There have been a number of reports over the past few months suggesting that Apple is planning on completely revamping its MobileMe service to include a digital locker that would enable users to store, and potentially stream, purchased content from iTunes from the cloud – namely, Apple’s large Data Center in North Carolina.
Apple, of course, isn’t alone in its efforts to implement such a feature. Google is also hard at work on something similar, but a new report from Reuters relays that Apple will beat the search giant to the punch and will launch its own offering ahead of Google. Just a few days ago, reports surfaced that Google’s efforts to strike licensing deals with record labels had come to a standstill. Also, remember that Amazon just a few weeks ago launched its own music storage service, albeit without new licensing agreements, though they’re apparently in talks with “some labels to reach agreements for a new, more sophisticated locker service.”
Apple’s plans will allow iTunes customers to store their songs on a remote server, and then access them from wherever they have an Internet connection, said two of these people who asked not to be named as the talks are still confidential.
The maker of the wildly popular iPhone and iPod, Apple has yet to sign any new licenses for the service and major music labels are hoping to secure deals before the service is launched, three of the sources said. Apple has not told its music partners of when it intends to introduce its music locker, they said.
For some time now, there have been rumblings of Google trying to set up an iTunes like competitor for its Android OS, but there’s no telling when, if ever, that initiative will be completed. If we may be so bold, it seems like Google here is biting off a bit more than they can chew. As opposed to Apple who slowly but surely rolls out additional functionality to its products and services, Google appears keen on going for the home-run on its first at bat. Google CEO Larry Page is quite the big dreamer, but rolling out a music service necessarily requires a willingness to compromise, or in Apple’s case, a strong negotiating position. Google appears to have neither and is reportedly running into trouble negotiating with record labels who aren’t entirely enthusiastic about what Google is offering and/or is bringing to the table
With Apple, of course, nothing is certain until it’s officially announced. Apple’s upcoming WWDC conference in early June should be quite telling.