Apple seems to be getting ready to launch their cloud-based digital music "locker" service that has been rumored for many months. But contrary to an earlier Reuters report, All Things D has heard that Apple has already come to terms with two of the four major record labels about the service, and that Apple's Eddy Cue will be in New York tomorrow to try to finalize the remaining deals.
The negotiating of these deals is in contrast to Amazon's music storage service which notably launched last month without any deals in place -- a fact that the record labels were not very happy about. Apple is said to have been "very aggressive and thoughtful about it" and "It feels like they want to go pretty soon", according to an unnamed music executive. All Things D also provides some details about how the service might work from Apple:
The industry executives I've talked to haven't seen Apples service themselves, but say they're aware of the broad strokes. The idea is that Apple will let users store songs theyve purchased from its iTunes store, as well as others songs stored on their hard drives, and listen to them on multiple devices.
All Things D points out that having official licenses can allow Apple to store a single master copy of a song rather than storing individual copies for every user. Amazon's original argument against needing the licenses was that their service was the same as any upload storage service. This meant that users needed to upload copies of their old music to be able to stream them. With the proper deals, Apple could avoid the need to upload individual copies and simply allow users to stream off of the single master copy. This could save on significant upload time for the user and storage requirements for Apple.