The tech companies are racing to provide the best solution to storing music on the cloud. Amazon was first, Apple is close behind. Google is seeing some delays. Still, reports are circulating saying that Apple is preparing for a new cloud-based iTunes service. While they have not yet signed any deals with music distributers, it seems that the music locker is well underway.
Little is known about the service since it isn't exactly official at this point. We've just heard talks and hints of it thanks to some of the rumors of MobileMe updates and talk of Apple's North Carolina data center. Let's take a look at what we do know at this point.
1) Meet Your New Music Locker
This new cloud-based service is going to be like a personal music locker. It will be easier to access your content from your devices, and it will be stored remotely on a server. Typically, we store things on our hard drive. That may still be the case, but we will also be able to keep our music on the cloud. We wonder how some uses will work as space does cost money and if the cloud goes down, you're not going to be listening to music for a while.
2) Still Working on Securing Licensing Deals
According to a Reuters report, "Apple has yet to sign any new licenses for the service and major music labels are hoping to secure deals before the service is launched." The report also says that Apple has not made music distributers aware of when they hope to make the music locker live.
3) The Biggest Challenge May Be Getting the Music Industry to Agree
The music industry has been sluggish at best in adopting new kinds of technology. If they'd only accept the fact that they aren't the powerhouse they used to be, things could move along a lot faster. Somehow cloud storage is a big problem for music industry executives, as we recently heard with the Amazon Cloud Player. We usually hate trying to oversimplify, because we understand that most things aren't black and white, but online storage is still just storage any way you cut it. Unfortunately, the music industry is desperately grabbing at anything they can in order to make themselves feel relevant in the matter.
4) Google Planning a Similar Service, At a Standstill
We also heard that Google wanted to launch a similar service. This is according to the same Reuters report. However, it seems that they have been unable to get things squared away. This may be because of management changes over at Google. It's unknown for sure what's coming of this, but it seems that it's put Google's service at a bit of a hold-up and given Apple the opportunity to move forward faster.
It's In the Cloud
Cloud streaming is definitely the way music is going. If the tech giants like Google and Apple get into the business, we can bet that it will be the next major step for how we consume our music. There are some hurdles. The music industry doesn't seem to like the idea, and the cloud still has plenty of drawbacks. Still, we can somewhat compare it to the old days of downloading music on dialup. Remember when downloading a single song took five to 10 minutes? Those days are long gone. Perhaps, one day, little issues here and there with the cloud will also be a thing of the past.