We recently reported that Apple has closed licensing deals with three out of the four major music labels for their soon to be announced digital music locker service. This gives Apple great advantage over its competitors, Google and Amazon, who launched similar service without the license deals.
Music labels are always looking for new revenue streams and it’s possible that Apple probably had to pay a huge amount in-order to secure the rights for its new music streaming service. Apple’s iCloud service is widely believed to be tied to MobileMe ($99/year) which already allows users to keep their Mail, Safari Bookmarks, Documents etc. on their Macs and iOS devices in Sync.
BusinessWeek recently published a report in which they detailed Apple’s iCloud service:
Apple will be able to scan customers’ digital music libraries in iTunes and quickly mirror their collections on its own servers, say three people briefed on the talks. If the sound quality of a particular song on a user’s hard drive isn’t good enough, Apple will be able to replace it with a higher-quality version. Users of the service will then be able to stream, whenever they want, their songs and albums directly to PCs, iPhones, iPads, and perhaps one day even cars.
A patent application recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also revealed some features about iCloud service which the Cupertino Calif. based company could be looking into. The patent basically explains that any song you want to access from the cloud would require your device to store a minimum of 30 seconds preview. This would allow the user to skip songs without any lag as the preview could be used for the first 30 seconds while the track stored on the cloud can buffer and offer seamless experience.
During WWDC 2011 Apple is expected to share details about the future of iOS and preview Mac OS X Lion. iOS 5 is believed to finally introduce cloud based services which Apple has been preparing for since a long time.