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Apple expected to introduce 'iCloud' in June, if music publishers agree

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Music industry insiders expect that Apple wants to launch, or at least introduce, its anticipated "iCloud" music streaming service in June, though the company must also reach agreements with music publishers.

Music publishers own a different set of rights for which Apple must also strike a deal, according to Peter Kafka of MediaMemo. Apple is said to have started making deals with the labels first in its negotiation process, and only recently began talking with publishers.

How long it will take to reach an agreement with publishers remains to be seen. But Apple's launch of 90 second song previews in iTunes was reportedly held up for months last year because of negotiations with publishers.

Kafka also said that sources in the music industry believe that Apple wants to launch or at least announce its so-called "iCloud" service at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, starting June 6 in San Francisco. This year's event is expected to focus on software, and it is not expected that Apple will unveil new iPhone hardware as it has done in years past.

"In Apple's case, I'm told that the company doesn't have any theological hurdles to clear with the publishers," Kafka wrote.

As for the music labels, Apple has been making headway, with deals already reached with Sony Corp., EMI Group, and Warner Music Group. Those agreements would allow users to access song collections from mobile devices via the Internet.

The lone holdout remains Universal Music Group, the largest recording company. But it has also been said that Apple and Universal are close to reaching an agreement.

The Internet-based service is expected to offer more than just music, serving up calendar events, contacts, e-mail and bookmarks. Apple recently acquired the "icloud.com" domain name, suggesting that the company's current cloud-based service, MobileMe, could be rebranded in the revamp.
post #2 of 31
I am not very excited about streaming music, I have a small collection of songs I listen to repeatedly, small enough for local storage.

But I am interested in a cloud service. It should have email, small web server (just enough for a personal site), and some kind of backup capacity. I have a Time Capsule, but for some really important files (past electronic tax returns etc) I would like offsite backup. Syncing is a beautifully logical thing for the cloud to be used for, but I personally don't use that feature.

Actually the existing MobileMe is just perfect for me, if only the iDisk was faster (for the backup role).
post #3 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


"In Apple's case, I'm told that the company doesn't have any theological hurdles to clear with the publishers," Kafka wrote.

Not theological? I guess that leaves pecuniary.
post #4 of 31
The major music publishers are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Here in Nashville, they are a regular fixture in the music/songwriting community. They aren't the easiest to deal with but because the labels are falling into line, perhaps they will see the opportunity and agree to a contract.
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

The major music publishers are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Here in Nashville, they are a regular fixture in the music/songwriting community. They aren't the easiest to deal with but because the labels are falling into line, perhaps they will see the opportunity and agree to a contract.

Actually, those three companies aren't music publishers, but rather PROs (performance right organizations) who collect monies for the publishers/songwriters when it comes to broadcasts or live performances (while companies like Harry Fox collect mechanicals). I'd imagine Apple would have to deal with publishing companies like Warner Chappell, UMPG, Sony/ATV, etc., right about now.

Either way, I agree. With the label's pretty much in line, I think this eventually gets done.
post #6 of 31
Hello there how are you, I think this is wonderful of Apple to introduce this .

I'm the tea lady at Netvillage and I wish the little sods here would do this too.

They do have some interesting community software though.

Oh well, I better pop off then.

Bye bye, the tea lady.
post #7 of 31
Am I alone in being utterly underwhelmed by this entire cloud music idea? I just do not think this is a big deal at all. This data centre must have a more grandiose purpose lined up for it surely! I just cannot see any great number of people paying a fee just to store their music online. With Flash memory getting cheaper and the 64GB smartphone around the corner, who needs this??

Doesn't add up.
post #8 of 31
We know that just because they registered "iCloud" doesn't mean they'll be using it -- it could be pre-emptive to keep cybersquatters from trying to grab it. But I certainly hope they don't. It not only sounds like a bad parody of their product nomenclature (hard to escape that, though), it just sounds plain stupid.

That said, if they do end up using it, Apple's act could be seen as a company heroically falling on their own sword in order to save the world from any further use of the idiotic term, cloud.
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ks2problema View Post

That said, if they do end up using it, Apple's act could be seen as a company heroically falling on their own sword in order to save the world from any further use of the idiotic term, cloud.

Sadly I don't think Apple will be the one to save you, just open System Preferences to see a little cloud icon in there.

What name would you prefer? A more conventional name might be Server, or Internet Server, or just Internet.

But I think they are trying to express the idea that wherever you are, your data is "just there" like it was in the air. Some other things that are in the air are birds, planes and Superman, so perhaps we got lucky with the choice of "cloud"
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I am not very excited about streaming music, I have a small collection of songs I listen to repeatedly, small enough for local storage.

Of course one advantage of a streaming system is for the songs you own that you don't listen to repeatedly. You are not wasting local space on songs these songs but you can still access them. Couple with this genius and you might rediscover songs you enjoy that you haven't listened to in a while.
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ks2problema View Post

We know that just because they registered "iCloud" doesn't mean they'll be using it -- it could be pre-emptive to keep cybersquatters from trying to grab it.

Yep. For all we know icloud.com will just auto over to me.com

As for the publishers, for all we know the preview hold up wasn't over previews at all. They could have also included this whole streaming issue and that was what was making the other side balk

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Of course one advantage of a streaming system is for the songs you own that you don't listen to repeatedly. You are not wasting local space on songs these songs but you can still access them. Couple with this genius and you might rediscover songs you enjoy that you haven't listened to in a while.

Im imagining that your iTunes play history could easily be used to determine which songs to add or not add.

Now Im thinking of the iPod app setup much like your Contacts on the iPhone where you can choose a different group, but in this case its All, Local Only and iCloud Only.

If you choose All they all show up and when you start to play a song not locally stored it polls iCloud for the rest of the track and will store that track on the device temporarily for a set duration just in case you play it again. After a pre-determined time frame will be cleared from the cache.
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post #13 of 31
I hope Robert Johnson, Stan Getz, and Bo Diddley get their money!!! Those shady record company types get my hair standin' up!
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Am I alone in being utterly underwhelmed by this entire cloud music idea? I just do not think this is a big deal at all. This data centre must have a more grandiose purpose lined up for it surely! I just cannot see any great number of people paying a fee just to store their music online. With Flash memory getting cheaper and the 64GB smartphone around the corner, who needs this??

Doesn't add up.

I've been thinking the same thing all along. I hope this is just a small part of a larger service. I would like some king of FREE cloud storage and email account. Would also be cool if there was space for hosting a small website.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Am I alone in being utterly underwhelmed by this entire cloud music idea? I just do not think this is a big deal at all. This data centre must have a more grandiose purpose lined up for it surely! I just cannot see any great number of people paying a fee just to store their music online. With Flash memory getting cheaper and the 64GB smartphone around the corner, who needs this??

Doesn't add up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsyedinak View Post

I've been thinking the same thing all along. I hope this is just a small part of a larger service. I would like some king of FREE cloud storage and email account. Would also be cool if there was space for hosting a small website.

Streaming, segmented, non-iTunes-purchased-music is a concept everyone can get their mind around. For now, it allows Apple (and you) to bypass addressing how to validate your non-itunes music so Apple can stream from a single copy.

Later, some method can be developed/negotiated to accommodate your entire music and video collection (amnesty, watermarks, etc.)

But, think of the concept more broadly than storing song segments and streaming them to an iDevice;

Rather, think of it as staging and reassembling files on demand -- from the Cloud to some local storage -- A big TimeMachine, where some of the bits (especially older bits) reside in the sky.
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post #16 of 31
If it can't stream Apple Lossless in full quality, I'm not even remotely interested.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

If it can't stream Apple Lossless in full quality, I'm not even remotely interested.

Unless that's a joke that's an unrealistic expectation on many levels.
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post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

If it can't stream Apple Lossless in full quality, I'm not even remotely interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Unless that's a joke that's an unrealistic expectation on many levels.

I wonder about that!

According to the patent:

Whoa! Apple Patent Confirms iTunes Cloud Media Services

1) the source need not be the Cloud only -- it could be a home server, the cloud, both or many (like bit torrents).

2) the streaming speed and amount of segmenting of files are settable

3) the media is not limited to audio only

You could have a dynamic system between the source(s) and destination, where they ahndshake and agree on an ad hoc setup for segmenting and streaming speeds -- then the destination device adjusts its buffering and reassembly algorithms accordingly.

Ya' gets what ya' pay for!
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post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I wonder about that!

According to the patent:

Whoa! Apple Patent Confirms iTunes Cloud Media Services

1) the source need not be the Cloud only -- it could be a home server, the cloud, both or many (like bit torrents).

2) the streaming speed and amount of segmenting of files are settable

3) the media is not limited to audio only

You could have a dynamic system between the source(s) and destination, where they ahndshake and agree on an ad hoc setup for segmenting and streaming speeds -- then the destination device adjusts its buffering and reassembly algorithms accordingly.

Ya' gets what ya' pay for!

That’s pretty much what I imagined in post 12. I think it’s a pretty complex setup, even for Apple, but also think if anyone can pull it off it’s Apple.

I do wonder if we really need this or if it’s part of a much bigger plan future down the road the way Front Row was a test bed for the AppleTV OS UI.

Personally, I listen to very few songs out of my collection and my iTunes history could easily tell me which ones those are so I can see how this could be the best of both worlds for such users.
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post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That’s pretty much what I imagined in post 12. I think it’s a pretty complex setup, even for Apple, but also think if anyone can pull it off it’s Apple.

I do wonder if we really need this or if it’s part of a much bigger plan future down the road the way Front Row was a test bed for the AppleTV OS UI.

Personally, I listen to very few songs out of my collection and my iTunes history could easily tell me which ones those are so I can see how this could be the best of both worlds for such users.

I believe it is part of a much bigger plan -- iTunes streaming is just the first baby step -- Apple dipping its (and our) toes in the Cloud for non-critical media.

Parts of the post-pc raison d'être are: mobility; UX; accessibility. The latter implies access to content. But, you can't take it [all] with you. The missing piece of the puzzle is the Cloud.

Google and MS are ahead of Apple in many Cloud Services offerings.

But, the Cloud is only one part of the total post-pc puzzle -- others being: integrated hardware/OS; apps; content; sales, marketing & distribution.

It should be easier for Apple for to provide its missing Cloud pieces -- than for Google and MS to provide all the pieces they are missing.

HP/Palm and RIM appear to be the only others that could provide a complete package to exploit the post-pc potential.

Interesting that HPQ and RIMM have a combined market cap of $100 Billion (77+22) -- but I don't see MS or Google buying either of these.


Edit: Depending on what they are doing, Amazon could be a dark horse for the post-pc era. They already have the Cloud, Marketing, Sales and distro chops. If they make their own hardware and OS (fork Android or Linux) they could be quite competitive -- no legacy baggage.
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post #21 of 31
If y'all expand the viewpoint's a bit ... I noticed that Apple is making big inroads with Enterprise... i.e. 66% growth rates just this year. iPads are being evaluated in nearly all business at some level ... thus the big server sites could just very well be for business to offset the huge cost of managing there own servers. I know there are security issue (plenty). With the advent of Thunderbolt, high speed data transfer is very attractive ... LTE is coming, and even dedicated private networks can be made available... just look at Western Union ... that is exactly what they do. We really don't know the fully capabilities of Lion, iOS and the like. Just some ideas. FWIW
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Edit: Depending on what they are doing, Amazon could be a dark horse for the post-pc era. They already have the Cloud, Marketing, Sales and distro chops. If they make their own hardware and OS (fork Android or Linux) they could be quite competitive -- no legacy baggage.

Ive stated on many occasion that Amazon could be Apples biggest competitor in the tablet market. It seems clear to me that the Kindle will evolve into an Android-based system using a color display that will do video. As you state, they have the ecosystem which is what others cant seem to get a handle when it comes to Apples success.
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post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I’ve stated on many occasion that Amazon could be Apple’s biggest competitor in the tablet market. It seems clear to me that the Kindle will evolve into an Android-based system using a color display that will do video. As you state, they have the ecosystem which is what others can’t seem to get a handle when it comes to Apple’s success.

Yeah, remembering some of your (and others) AMZN posts was the reason I added that afterthought. I think Android is OK for the short term -- but longer term, they'll want to own their OS and hardware.

Odd -- How interesting it would have been had Amazon bought Palm instead of HP. Who knew?
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post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Yeah, remembering some of your (and others) AMZN posts was the reason I added that afterthought. I think Android is OK for the short term -- but longer term, they'll want to own their OS and hardware.

Odd -- How interesting it would have been had Amazon bought Palm instead of HP. Who knew?

At the rate HP is declining and Amazon is growing they’ll be able to buy HP and get Palm as default in a few years.


(Disclaimer: my statement is not to be taken seriously as HP makes a lot more profit than Amazon. I think it’s a difference of 10:1)
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post #25 of 31
Does 'rebranded' mean delete some of your data ?

That's what happened last time.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I wonder about that!

According to the patent:

Whoa! Apple Patent Confirms iTunes Cloud Media Services

1) the source need not be the Cloud only -- it could be a home server, the cloud, both or many (like bit torrents).

2) the streaming speed and amount of segmenting of files are settable

3) the media is not limited to audio only

You could have a dynamic system between the source(s) and destination, where they ahndshake and agree on an ad hoc setup for segmenting and streaming speeds -- then the destination device adjusts its buffering and reassembly algorithms accordingly.

Ya' gets what ya' pay for!

That would be good but it seems to me to be something that Apple are already very poor at achieving.

A person with a Mac at home, an Air for the road and an iPad still has to manage most of his data manually. There's almost no concept of an ecosystem when it comes to data.

When Apple do try to sync, they have a nasty habit of mangling people's data, or just losing it. I mentioned recently on a non-tech forum I participate in that I had lost data in some MobileMe apps and half the forum joined in with horror stories of lost data through syncing and data conversion.

I like the idea but I just don't know if Apple can design it and code it. It's just not an area where they have much expertise.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

That would be good but it seems to me to be something that Apple are already very poor at achieving.

A person with a Mac at home, an Air for the road and an iPad still has to manage most of his data manually. There's almost no concept of an ecosystem when it comes to data.

When Apple do try to sync, they have a nasty habit of mangling people's data, or just losing it. I mentioned recently on a non-tech forum I participate in that I had lost data in some MobileMe apps and half the forum joined in with horror stories of lost data through syncing and data conversion.

I like the idea but I just don't know if Apple can design it and code it. It's just not an area where they have much expertise.

Sigh...

I mostly agree with you!

Apple does Mail well... but has problems syncing most other data.

I think they need to do 2 things near term before they get their Cloud act together;

1) Make a drop-dead simple home-content-server offering, with unlimited storage, that serves all users and All Apple computers/iDevices in the home

2) TimeMachine -- for the above

Then, next, is to allow both the above to securely stage their data between the home and the Cloud.

Where you stage content becomes a decision of how quickly/frequently do you need to access it-- it takes more work and time to go down into catacombs (in the Cloud) to access old or not-recently-used content -- but it is there, and you can percolate it up to "active status" and store it local to where you need to use it, for however long youI need it.
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post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Sigh...

I mostly agree with you!

Apple does Mail well... but has problems syncing most other data.

I think they need to do 2 things near term before they get their Cloud act together;

1) Make a drop-dead simple home-content-server offering, with unlimited storage, that serves all users and All Apple computers/iDevices in the home

2) TimeMachine -- for the above

Then, next, is to allow both the above to securely stage their data between the home and the Cloud.

Where you stage content becomes a decision of how quickly/frequently do you need to access it-- it takes more work and time to go down into catacombs (in the Cloud) to access old or not-recently-used content -- but it is there, and you can percolate it up to "active status" and store it local to where you need to use it, for however long youI need it.

They need to have Time Machine for your cloud synced data. The way Time Machine works is the way Dropbox works. It only backs up changes, thus reducing the time to sync and the amount of data being sent, and allows for previous versions to be retrieved.

If they do this right, which I think Time Machine has shown they can, the customer should never be afraid to lose any personal data. If you edit or delete a note in Notes you should have a web interface, Mail.app on Mac interface, and Notes on iDevice interface to sift through your previous versions to find and restore the old data.

Anything you delete would simply be help in Trash, just like with Dropbox, and only deleted if take the steeps to access the deleted files and then permanently delete them.

I would hope that at least the me.com/icloud.com/whatever.com site would allow all synced data to have the same option of retrieving potentially lost info, even if there isn’t a local app that can service it directly. For example, I wouldn’t expect Contacts in the iOS to have a portal to retrieve a contact I edited incorrectly, but I would expect that to be “fixable” from my web access.

I might be expecting too much from Apple but after seeing what Dropbox and SugarSync can do on a shoestring budget, how similar the technology in Time Machine with intelligent backups, and the time, cost and effort put into this data center I hope they done exactly what I expect.
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post #29 of 31
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post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They need to have Time Machine for your cloud synced data. The way Time Machine works is the way Dropbox works. It only backs up changes, thus reducing the time to sync and the amount of data being sent, and allows for previous versions to be retrieved.

If they do this right, which I think Time Machine has shown they can, the customer should never be afraid to lose any personal data. If you edit or delete a note in Notes you should have a web interface, Mail.app on Mac interface, and Notes on iDevice interface to sift through your previous versions to find and restore the old data.

Anything you delete would simply be help in Trash, just like with Dropbox, and only deleted if take the steeps to access the deleted files and then permanently delete them.

I would hope that at least the me.com/icloud.com/whatever.com site would allow all synced data to have the same option of retrieving potentially lost info, even if there isn’t a local app that can service it directly. For example, I wouldn’t expect Contacts in the iOS to have a portal to retrieve a contact I edited incorrectly, but I would expect that to be “fixable” from my web access.

I might be expecting too much from Apple but after seeing what Dropbox and SugarSync can do on a shoestring budget, how similar the technology in Time Machine with intelligent backups, and the time, cost and effort put into this data center I hope they done exactly what I expect.

Exactly -- the key is TimeMachine and Apple has [mostly] solved that for an individual user's disk.

In my understanding of the post-pc world all meaningful content would be synced to the Cloud - unless you specifically exclude it.

TimeMachine, then is the Cloud! If your house burns down and destroys all your computers and data -- you buy a new computer login, and TimeMachine recreates your environment.

The home-content-server is merely a place to "put your stuff" -- the stuff you're working on now!

In fact, if you think about it -- theTimeMachine and Home-Content_server are just different apps running in a single box -- and that box, likely is a headless iOS box -- that can get a head (careful, now from any authorized Mac or iDevice with a screen.

I am a little surprised that Apple didn't buy the likes of DropBox -- the only reason I can think of is that Apple is already working on a similar solution.
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post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Im imagining that your iTunes play history could easily be used to determine which songs to add or not add.

Now Im thinking of the iPod app setup much like your Contacts on the iPhone where you can choose a different group, but in this case its All, Local Only and iCloud Only.

If you choose All they all show up and when you start to play a song not locally stored it polls iCloud for the rest of the track and will store that track on the device temporarily for a set duration just in case you play it again. After a pre-determined time frame will be cleared from the cache.

What they really should do is simplify everyone's life by removing the need to manually manage media on our devices. Smart syncing of files so your favorites are kept on the device with cloud streaming for everything else.

When you buy a new iDevice you should just need to type in your iTunes username and password and your music, apps, books, contacts, etc should start sync'ing. No need to plug in a usb cable to get stuff on your device. When you buy something from iTunes/iBooks/Appstore it should be accessible on all devices.

This should all be transparent to the user. They shouldn't need to care what is on the device and what is in the cloud.
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