updated 03:35 pm EDT, Tue May 31, 2011
iCloud should have all deals this week
A follow-up leak Tuesday afternoon backed beliefs that Apple was near wrapping up iCloud music deals. EMI, Sony, and Warner were onboard, but Universal's deal was still on target to wrap up this week, just before iCloud is due to be unveiled at WWDC. The Wall Street Journal source added that the separate publishers also expected their deals to close up at the same time, though these weren't as sure.
A possibility existed that Apple might unveil the music service without having wrapped up all its agreements.
Whenever it appears, the service is widely known to be a song matching approach that saves users the trouble of having to upload their own tracks, as with Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music Beta. The approach requires extra license negotiations and likely an extra fee, but it also saves users the trouble of uploading every time they get new music and of having to lose quality through transcoding songs.
Apple will have been the slowest to get to a service but is likely to be counting on the simplicity of its service to win. iPad, iPhone, and iPod owners could buy songs on any iTunes-equipped computer or Apple mobile device and know the collection will already be accessible as long as the hardware is online. Amazon's system is the closest as it automatically moves Amazon MP3 sales to the listener's cloud storage, but Google Music Beta doesn't have a matching store and requires every track moved over by hand.