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Apple's iCloud music service to scan, mirror iTunes libraries

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
Sources allege that the much-rumored streaming music service from Apple will scan users' iTunes libraries and mirror them in the cloud, but it reportedly won't be free.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that, according to people briefed on talks between Apple and the music labels, Apple has obtained new licenses for its so-called iCloud service that will allow the company to mirror individual iTunes music collections on its servers. Additionally, Apple will replace low-quality music files stored on users' hard drives with higher-quality versions on its servers.

However, the convenience of increased access to one's music will come at a price, according to the report. While Apple's upcoming music service "may be a huge shift, it won't be free," wrote authors Brad Stone and Andy Fixmer. Label executives have reportedly said they are negotiating aggressively for profits in the cloud.

Though specific details on pricing remain unclear, Stone and Fixmer speculate that Apple could bundle streaming music services into its revamp of MobileMe, which currently costs $99 a year. Fees for the service could also help labels "claw out some money" from pirated music, the authors noted. A separate report suggested last month that the rumored service could be free at first, but would eventually require a fee.

Sources close to the negotiations between Apple and the record companies corroborated earlier reports that Apple had reached agreements with three of the four major labels and is close to a deal with Universal Music.

Music executives also alleged that Google had offered $100 million up front to the four major music labels for licenses, but negotiations stalled over the labels' concerns that Google doesn't do enough to protect copyright holders on Google.com and YouTube. Without the licensing agreements needed to sell music, the search giant eventually launched its Music Beta service as just a 'digital locker.'

Rival Amazon launched its Cloud Drive online music streaming service in March without renegotiated licenses. Music industry executives, who were notified of Amazon's plans just days before the launch, have questioned the legality of a feature that automatically adds Amazon.com digital music purchases to customers' Cloud Drive accounts.



Apple is expected to unveil its iCloud service in June at the annual Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco, though the company reportedly has yet to finalize negotiations for new licenses with music publishers. Apple appears to have completed work on the service, with negotiations with rights holders standing as the final hurdle.

AppleInsider exclusively reported last month that the iCloud name is being used by Apple internally on several different projects and will extend beyond just streaming music by syncing and storing other personal data such as bookmarks, email, contacts and iCal events. Apple reportedly purchased the iCloud.com domain last month from a Sweden-based desktop-as-a-service company for $4.5 million.



The company's plans for iCloud are also believed to center around its massive data center in Maiden, N.C. Apple executives have said that the $1 billion, 500,000 square-foot facility will support the company's iTunes and MobileMe services.

An Apple patent application discovered by AppleInsider last week hints at one possible solution for streaming music. According to the filing, Apple is investigating a method of storing portions of songs on devices such as the iPhone in order to allow immediate playback, while the device initiates a download from a remote location.

post #2 of 60
This is the end of Rim.
post #3 of 60
This is the end of Tiny Tim.
post #4 of 60
This is the end of li'l Kim
post #5 of 60
How I do I know Apple/Music Labels won't sue me for having music I ripped myself? I can't prove that I bought the CD's, even though I did.

And what will Apple do if I have Apple Lossless? Stream me 256 kbps? No thanks.

Wake me up when its useful.
post #6 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

How I do I know Apple/Music Labels won't sue me for having music I ripped myself? I can't prove that I bought the CD's, even though I did.

And what will Apple do if I have Apple Lossless? Stream me 256 kbps? No thanks.

Wake me up when its useful.

Sleep well.

I'd be more interested in this, if not for the bandwidth raping telecoms in Canada. Streaming is too expensive here to be of real use.
post #7 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...Apple will scan users' iTunes libraries and mirror them in the cloud...

What if I have music in my library for which Apple doesn't have an iTunes license (Pro tip: I do.)? If they still plan to mirror it, there was no sense in Apple allegedly getting these new deals with the music companies for streaming.

Which means this service won't be mirroring ANYTHING that iTunes doesn't already offer.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #8 of 60
Streaming music is nice. However I am more interested in the Siri implementation for voice searching using AI.

Time will tell
post #9 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

This is the end of li'l Kim

This is not Reddit, comment tree.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

How I do I know Apple/Music Labels won't sue me for having music I ripped myself? I can't prove that I bought the CD's, even though I did.

And what will Apple do if I have Apple Lossless? Stream me 256 kbps? No thanks.

Wake me up when its useful.

I don't think we are the target market. Designed in California for Gen-MP3.
post #11 of 60
I thought they were going to use the deals with the music labels for an iTunes Zune Pass


I suppose having access without needing to upload first is still ok though. I think Siegler wrote about this around a month ago. Pretty good call from him if it turns out to be true.

I'll keep on dreaming I suppose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


Here is how I think it should work...
  • iDevices are sync'd over-the-air
  • Songs purchased via iTunes are "backed up" to the cloud
  • iTunes "Home Sharing" is extended to the Internet (the "private cloud")
  • iPhone/iPod does intelligent sync and song caching
  • If you pay for a "premium" Mobile Me (or "iCloud") subscription you get some extra features
    1. Tracks purchased outside of iTunes are also sync'd to the cloud
    2. You get stream/sync access to every song on iTunes
    3. iTunes DJ/Genius works across all songs on iTunes, not just my purchases
    4. I get to select 10 tracks each month to permanently own
    5. iTunes gets a basic web version
  • Finally, regardless of the location of the song (local, cached, private cloud or public cloud) they should all be presented in the one combined user interface.

I'd also love to see an iHub/iCenter/iHome/iCentral/iMesh to facilitate the creation of a private cloud as well... but I'm just dreaming now
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

How I do I know Apple/Music Labels won't sue me for having music I ripped myself? I can't prove that I bought the CD's, even though I did.

And what will Apple do if I have Apple Lossless? Stream me 256 kbps? No thanks.

Wake me up when its useful.

Don't have nightmares.
You want companies to stream lossless format? How much?
CDs you borrow and ripped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What if I have music in my library for which Apple doesn't have an iTunes license (Pro tip: I do.)? If they still plan to mirror it, there was no sense in Apple allegedly getting these new deals with the music companies for streaming.

Which means this service won't be mirroring ANYTHING that iTunes doesn't already offer.


It must be the licence to cover what is in the iTS. If it scan and found no match, no cloud version for that song. Or maybe the deal to cover what labels and publishers have sold in the general market (actual CD) so regardless, it will be made available and the licence will cover everything. They will get paid from the subs. in term of how many songs/album matched so in the end, they will get part what have lost in piracy as an incentive, Apple get business from hardware and future purchases from the iTS (like genius recommendation) and users get to listen to their songs anywhere.
post #13 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

How I do I know Apple/Music Labels won't sue me for having music I ripped myself? I can't prove that I bought the CD's, even though I did.

And what will Apple do if I have Apple Lossless? Stream me 256 kbps? No thanks.

Wake me up when its useful.

They won't care. They're making money off you anyway. You did read the part about how the labels want to make profits off the cloud, right?
post #14 of 60
Apple can't even find album art for 90% of my collection and provides unbelievably bad incorrect art for a not insignificant portion of the last 10%. Likelihood of them mirroring my library in the cloud? Damned close to zero.
Oh and guess what, I have mainstream music. People with Indie music will find absolutely no value in the service.

Add the harsh bandwidth caps seen in many countries of the world and the future doesn't look bright enough to require shades.
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

Sleep well.

I'd be more interested in this, if not for the bandwidth raping telecoms in Canada. Streaming is too expensive here to be of real use.

Not in good ole' Saskatchewan - no bandwidth charges (at least in foreseeable future)
post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ireland View Post

this is not reddit, comment tree.

... ಠ_ಠ
post #17 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

It must be the licence to cover what is in the iTS. If it scan and found no match, no cloud version for that song. Or maybe the deal to cover what labels and publishers have sold in the general market (actual CD) so regardless, it will be made available and the licence will cover everything. They will get paid from the subs. in term of how many songs/album matched so in the end, they will get part what have lost in piracy as an incentive, Apple get business from hardware and future purchases from the iTS (like genius recommendation) and users get to listen to their songs anywhere.

I think you're right. It would be easy for the cloud, when scanning your library, to acknowledge only music/media purchased through the iTunes Store. Anything else, it would just ignore.

I like the cloud idea as rumoredright now, my iPod is maxed out. Having the cloud stream my music would be nice for when I travel, and then don't have to carry my whole library with me.
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post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Apple can't even find album art for 90% of my collection and provides unbelievably bad incorrect art for a not insignificant portion of the last 10%. Likelihood of them mirroring my library in the cloud? Damned close to zero.
Oh and guess what, I have mainstream music. People with Indie music will find absolutely no value in the service.

That's odd. In my case, the percentages are reversed. I have mostly indie music, and only a small portion of my collection has the "iTunes default" album cover. Another solution is to scan the CD sleeves and add the artwork manually. I did that for my missing cover art.

You can complain or you can find solutions.
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post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

An Apple patent application discovered by AppleInsider last week hints at one possible solution for streaming music. According to the filing, Apple is investigating a method of storing portions of songs on devices such as the iPhone in order to allow immediate playback, while the device initiates a download from a remote location.

PATENT application? Give me a f***ing break. This is called local caching and has been used for decades, Allen P. Haughay and Benjamin Rottler.. There's nothing particularly innovative about applying the caching to the beginning of songs only. It's a basic trick that any clown could think of and it certainly does not deserve the lifetime protection that a patent grant would offer.

Also I don't see what's so special or innovative about the iCloud. I've been doing what it purports to offer for more than a year having placed my iTunes library in Dropbox on a NAS. It comes with the added benefit of not having to pay taxes to the record companies for listening to my music.
post #20 of 60
This is what Ive been expecting for a year or so now. I cant imagine it any other way. What I do have trouble wrapping my head around some of the info in the article.

I cant imagine Apple replacing the music on the users physical drive to a higher bit rate simply because they signed up for this service. Would they really take a 64kbps audio of Lou Begas Mambo No. 5 that downloaded from Kazaa a decade ago and change it to 256kbps on in my local iTunes folder? I dont think so.

Unless it is a 128kbps song they bought on the iTS previously and never paid the 30¢ to upgrade to the 256kbps DRM-free version I dont see that happening. However, I do see that even if you still have the 128kbps song that it will likely still stream to you in 256kbps from their servers because they will only have the 256kbps audio files.


PS: Disclaimer: I have no 64kbps audio files on my system and have never bought or downloaded in any way a song by Lou Bega.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

How I do I know Apple/Music Labels won't sue me for having music I ripped myself? I can't prove that I bought the CD's, even though I did.

And what will Apple do if I have Apple Lossless? Stream me 256 kbps? No thanks.

Wake me up when its useful.

1) Have you never used iTunes Genius? That works by cataloging the music you have and sending it to Apple, regardless of where you obtained them. Also, note that ripping CD to your PCs HDD and even allowing a way to rip them back to standard music CD format is something Apple would have had to get the rights from the labels so I dont think they will be suing everyone that has ripped a CD to iTunes.

2) If you have lossless its foolish to expect streaming over a cellular network at 1Mbps. Look at your file sizes per song and tell me you still think thats a reasonable expectation. Also, dont make th leap that Apple will replace low-bitrate songs with 256Kbps audio that they will replace your lossless audio. The beauty for use lossless users with this service is that we can keep our primary songs on our iDevices as lossless and anything else we can just stream at 256kbps. if such a rare need arises. Being lossless youre already taking up 4x the space of iTS audio files so that scenario is very likely.

3) If you have no interest in what Apple is doing and have already concluded that you wont like it then why post at all? Just to complain about that? Seriously?!
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post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by habermas View Post

Also I don't see what's so special or innovative about the iCloud. I've been doing what it purports to offer for more than a year having placed my iTunes library in Dropbox on a NAS. It comes with the added benefit of not having to pay taxes to the record companies for listening to my music.

Your setup sounds great. How does that work when youre using your phone away from home? How does the integrate with your iPod app?
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post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

3) If you have no interest in what Apple is doing and have already concluded that you won’t like it then why post at all? Just to complain about that? Seriously?!

If you're talking about me in the above I'd be curious to learn how you arrived at the assumption highlighted. Was it perhaps convenient to assume for the sake of the argument?

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Your setup sounds great. How does that work when you’re using your phone away from home? How does the integrate with your iPod app?

It works well on 3G and WAN. And it doesn't work at all on GPRS. As will be the case with the iCloud. It doesn't integrate with the playlist viewer but rather launches the "Quicktime player" to play the individual songs chosen by me in the Dropbox app. I'll admit that the iCloud service gives you the benefit of better integration with iTunes but as I see it there's not much that Dropbox would need to do to achieve a similar high level of integration - that is if they are not prevented from doing so by some Apple employees filing a trivial patent application in order to receive their christmas bonuses.
post #23 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by habermas View Post

If you're talking about me in the above I'd be curious to learn how you arrived at the assumption highlighted. Was it perhaps convenient to assume for the sake of the argument?

You cant tell what poster that was directed toward? I thought the quoting just above where I responded was a clue.
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post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by habermas View Post

Also I don't see what's so special or innovative about the iCloud. I've been doing what it purports to offer for more than a year having placed my iTunes library in Dropbox on a NAS. It comes with the added benefit of not having to pay taxes to the record companies for listening to my music.

I'd be willing to pay Apple for the convenience of mirroring my library or whatever. What I'm not willing to do is rent my music from the record labels. If Apple keeps all the money and uses it for maintenance & upkeep of the cloud, then that's cool with me. But, if iCloud becomes a pay service, a percentage of which goes to the record labels, I have serious concerns about how much of that will actually go to the artists.

Then again, I think giant record labels are lumbering closer and closer to extinction. Good riddance, I say. The evil of record labels is alluded to perfectly in the CD sleeve for Radiohead's "OK Computer"on the back page, it says, "Lyrics reprinted with permission, even though we wrote them."
We're already seeing more and more artists self-producing and self-publishing their music (I have several friends who have done just that)thanks in part to iTunes.
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post #25 of 60
I had a friend who purchased a new MacBook pro some time ago and it was a fine experience save for the fact that they kept pushing MobileMe. The selling point was that she could upload her iTunes to the site and sleep the sleep of angels.

The problem, as most already know, is that it would only upload items purchased from iTunes, which in her case was a dozen or so.

People in the know would just say no thanks, but how many consumers DID know.

I know that 80% of my collection consists of legal but unauthorized concerts. If no one is going to make money from those, will the Cloud just ignore them?
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by habermas View Post

PATENT application? Give me a f***ing break. This is called local caching and has been used for decades, Allen P. Haughay and Benjamin Rottler.. There's nothing particularly innovative about applying the caching to the beginning of songs only. It's a basic trick that any clown could think of and it certainly does not deserve the lifetime protection that a patent grant would offer.

I wonder how long a patent actually protects a variation on a theme and, as a consequence of making plain by publicly publishing the better way of doing something, prevents others from simply copying and using it?

Quote:
Also I don't see what's so special or innovative about the iCloud. I've been doing what it purports to offer for more than a year having placed my iTunes library in Dropbox on a NAS. It comes with the added benefit of not having to pay taxes to the record companies for listening to my music.

I wonder, by the time a patented idea is viewable and hence recognizable by the general public, how long it must have been "in the works" before its public introduction?
post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Apple has been pushing the cloud junk for years. It's never caught on. It doesn't look to me like this iteration will catch on. It's a solution looking for a problem.

Personally, I think they could have taken the billion dollars they spent on that data center and just given people free Macs and it would have done more to help Apple than this iCloud thing will do.

You really don't like the cloud do you?

Is it the idea of all you stuff, anywhere, anytime that you don't like, or all you stuff... on Apple's servers that you have a problem with?

What about the "private cloud" facilitated by something like an iHub/iCenter/iHome/iCentral/iMesh?
post #28 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by habermas View Post

PATENT application? Give me a f***ing break. This is called local caching and has been used for decades, Allen P. Haughay and Benjamin Rottler.. There's nothing particularly innovative about applying the caching to the beginning of songs only. It's a basic trick that any clown could think of and it certainly does not deserve the lifetime protection that a patent grant would offer.

---

I am sure that Apple is fully aware of what you say and probably agrees, but in the current system if you don't patent the obvious, someone else will and then they make you pay.

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 #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by habermas View Post


---

Also I don't see what's so special or innovative about the iCloud. I've been doing what it purports to offer for more than a year having placed my iTunes library in Dropbox on a NAS. It comes with the added benefit of not having to pay taxes to the record companies for listening to my music.

Speaking of Apple in the cloud, if they spent the R&D money on learning to sync, we could use the iDisk we've already paid for.
I'd happily upgrade my iDisk to 60GB and pay Apple for the privilege at their current going rate, if only it worked as reliably and fast as Dropbox.

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

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post #30 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingharvest View Post

I know that 80% of my collection consists of legal but unauthorized concerts. If no one is going to make money from those, will the Cloud just ignore them?

What does that mean???
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post #31 of 60
Why would you need to stream the music? iCloud will be a backup service. That's all.

Keep your iTunes library on your Mac/PC/iPod/etc and play it from there. Use iCloud to mirror (not store) your iTunes library so if anything happens to your Mac/PC/iPod and you loose your iTunes library you can simply retore it from the cloud.

If iCloud does this automatically in the background so much the better. Beats having to backup to external hard drive all the time.
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

That makes even less sense than streaming to me. You can already back up all your data for free with dropbox. Why pay to be able to backup only music with iCloud?

2 reasons:

1. Dropbox only goes up to 100Gb for $20/mth. My iTunes library is already 120Gb and growing by the day.

2. If iCloud mirrors your iTunes library it would automatically backup new content as it was added to your iTunes library so you don't have to remember to backup your library. If you did this with dropbox you would have to backup the entire iTunes library each time which would be time consuming. With iCloud it knows which songs you have added and just adds those to your iCloud in the background. Very simple solution.
post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

I don't look at something and ask "Is this cloud or is it not". I ask "Is it useful to me or is it not".

I haven't watched TV in over 7 years.

Most people will need access to some form of cloud services, but I'll happily concede that "everything in the cloud" isn't for everyone.

If you haven't watched tv for 7 years you wouldn't be someone I would label as a typical consumer

I've seen an alternative idea to "everything in the cloud" where your phone is the center of your digital life, syncing settings and files via wire (for PC/notebook) or WiFi (for tablets) or actually becoming your notebook (i.e. the motorola atrix).

I have a feeling this is the direction Google will head. I'll be surprised if they don't start embedding ChromeOS into Android at some point in the near future.
post #34 of 60
AirPlay has allowed me to remove all music from my iPad, thus freeing up a massive amount of space for more stuff. The iCloud service will free up space on my iPhone and my MacBook. I am so looking forward to this...
post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What if I have music in my library for which Apple doesn't have an iTunes license (Pro tip: I do.)? If they still plan to mirror it, there was no sense in Apple allegedly getting these new deals with the music companies for streaming.

Which means this service won't be mirroring ANYTHING that iTunes doesn't already offer.

Firstly, The App Store can tell me what apps I need to update even though I have hundreds of other Apps from other sources. Apple only looks for what it supplied. No one gets reported for having bootlegs of Microsoft Office or whatever do they?

Secondly I don't think for one second anything is 'backed up' or 'copied in background' or any of the other scenarios many are envisaging. A simple database of what tunes a client has purchased from Apple will be stored taking almost no space. To play the song the system will utilize the exact same play facility now used on the iTunes store to preview a song, only in this case it will play the entire song. The twist seems to be the way the system can start off from the tune locally to avoid buffering delays but my bet that is optional since there is no reason a simple database couldn't be stored on an iPhone too thus negating the need to actually load up an iPhone or iPod with the real data for a legally owned song, limited obviously to those purchased from Apple. So a reference file on an iPhone is verified on the cloud and iTunes streams the real data to the device.

If my hunch above is true, the brilliance is the added incentive to buy through the iTunes store to gain the freedom to not have to load devices with the actual data, just the 'proof' as it were.

The time to sync an iPhone, iPad or iPod will be seconds (wirelessly I hope) even for a thousand song play list since only verification keys are being transferred. This will no doubt be optional, allowing for actual data to be synced if required, for such situations as a movie, book or album for a plane trip.

This is why the CloudMe is such a big deal, it means iDevices don't need massive internal storage for media. This is only one of the many innovative used for Apple's cloud I am sure. Once all is clear every one else will of course try to copy Apple as the usual situation plays out. Apple will have yet again taken a common concept and made it work a million times better than anyone else.
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post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Firstly, The App Store can tell me what apps I need to update even though I have hundreds of other Apps from other sources. Apple only looks for what it supplied. No one gets reported for having bootlegs of Microsoft Office or whatever do they?

No, but that has nothing to do with what I was talking about.

Quote:
Entire rest of the post, stating absolutely nothing new from what I had said

Yes, that's what I said. None of my music that isn't available in the iTunes Store will be available through this service.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No, but that has nothing to do with what I was talking about.



Yes, that's what I said. None of my music that isn't available in the iTunes Store will be available through this service.

Sorry I should perhaps of simply posted my thought not replied to you, I wasn't really replying to you.
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post #38 of 60
I am walking down the street and decide for some reason to use the ipod part of my iphone. I am not satisfied with the 2000 songs on that device I just want the option to choose from 20,000 songs right?
No. There is a point when the "wanting more" has got to end and we can take a walk without the desire to buy something.
post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

I am walking down the street and decide for some reason to use the ipod part of my iphone. I am not satisfied with the 2000 songs on that device I just want the option to choose from 20,000 songs right?
No. There is a point when the "wanting more" has got to end and we can take a walk without the desire to buy something.

That's why I love hiking in mountains and listening to streams and the wind.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What if I have music in my library for which Apple doesn't have an iTunes license (Pro tip: I do.)? If they still plan to mirror it, there was no sense in Apple allegedly getting these new deals with the music companies for streaming.

Which means this service won't be mirroring ANYTHING that iTunes doesn't already offer.

Exactly! And in the long run they are hoping this will encourage people to replace their existing non-Apple-purchased tunes with newly Apple-purchased-tunes. I won't but I know people who will.

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We are a Montreal based technology company that offers a variety of tech services such as tech support for Apple products, Drupal based website development, computer training and iCloud...

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