Unnamed music industry sources are claiming that Apple's cloud-based music service will be better than Amazon and Google's current offering.
Why? Because the latter two were either unwilling or unable to to obtain proper licenses from the four major record labels, sources claim. They "tiptoed" around copyright issues and rushed the services out the door. Because of this, Apple's service will have a larger range of options although sources wouldn't specificity what those options would actually be.
Amazon was the first up to bat with its Cloud Player at the end of March, allowing Amazon customers to purchase and store music on its servers. Users initially have 5 GB of storage to upload their music from a PC or Mac-- upgrading the account to 20 GB costs an annual $20, 50 GB for $50, 100 GB for $100 and so on. Google's Music Beta service just launched on Tuesday, allowing consumers to store up to 20,000 songs for free until the "beta" is lifted from the name. Both services can be streamed to an Android device, desktops, notebooks and other connected devices.
Right now there's absolutely no data on Apple's forthcoming cloud-based music service. Music labels are reportedly worried that the services provided by Google and Amazon will be suffice for consumers, that they won't require anything else other than what's currently available. That means Amazon and Google won't upgrade their services nor re-negotiate licenses. It could also mean that Spotify can slip in across the borders and launch a similar service without licensing.
Spotify, however, still seems to be taking the correct, legal route in opening up shop here in the States. "Nothing to add from us on the Google launch," said Jim Butcher, Spotify's spokesman. "We're continuing our negotiations [with the record companies] and look forward to launching stateside as soon as possible."
Insiders say that the labels are placing their bets on Apple's service, and are hoping to see its official launch during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference on June 7. They also claim that there likely won't be any legal battles between the labels, Google and Amazon, as many uploaded music files (FLAC, AAC and WMA) to Google's cloud are transcoded before landing on server hard drives and thus could be considered as newly published copies.