start at just 69 cents
Rating: 4 Votes
48 months ago
I really hope this happens but I have a feeling that it will be hobbled in some way. If it runs from an iTunes master copy of songs then it might preclude people uploading music that has been ripped from CDs or bought somewhere else (like Amazon).
Rating: 3 Votes
48 months ago
How does streaming music to my iPhone help me, when O2 cap my Internet usage, and then charge when you use more.
Rating: 3 Votes
48 months ago

I hate this cloud crap. All just an excuse to take away the consumers control of what they buy or use.

We need a boycott.


No one is forcing anyone to use cloud computing at all, you can do whatever you want with your mp3's I don't see your logic.
Rating: 2 Votes
48 months ago

I have no idea how this would be useful. Buffer times, connection loss, no WiFi around, these are all problems that will prevent this from working.

What's wrong with storing music on hard drives locally?


Buffer times and connection loss could be eliminated as problems very easily:

When you load a playlist, your iPhone begins to download all the songs immediately in the background. Since a song is only a few megabytes, several songs could be downloaded in the span of one song during playback. These songs are then cached in a pre-determined sized local library and kept there until needed to make room for new incoming songs. A smart system could be employed to determine songs that should be prioritized to be kept in cache based on playcount and other listening patterns.

In an iPhone with 32GB of flash, a few GB of music could be cached without taking much room yet storing massive amounts of songs without the risk of interruption from slow or loss of connection.

What I'm looking forward to the most is how this service will work with video. I love Apple's move to a streaming format for tv because downloading and storing movies and tv shows is unsustainable in the long term. Laptops and iOS devices have limited HDD/flash space and it's a complex chore to maintain a video library on an external HDD separate from your iTunes music library. Backing up is also a problem for libraries that can exceed a TB or more.

Buying the rights to a movie or TV episode is preferable. You can then stream that video to any iTunes enabled device including in a mobile device like an iPad which would otherwise not be able to hold much video because of its limited storage capacity.

Finally, one important thing to note is that this cloud locker will free one more of the chains that is preventing iPad from becoming autonomous from a computer. With mobileMe taking care of syncing email, address book, iCal, and bookmarks, and now this music locker taking care of granting you access to your entire iTunes library, you won't need to sync an iPad/iPod/iPhone to a Mac or PC again. Poof! There's your wireless syncing that everybody's been clamouring for.
Rating: 2 Votes
48 months ago

I hate this cloud crap. All just an excuse to take away the consumers control of what they buy or use.

We need a boycott.


BRB guys. Going to go re-read the article so I can find the part where it says Apple is taking away everybody's hard drives.
Rating: 2 Votes
48 months ago
Problems:

--Dependence on an internet connection. Deal breaker right there. Subways? Forget it.
--Buffer times
--Connection instability/loss
--Already way overstrained data networks contributing to the above
--Battery life will suffer if it's wifi
--And if it's 3G, well there's another bill in the mail every month. A recurring bill in the form of data charges to listen to my music I already paid for? No thank you. No, no, no thank you.

Since when did every device in the house need a monthly bill to go with it? AT&T provides a pretty crappy service as it is to begin with, why shuffle any more money right into their pockets?

Dependence on an internet connection and a bill in the mail are enormous deal breakers.

To the people saying "Oh, well Apple isn't taking your hard drive away", no, they aren't, but this is the first step. In 20 years hard drives will be obsolete, as everything will be cloud based, and you'll be forced into the cloud whether you want to be or not.

This service is a completely stupid idea for anyone who has an iPod with a big enough hard drive to store their stuff. I can see the appeal for those with more than 160 GB of music, but other than those people, I see literally zero benefits to be had by this, and a slew of problems/frustrations to be gained.
Rating: 2 Votes
48 months ago
The funny part is, no matter what Apple does to make this work, whether its really usable, or totally locked-in-worthless, it doesn't matter.

Streaming will never be as good as audio stored on your device. Not. Ever.

Not on 3G, not on 4G, and not even over WiFi. The software and streaming protocols are way too slow to offer even comparable performance.

I'll stick with syncing/file storage.
Rating: 2 Votes
48 months ago

Useless to me if it is just for iTunes purchases. Please focus on more important things, Apple.


Given iTunes is the world's biggest music store, I think their new service will be quite useful to a lot of people. It's not difficult to imagine the kinds of people who would benefit from having their iTunes purchases backed up to the cloud automatically.

I just hope Steve Jobs doesn't wake up this morning and realise his new idea is useless to caspersoong and kill the project. :(
Rating: 2 Votes
48 months ago
Tell you what Apple. Make a 128GB iPhone and I'll pay *you* for it, rather than paying my service provider for the extra downloads (that I can't even do when I'm on the Underground, or in much of my office building, or abroad on holiday...)

You can already buy 64GB phones (http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxys2/html/specification.html) Apple. Don't get left behind. :eek:
Rating: 2 Votes

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