Rumor: Apple Close To Launching iTunes Cloud Music Locker

According to new reports, Apple has reached agreements with two of the four major music labels and is hoping to launch a new cloud music locker service soon. AllThingsD is reporting that Apple’s Vice President of Internet Services will be attempting to negotiate the remaining two deals in New York today, in the hope of beating Amazon’s new streaming service.

Apparently the reason for the negotiations is so that Apple can use the massive song library that it has built up with iTunes as a file source for users. Each song in the library would apparently act as a Master Copy that could be provided to users, on demand.

Essentially, instead of each individual user of the iTunes cloud service uploading the same music file as other, iTunes would automatically recognize which music files a user had and allow them to download the track multiple times to various devices.  This would reduce the need to store multiple copies of the same file, a huge saving in server space given the anticipated number of people who would use the service.

We actually hypothesized about this ‘Master Copy’ method back in March when reports were suggesting that Apple would incorporate the cloud music locker as part of MobileMe.  This would bring music downloads in line with apps i.e. buy once, then unlimited downloads.  Other rumors have suggested that the service would be available for around $20 a year, but this most recent report has not put a price tag on it.

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