Apple's iTunes cloud could be free at first, but will eventually require a fee

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple has reportedly told music executives that its cloud-based iTunes streaming service could be offered for free at first, but the company eventually plans to charge customers for hosting content on its servers.



Citing insiders in the music industry, CNet reported Tuesday that Apple is expected to charge -- if not at first, then eventually -- for its music cloud service. The long-rumored iTunes cloud will allow users to stream their music and media to Internet-connected devices, negating the need for content to be stored locally on a connected device like an iPhone or iPad.



Exactly how much Apple might charge for the service remains unknown. In fact, Apple has apparently told music executives that it has "completed" work on its streaming music service, but has not given specifics on how the product will work.



Instead, Apple has only reportedly offered up a description of the service in "broad strokes" to music executives. Sources have indicated that Apple will allow users to store songs they have purchased from the company's iTunes Music Store and other locally stored content and listen to them on multiple devices.



Apple is said to have already inked a deal with Warner Music for the iTunes cloud. Another report from last week claims that Apple has reached agreements with two of the four major music labels, though it is not known if Warner is one of the two, or if it is a third that has agreed.



Apple's rival Amazon launched its own digital music locker last month, allowing users to upload their own music files to Amazon's servers. The online retailer offers 5GB of free online storage, and premium accounts that are expandable up to 1,000GB for a fee, while customers who purchase an MP3 album are entitled to 20GB of storage for one year.



But Amazon has also faced backlash from the music industry, as it did not secure any licensing agreements from record labels before launching its service. In addition, Google's own plans for a cloud-based music streaming service are said to be at a standstill in negotiations with the labels.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    If you can store your data on your home machine and use that as the server to the cloud, then that's a far better solution than requiring you to store your data on your host's servers (the way Google and RIM do). I think it's perfectly fair for Apple to provide the former for free, and the latter for a charge. I think that's really what's going to happen here, and the "music industry insiders" aren't recognizing it for what it really is.



    Apple currently has "home sharing" between devices that use the same Apple ID on a local network. All they need is to change that LAN sharing to WAN sharing, and keep the Apple ID requirement. Home Sharing becomes Remote Sharing.
  • Reply 2 of 41
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    If Apple's Cloud is essentially selling storage for content the user already owns, why does Apple have to get permission from anyone?
  • Reply 3 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    If you can store your data on your home machine and use that as the server to the cloud, then that's a far better solution than requiring you to store your data on your host's servers (the way Google and RIM do). I think it's perfectly fair for Apple to provide the former for free, and the latter for a charge. I think that's really what's going to happen here, and the "music industry insiders" aren't recognizing it for what it really is.



    Apple currently has "home sharing" between devices that use the same Apple ID on a local network. All they need is to change that LAN sharing to WAN sharing, and keep the Apple ID requirement. Home Sharing becomes Remote Sharing.



    Came here to say exactly this. I really look forward to my Mac becoming my server while my iPad and iPhone are the clients. Should be a lot of fun and really useful!
  • Reply 4 of 41
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post


    If Apple's Cloud is essentially selling storage for content the user already owns, why does Apple have to get permission from anyone?



    Because the record companies don't understand the internet or computers and would freak out through their current iTunes contracts if they feel taken advantage of, regardless of whether or not they are actually being taken advantage of.
  • Reply 5 of 41
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post


    If Apple's Cloud is essentially selling storage for content the user already owns, why does Apple have to get permission from anyone?



    Because of how convoluted licensing is. It's the reason why Amazon was forced to give everyone a "Cloud Drive" for their music, creating tens of thousands of copies of a song instead of a single copy that people who purchased it could access. (And why Amazon couldn't put your previously purchased music on the cloud drive automatically)



    If Apple did really work out a deal with the content providers, they'll most likely do the single copy/license model, which will save them a ton in storage, but it means they have to pay companies for Streaming rights in addition to Download rights... Oh, and if you want it as a ringtone? You have to pay another license for that. It's insane.



    I think that artists should get paid when you purchase a song. but I don't think that we should have to pay each time we want to use said song a little differently (Ringtone, On Device, Streaming, etc).
  • Reply 6 of 41
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post


    Came here to say exactly this. I really look forward to my Mac becoming my server while my iPad and iPhone are the clients. Should be a lot of fun and really useful!



    This has been available for a while from a number of third-party vendors.



    I can access my entire music library via Audiogalaxy.



    For video, Plex works well and the server component of the desktop app will transcode on the fly.



    You have to pay a few bucks for the iOS app, but thankfully it's a universal app, so you don't have to purchase twice (iPad and iPhone/iPod touch).
  • Reply 7 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alienzed View Post


    Because the record companies don't understand the internet or computers and would freak out through their current iTunes contracts if they feel taken advantage of, regardless of whether or not they are actually being taken advantage of.



    Or they do and it's just another money grab
  • Reply 8 of 41
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    If you can store your data on your home machine and use that as the server to the cloud, then that's a far better solution than requiring you to store your data on your host's servers (the way Google and RIM do). I think it's perfectly fair for Apple to provide the former for free, and the latter for a charge. I think that's really what's going to happen here, and the "music industry insiders" aren't recognizing it for what it really is.



    Apple currently has "home sharing" between devices that use the same Apple ID on a local network. All they need is to change that LAN sharing to WAN sharing, and keep the Apple ID requirement. Home Sharing becomes Remote Sharing.



    I'm concerned about the bandwidth needed for so much streaming from a home computer. I think it makes more sense for Apple to read your iTine Library and give you access to those sane files from their data center, much in the same way Dropbox works.
  • Reply 9 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    If you can store your data on your home machine and use that as the server to the cloud, then that's a far better solution than requiring you to store your data on your host's servers (the way Google and RIM do). I think it's perfectly fair for Apple to provide the former for free, and the latter for a charge. I think that's really what's going to happen here, and the "music industry insiders" aren't recognizing it for what it really is.



    Apple currently has "home sharing" between devices that use the same Apple ID on a local network. All they need is to change that LAN sharing to WAN sharing, and keep the Apple ID requirement. Home Sharing becomes Remote Sharing.



    Something along these lines sounds good.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    much in the same way Dropbox works.



    It should be like Dropbox. Buy a song from iTunes and that song will appear on all your computer and devices without syncing.
  • Reply 11 of 41
    I don't get it.



    I pay £10 a month to Spotify. For that, I get unlimited streaming of any music I want, regardless of whether it's on my computer or whether I've bought it or accessed it before. I can access it from a PC/Mac, from an iPhone or from an Android, Symbian or other smartphone. I don't have to do any uploading and I get everything in nice 320kbps Vorbis quality. I can even download unlimited tracks to my iPhone's local memory and play them back when I have no signal.



    Why would I instead pay money to Apple to stream media which I've already paid for, which will only be accessible on my iDevice? Especially if I have to upload the files myself? Makes no sense at all. Thousands of users uploading identical copies of the same song is absolute madness.
  • Reply 12 of 41
    archer75archer75 Posts: 204member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post


    I don't get it.



    I pay £10 a month to Spotify. For that, I get unlimited streaming of any music I want, regardless of whether it's on my computer or whether I've bought it or accessed it before. I can access it from a PC/Mac, from an iPhone or from an Android or other smartphone. I don't have to do any uploading and I get everything in nice 320kbps Vorbis quality. I can even download unlimited tracks to my iPhone's local memory and play them back when I have no signal.



    Why would I instead pay money to Apple to stream media which I've already paid for, which will only be accessible on my iDevice? Especially if I have to upload the files myself? Makes no sense at all.



    I honestly don't get it either. I have my ipod which I can plug into whatever I want to listen to my music on. I have itunes sharing on my home network. Primarily in my truck I prefer to listen to satellite radio. Sometimes I plug my ipod in. At home I plug my ipod into my home stereo or play pandora. In bed i'll either listen to a podcast on my ipod or pandora. Though I could airplay my library from my desktop.



    If i'm going to do any sort of internet music streaming i'm just going to use pandora.



    I just can't think of a single use for a service like this that makes sense to me.
  • Reply 13 of 41
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Listening to streaming content I don't own makes sense to me - as in Pandora, or similar. Streaming content I already own doesn't - unless bandwidth is free. When I buy it I download it once, if I stream it I literally download it each time I listen to it. If I stream it from my house I pay twice - once up from my server and once down to whatever device wherever I am.



    What do you guys use to lo listen to your music? I use my iPhone which I always have with me. Or my laptop which also has a copy of my music. When would I need to stream it? Movies and television is a different story - I tend to only view those once.



    Someone explain the logic.
  • Reply 14 of 41
    Exactly. It's especially ridiculous if you're streaming iTunes Store content from your computer. That's taking a song which you've downloaded from Apple and uploading it back to Apple, in order that you can then download it from Apple again..!



    I can't believe Apple is running with that. They're not that stupid.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    applestudapplestud Posts: 367member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post


    If Apple's Cloud is essentially selling storage for content the user already owns, why does Apple have to get permission from anyone?



    because part of the service would probably mean all users to downloaded "Yesterday" by the Beatles would all stream from the same Master file, instead of a million people all uploading their own identical copy. This saves server space, but also changes the definition of "owning" the content.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    Charging for a cloud service probably is a loosing proposition. Apple would expect to charge customers for storing files and streaming them to an i-device. But AT&T and Verizon will also expect to charge users for bandwidth for streaming this content over the wireless networks, and Comcast and Time Warner for using bandwidth to computers. Hard storage has fallen in price far more rapidly than has bandwidth.



    There seems little perceived advantage for the user to pay to stream from the cloud over keeping the files locally on either an i-device or a computer. iTunes works already. The customer has already been taught to use this system.



    For this system to be an attractive alternative to the user simply downloading and storing their music, the streaming service will have to offer a more compelling amenity. Unlimited, flat fee content? Low cost, service fee supported i-device?
  • Reply 17 of 41
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'm concerned about the bandwidth needed for so much streaming from a home computer. I think it makes more sense for Apple to read your iTine Library and give you access to those sane files from their data center, much in the same way Dropbox works.



    There seems to be a lack of awareness about how constrained upstream speed is with many ISPs.



    Further, my download speeds slow to a crawl (Time Warner) whenever a sustained upload is in progress. So if I'm out and about listening to music from a home-based Mac other people in the house will have a near useless Internet connection.



    There has to be so much more to the data center than what we're hearing. I can't believe it was built for this.
  • Reply 18 of 41
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post


    Exactly. It's especially ridiculous if you're streaming iTunes Store content from your computer. That's taking a song which you've downloaded from Apple and uploading it back to Apple, in order that you can then download it from Apple again..!



    I can't believe Apple is running with that. They're not that stupid.



    I think there is this philosophy that bandwidth is essentially unlimited and ubiquitous which is driving the trend of 'cloud' computing. I'm not sure I buy into it quite yet.



    I am not a big fan of free unlocked wireless connections either. Too easy to sniff passwords. Cell data isn't all that fast and a little expensive but at least it is pretty secure. At this point cloud is not that useful for my work environment and even less so for entertainment.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    imoanimoan Posts: 56member
    I hope there is a free trial period. It takes four hours for a hi def movie to buffer on the Apple TV now with Fios and Time Capsule. If I have to wait one hour for a song to play...



    Hate to sound like an old timer, but I'll stick with a MacBook Pro and an iPod classic. iOS is not baked yet.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'm concerned about the bandwidth needed for so much streaming from a home computer. I think it makes more sense for Apple to read your iTine Library and give you access to those sane files from their data center, much in the same way Dropbox works.



    Yeah why can't we have unlimited access to the music we already purchased?
Sign In or Register to comment.