updated 02:50 pm EDT, Wed May 11, 2011
Music labels hint Apple cloud music tops Google
Music label insiders said Wednesday that they understood Apple's iCloud music to be better than services like Amazon's Cloud Player or Google Music Beta. They claimed that neither of the existing services could have the "same range of options" without saying what those were. In passing information along to CNET, they were worried Amazon and Google would get acceptance and wouldn't upgrade service, hinting that they thought Apple planned to charge for its option.
The unnamed label contactes added that they hoped the service would be unveiled at WWDC on June 7.
Google launched its Music Beta service to much attention at its I/O conference on Tuesday but largely admitted that label talks had soured and prevented its original plans for a full music store. Unofficially, it's widely known that Google had wanted a complete service where users would stream from Google's own collection of music rather than uploading their own. The rumored and since-frozen plans would also have focused much more on whole-collection access, such as restoring a whole backup.
Google may have even technically broken licenses with its services, labels said. Since Music Beta transcodes non-MP3 formats, it may be producing a second copy and might technically have to charge twice for songs that weren't already in MP3. Google would object since it notes the service is just storage.
Apple isn't thought to have closed every deal it would need, but it's still believed to be more cooperative than either Amazon or Google. It may have a Warner deal and possibly others. While details are still unconfirmed, Apple would most likely match a listener's songs against iTunes and save users the trouble of uploading all but the tracks Apple couldn't recognize. The system could serve as a true backup and let an iPad or iPhone owner get a collection back quickly even if they've never synced with a computer.