(UPDATED) Google and Apple both recently launched cloud music services without licenses from labels and publishers. The result for both are online music storage services rather than a multi-featured cloud music system. In the last few days a glimpse of the advantages that Apple's music cloud will offer when it officially launches on June 6th because the company waited to negotiate licences are starting to leak.
Apple has reportedly struck deals with EMI, WMG and Sony and talks are ongoing with Universal. Discussions have also begun with publishers; and although there have been no reports of negotiations with indie labels, they've usually jumped on board previous Apple initiatives.
Apple's new cloud service will "scan customers' digital music libraries in iTunes and quickly mirror their collections on its own servers," sources told Businessweek. If a track is not available on iTunes, it will need to be uploaded. But this feature alone will significantly reduce the amount of time the average user needs to set up their music locker.
iTunes in the cloud would also keep users within the familiar interconnected Apple device and service eco-system, a huge advantage over it's competitors. Familiarity plus automatic track mirroring stand in sharp contrast to Google and Amazon's comparatively clunky music lockers; and could, yet again, provide another huge win for Apple.