According to reports, Apple Inc. is turning to the cloud for this year’s innovation in music. Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand.
An anonymous source told the popular technology news site, Boy Genius Report, that the Cupertino-based company is making preparations to store iTunes libraries in the “cloud.”
Essentially, iTunes users will have their own “media locker” with Apple. This “locker” will enable users to stream their content from Apple’s servers to their computers. Streaming from your home computers to your other computers, remote devices will be enabled as well. The cloud will additionally bring wireless syncing to iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches; freeing up space on these devices. Such an announcement would be ideal for Apple’s annual iTunes press conference this September
Another company that offers a cloud-centered service is Dropbox. Dropbox is a web-based file hosting service that uses cloud computing to enable users to store and share files and folders with others across the internet using file synchronization. And according to the latest research conducted by NPD Group, a market research company, more than 25% of iTunes users want their media libraries in the cloud.
So a cloud-based iTunes, in theory, sounds great. But like many theories, it has its kinks. Apple has to get necessary licenses from major record labels to stream music from their servers to customers. Even though Apple is already licensed to sale content.
Inside sources told CNET, a news website dedicated to technology, Apple has held discussions about the move to the cloud with executives in the film and music industry.
Ever since Apple acquired the music-streaming company, Lala, they’ve been working on a foundation for their new service. Lala was an online music store that allowed members to legally create online shareable “playlists” of their own uploaded music which could play full length songs for other registered Lala members, purchase MP3s, stream music on a one-time basis or as inexpensively purchased "web songs," buy new CDs from the Lala store, leave blurbs on other members' pages, and participate in the community forums. Lala contracted with major labels and offered a large catalog of albums to stream or purchase. Their home page claimed over eight million licensed songs available.
Apple has not responded to SciJourner's inquiries on this speculative new service.