Apple iCloud: Will Music Sound Better on the Clouds?
One thing you wished that wouldn’t change was the ability to transport yourself from the buzz around to your own sweet musical world, even in the middle of the busiest train station or circus show. You always do want an escape route. But with Apple’s iCloud, one has to wonder what will happen to the quality of music we get.
iCloud will allow users to upload music to their Apple computers and play from a web browser or internet-linked Apple devices. Apple has confirmed that it will launch iCloud on June 6, 2011 (Monday) at the keynote address to the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Apple is expected to offer the iCloud service free to those who buy music from its iTunes digital download center, and might later change it to $25 annually.
Under the deals signed with major record labels, “Apple will share 70 per cent of any revenue from iCloud’s music service with record labels, as well as 12 per cent with music publishers holding the songwriting rights. Apple is expected to keep the remaining 18 per cent“, as per a blogger with the LA Times.
According to some rumors, it is also believed that Apple has struck a deal with Universal Music Group to allow the record label’s music to be stored on the iCloud. So now, Apple is associated with Universal, Warner Music Group Corp., Sony Corp. and EMI Group. With Universal on board, Apple has access to Lady Gaga, U2 and Kanye West.
“The dominance of Apple in digital media services is reflected in its 200 million+ iTunes accounts. We believe the iCloud improves Apple’s ability to provide customers a wider range of music, strengthening its position versus major companies like Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Both of these have a similar sort of a service but they do not have licensing deals with music companies“, Zachs said in a note.
Apple controls upto 85 per cent of music download market, thanks to the iTunes store and the increasing need for music on-the-go. Being a youth-driven market, Apple will stand to benefit from any product they launch that supports music. But, the question of Quality is very important. iTunes’ default file type is 256 kbps, which is great, but there’s room for improvement there. These services won’t suffer on a laptop, but carrying it around will be a hassle as no one wants to listen to poor quality or broken audio while on-the-go.
All said & done, the thing I personally like in Apple’s product offerings is that, it is arrogant to not worry too much about the ‘sale’ aspect. Even if this doesn’t sell, we all should be rest assured that Apple would sometime soon launch something new. Till then, let’s dance to the tune of the cloud!