Two weeks ago, rumors started to spread around the web saying that Apple’s answer to Google and Amazon’s cloud music services could be launched as soon as June 6 at their Worldwide Developer’s Conference. Well it has now been confirm that Apple will be unveiling the ‘iCloud’ at the conference.
In a press release confirming Steve Jobs to be the kickoff keynote at the conference, it was revealed that one of the many things Jobs will be debuting is the iCloud, Apple’s new cloud music service. This new service will reportedly scan customers’ digital music libraries in iTunes and quickly mirror their collections on its servers, while songs that aren’t available in iTunes will have to be uploaded separately. Giving Apple’s music locker another big advantage is that they’ve reportedly struck deals with EMI, Sony, and WMG. It is unclear, though, whether a deal has been made yet with Universal Music, indie labels or music publishers. However, seeing that Amazon and Google have no deals in place with the labels, having three out of the four major labels certainly gives Apple the upper hand.
While Apple’s entry certainly brings major competition to Amazon and Google, it’s not necessarily the death of their music lockers. While Bram has played around with Google’s Music Beta (read his review here), I finally got the chance to play around with the Amazon Cloud. From the little I played with it, the Amazon Cloud is pretty good and relatively simple to use. While it allows you to upload 20gbs worth of music, I only uploaded three albums worth of music and thus couldn’t tell you how long it would take to upload mass music. And like the Music Beta, it’s pretty neat to be able to listen to purchased music on any PC or my Android smartphone. So both Amazon and Google’s cloud music lockers, though with a few hiccups, prove to be solid products and could possibly still do well for themselves even against Apple. However, Apple has a huge advantage since they still remain as the #1 music retailer in the world.
So now the countdown to June 6 has begun. We’ll keep you posted when more is officially revealed about Apple’s new iCloud.