updated 05:50 pm EST, Thu February 24, 2011
Apple finally helps labels accept iTunes locker
Apple may have finally overcome music label resistance to its iTunes and MobileMe media locker plans, multiple media executives said Thursday [reg. required]. The company may have persuaded them that the remote music storage wasn't a fully separate use but instead just a backup accessible from anywhere. The company likened it to "insurance," the FT was told.
Labels have in the past reportedly opposed the deal because they interpreted it as Apple offering a second download of a given track and thus something that needed a second round of royalties. As understood by most, Apple's solution would only let users upload the collection they already own and either stream or re-download it. The approach would help overcome storage limits on iPads, iPhones and the MacBook Air by giving access anywhere a usable Internet connection is available, and could also serve as a backup for owners who lose a collection.
Apple hasn't directly acknowledged plans but, just this week, admitted that its North Carolina datacenter was for iTunes and MobileMe network services due in the spring. Rumors have surfaced that the first fruits of this could be borne out at the March 2 iPad event, supported by word of it dropping MobileMe sales.
The same newspaper meanwhile noted that Google as continuing to face setbacks with its Google Music service. It now hoped to have the store live in March but still doesn't have all the necessary deals. The plan still involved a cloud locker.
Google has faced many of the same obstacles to its own music service, which it teased as far back as the Google I/O conference in May of last year. Its strategy was supposed to go hand-in-hand with Android 3.0 but would give both tablets and Android 2.x phones the same advantages proposed by Apple, although Google's experience with cloud syncing would let it push new songs directly to a given device or computer other than the one making the request.