Apple & iTunes Inch Closer To Music In The Cloud
Are Label Attitudes Changing Or Is Apple Just Poking The Beast?
Buried in the release notes of the Apple's upgraded iDisk app is new option that lets devices stream music in a manner that appears to ignore record label demands that streaming music services requires a license. Click on the "More" button and the new option "Play audio from your iDisk while using another app" appears.
As serial entrepreneur and MP3Tune's CEO Michael Roberston points out, "This is not 'iTunes in the cloud, but it is definitely moving the Cupertino company in that direction". Lacking are key features like an automated way to get all your iTunes music to your iDisk account, for example.
Will The Labels React?
"One company sure to be miffed at this new capability is Universal Music Group," says Robertson. "They have told net companies who have inquired about offering personal cloud music services that backing up and downloading music files is OK with limitations, but streaming music files requires entering into a license and paying a per stream fee. Apple's service allows unlimited sharing (no user-name or password required) and now background streaming – all without a license from the record labels."
Label negations with a number of streaming music companies have been going on for months. Does Apple know something that the rest of us don't about a shift in label attitudes toward streaming? Or are they just testing to see how far they can go before the labels react?