Some iCloud Music Service Details, Others Companies Likely to Follow

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Businessweek provides an overview of how Apple's music service might compare to the recent services launched by Google and Amazon. Notably, Apple is taking the time and spending the money to reach agreements with the major music labels to support the service.

Amazon reportedly didn't even try prior to their cloud music launch, while Google's talks broke down after a year of negotiation. Both existing services are limited due to the lack of licenses. Label executives are said to have been negotiating "aggressively" to make sure they profit from the shift to the cloud.

Businessweek is able to describe what the service will look like based on those familiar with the negotiations:
Armed with licenses from the music labels and publishers, 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.
It's not clear how Apple intends to pay for and charge for the service. The licenses will reportedly cost a lot, and Apple will have to pass those charges to the customer in some form.

According to Businessweek, many are waiting to see what Apple can accomplish as labels expect that once Apple's service launches, others will soon follow with similarly licensed services.

Article Link: Some iCloud Music Service Details, Others Companies Likely to Follow
 

dashiel

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2003
876
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1) Hopefully this isn’t limited to just tracks purchased in iTunes
2) If they added this for television/movies I’d be very happy.
 

Aniday

macrumors regular
Jan 27, 2009
145
3
I'm assuming "quickly mirroring" means that they see what you have and just make those songs available to you in the cloud so you don't have to upload the files yourself (that would be impractical and take forever considering the size of people's library's these days and most ISP's refusing to give people decent upload speeds)

If this assumption is true my question is: Is the mirroring only available to songs you've previously purchased on iTunes so you have to upload the rest you didn't get from iTunes (or even not have to option for them to be in the cloud, eek)
Or would everything in your library be mirrored regardless of where you got the files?

I'm guessing the former.
 

Eddyisgreat

macrumors 601
Oct 24, 2007
4,851
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hrm. Wonder if they can differentiate between legitimate MP3s ripped from the owners CD vs bootlegs.

I mean wait, why would they need to do that? We all own 100 or so gigs of legitimate MP3's right .
 

Porchland

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2004
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I'm assuming "quickly mirroring" means that they see what you have and just make those songs available to you in the cloud so you don't have to upload the files yourself (that would be impractical and take forever considering the size of people's library's these days)

If this assumption is true my question is: Is the mirroring only available to songs you've previously purchased on iTunes so you have to upload the rest you didn't get from iTunes (or even not have to option for them to be in the cloud, eek)
Or would everything in your library be mirrored regardless of where you got the files?

I'm guessing the former.
Limiting you to songs you've purchased through iTunes (or even through other services) sounds more like what the labels would allow, but why would Apple need to scan your iTunes database? Don't they already know what they've sold me?

The full paragraph in the Businessweek article that MacRumors quoted doesn't make a lot of sense.

It says the streaming would be for the tracks you already have:

Armed with licenses from the music labels and publishers, 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.
And then it says the streaming will be a monthly fee that replaces 99-cent downloads:

And the music industry gets a chance at the next best thing after selling shrink-wrapped CDs: monthly subscription fees, à la Netflix (NFLX) and the cable companies. "We will come to a point in the not-so-distant future when we'll look back on the 99¢ download as anachronistic as cassette tapes or 8-tracks," says Ross Crupnick, a music analyst at NPD Group.
There's obviously a market for pay-per-download and there's probably a market for an all-you-can eat subscription service, but I don't see Apple trying to sell people on a model that requires to pay for each track and pay for streaming.

I think Apple is either going to (1) allow you to stream all of your downloads, (2) sign up for an all-you-can eat subscription, or (3) allow you to choose -- similar to the same way they allow you to buy a movie for one price or rent it for a lower price -- but I don't see much of a market for paying an extra X dollars a month to stream tracks that you'll still have to pay to download.
 
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ChristianVirtual

macrumors 601
May 10, 2010
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日本
Streaming is nice; but I also would need download capabilities to a device for offline as most of us has limits in the data plans which don't allow streaming 24/7.
Having the iCloud as backup solution would be perfect, also for $75 a year.

Ah, movies please too, those eating up lots space on my NAS and again a backup would be good in the cloud.

Actually Apple could make it much easier by allowing re-download of content once purchasaed (I'm sure there are a number of threats in that topic)
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
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I would be very surprised (pleased, but surprised) if this includes songs that are available on iTunes but that I didn't buy from iTunes.

I don't see how the music companies would allow it - you'd be "laundering" pirated tracks into legal iTunes tracks. (After all, anyone who rips a CD is a pirate, according to the music companies)
 

seamer

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2009
426
164
If it processed tracks obtained outside iTunes, it could legitimize a lot of our collections at a decent price. I'd be interested to see the actual details upon release. If it's an account, definitely. However, if it's per song I'd have to decline.
 

Gene S

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2010
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Label executives are said to have been negotiating "aggressively" to make sure they profit from the shift to the cloud.
So the record companies finally get their wish. We pay once, to buy the song via iTunes, CD, etc.. Then pay again to actually listen to it. (Cloud service.)

No thanks, I'll pass.
 

darbus69

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Mar 3, 2009
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apple is of course doing it right-I for one will pay for a quality, feature laden service...
 

eNcrypTioN

macrumors 6502
Nov 4, 2009
390
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I would absolutely love to be able to stream my iTunes library in my car. I hope iCloud brings this feature to vehicles one day. For now I'll just have to settle with my iPod and an AUX cable. None the less iCloud sounds like it's shaping up to be an impressive service. :D
 

japanime

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Feb 27, 2006
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hrm. Wonder if they can differentiate between legitimate MP3s ripped from the owners CD vs bootlegs.

I mean wait, why would they need to do that? We all own 100 or so gigs of legitimate MP3's right .
I do. But I grew up in the era of vinyl records. When CDs came out, I bought as many of them as I could afford to replace my vinyl. So, I have literally thousands of CDs — all of which I've ripped and so they now collect dust in the garage!
 

ChristianVirtual

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May 10, 2010
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Another question will be: how to deal with multiple iTunes accounts ? will those be consolidated or will I need to sit on two clouds ?
 

s1m

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2008
513
147
I agree that this would be great if they could scan my iTunes library and mirror that for all my tracks. I havent bought much through iTunes as I prefer to own the CD.

However going forward if they only allow streaming of iTunes bought tracks this might push me to buy through iTunes in the future and break my dependency on old technology...

The biggest issue for me will be downloading on the go and how that will impact my download limit on my iPhone...
 

darbus69

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Mar 3, 2009
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it does not say "mirror only what you bought from iTunes in your iTunes music librar" It sounds like apple is going the distance and licensing which encompasses users entire libraries, regardless of origination of the music. At dome point in time the record labels need to give up the stranglehold and learn to go with today's music delivery system.
 

chasemac

macrumors 6502a
Jan 30, 2005
767
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In a house.
"The licenses will reportedly cost a lot, and Apple will have to pass those charges to the customer in some form."

Na. I'll pass on this. I paid for the music the first time and I already pay for the data plan and any overage charges that may ensue. Will see what it really is pretty soon though.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
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It's not clear how Apple intends to pay for and charge for the service. The licenses will reportedly cost a lot, and Apple will have to pass those charges to the customer in some form.
Apple can easily make it available for free for all Macintosh and iPod / iDevice owners, increasing the value of these devices and therefore sales. Just take it as free advertisement.
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Mar 24, 2010
1,164
1,373
We'll see. I might not even use this much, or at all. All my music fits on my iPod, and likely will for a few years down the road, and when it doesn't, I'll just get a larger iPod.
 

iZac

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2003
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The part about it assessing "quality" and replacing it with a better one on the cloud would suggest that the service might just host a single file and allow you (and others) unlimited access to it because it shares the same file name / length etc. as the one on your computer. In a similar way that iTunes scans for artwork and the CDDB scans for CDs.

But yes, based on that scenario, the probability of cloud piracy would be vast. Now, music that you have purchased from iTunes / other music stores will be tagged as such and CDs will have hard copies that you can insert and prove you own via the CDDB, so there is at least some loose form of authentication for those (of course bands that have started delivering content via USB sticks are screwed by this, but that's a minority.)

So perhaps there will be tiered versions:

Free: cloud syncs all content that you purchased from iTunes / other online store as well as CDs that you insert into your drive and can prove that you've bought. (I know this can be pirated / spoofed as well, but who on earth downloads Audio CD ISOs?) - uses Master file from iTunes server

Paid: Everything else not from those normal purchase methods that you can upload to your own iTunes / Ping account - uses your own private limited space on server

I dunno, just a thought?
 

Porchland

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2004
1,071
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Georgia
I hope there's more to this iCloud than music.
I fully expect that any Apple cloud service would include cloud storage and wireless syncing of photos (and possibly videos). That would be a much more elegant solution to taking, editing, transferring and storing photos on multiple Apple devices than what it available now, and it would give Apple a hook for branding the service as an extension of iLife.
 
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