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Apple To Beat Google On Cloud Music 160

Posted by Soulskill
from the hey-guys-what-else-can-we-stream dept.
yogidog98 writes with this excerpt from a Reuters report: "Apple Inc has completed work on an online music storage service and is set to launch it ahead of Google Inc, whose own music efforts have stalled, according to several people familiar with both companies' plans. 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."
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Apple To Beat Google On Cloud Music

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  • by Enry (630) <{ten.agyaw} {ta} {yrne}> on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:12AM (#35906748) Journal

    I'm slightly interested to see what Apple does, but it's likely they'll integrate only with iOS devices and iTunes. Amazon's works with web browsers and Android devices (and I hope they release an API soon). Google will likely be the most open in terms of mobile support and maybe more likely to have an API to integrate their cloud with third party apps.

    • by chemicaldave (1776600) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:16AM (#35906800)

      I'm slightly interested to see what Apple does, but it's likely they'll integrate only with iOS devices and iTunes.

      I don't know what they'll do, but you can be sure they'll use the term "revolutionary new service."

      • by Anonymous Coward

        revolutionary and magical new service.

        there, fixed that for you. and people will believe it.

        • by cozzbp (1845636)

          revolutionary and magical new service.

          there, fixed that for you. and people will believe it.

          Like all of apple's magical products, it will be made with pixie dust, unicorn blood, and leprachaun bones.

          • revolutionary and magical new service.

            there, fixed that for you. and people will believe it.

            Like all of apple's magical products, it will be made with pixie dust, unicorn blood, and leprachaun bones.

            And a small piece of organic hobbit skin to keep the device always clean and shiny.

      • by Americano (920576) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:43AM (#35907032)

        Be honest: do you really expect any company to announce a new product or service, and say something like, "It's kind of boring, really, and you'll probably hate it, but we hope to sucker a few people into spending their hard-earned coin on it. Thanks for coming by today."

        If you make a new product that you want to sell to the world, then yeah, it's sort of Marketing-101 that you behave as if you're excited about it. If your competitor makes a new product that you wish you had made, then yeah, it's sort of Marketing-101 that you behave as if it's no big deal and it'll never succeed in the market - all while furiously trying to finish your own offering that does the same thing.

        I've never understood why Apple's use of basic marketing strategy seems so *outrageously* offensive to some people - every company does it. So is it just that Apple tends to back up their marketing with fairly solid products, rather than saying "It's amazing!" while they wink and hand you a fresh turd and a DIY polish kit?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It's not the marketing hype that garners resentment. It's the fact that, for some incredible reason, many Apple fans actually believe that hype.

          I have a manager in my company who is completely enamored of Apple. He tweeted about walking past an Apple talk at GDC. He buys every iteration of every Apple device. He actually believes that Apple is fundamentally changing the world with their devices. He's an idiot, and he's not an outlier.
          • by Americano (920576) on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:16PM (#35907356)

            I guess what I don't get is, why does somebody else's appreciation for something bother you so much in the first place?

            I'm not a particularly big fan of wine, but I don't get worked up into a lather when wine tasters talk about the sweet tannins and smoky aftertaste of the oak, chocolate and honey notes - I just shrug, and say "I'll have a Guinness, please." I'm not a particularly big fan of Scandinavian death metal, but I don't get overly worked up when people talk about some sort of operatic death metal album as "the best album, hands-down, ever made," I just shrug and say "Oh, so they found a way to improve on At Folsom Prison?"

            There's this odd foreshortening of perspective in some geeks where they seem to get terribly emotionally involved in whether or not somebody else likes something that they don't. See: vi/emacs; Linux/Windows/MacOS; BSD/GPL; Apple/Google; etc. etc. It's not even that somebody is *criticizing the things they love.* It's that *somebody else likes something different,* which seems to just rock their whole universe off its foundations.

            It seems that only the most literal-minded of idiots would hear Apple describe the iPad as "magical," and think, "My god, they actually are trying to tell people they manufacture it out of unicorn farts." Marketing speak is marketing speak: nobody *really* believes that they're going to get the bikini model pictured next to the Toyota Camry. Nobody *really* believes that the iPad is, literally, a magical device, operating under its own set of physics unlike anything else in the world.

            • by Raenex (947668)

              There's this odd foreshortening of perspective in some geeks where they seem to get terribly emotionally involved in whether or not somebody else likes something that they don't.

              I think that's pretty much human nature. People are the same way about cars or whatnot, and music too, even if you yourself are above it. Being a geek is somewhat trendy these days, but how many people over the years got shit for being into computers?

              • I think that's pretty much human nature. People are the same way about cars or whatnot, and music too, even if you yourself are above it.

                I suppose they are, but there is actually a reason for it with technology: Network effects. People always talk about growing the pie and all that, but the simple fact is that if people are using Apple products instead of (rather than in addition to) Linux-based products then it very much impacts people other than the ones who buy the Apple kit, because of the network effects. People make content and drivers and so forth for the platforms that people use. So if geeks want content and drivers and so forth for

                • Your premise relies on the assumption that everyday people would have bought into other platforms had Apple not offered their platform. If anything, it seems to me that Apple helps other platforms because they enter into underserved consumer markets and make these geek gadgets cool so that every day people will buy them.

                  I guess the best example is the iPad. How long have tablets existed? Well since 2001 when Bill Gates himself was championing their usage, I would say. How did MS fare for ten years? Not

            • by Triv (181010)

              There's this odd foreshortening of perspective in some geeks where they seem to get terribly emotionally involved in whether or not somebody else likes something that they don't.

              (stereotypes ahead)

              If you've spent years realizing, by outside standards, that you're not athletic, or socially adept, or popular, or catered to, you realize the thing you CAN be is right. Being right about things that are quantifiable is risky, but being right about things that are completely subjective delivers the superior

            • by geekoid (135745)

              What if the person who is a wine snob is in a position to force toy to drink wine?

              What happens when they try to you how you should enjoy your beer with the same qualities of wine?

              What happens when they keep telling you you beer is what's wrong with the world, and you should drink wine?

              And by using the term *magical* they are being insulting, and trying to divorce reality from the device.
              Meaning they hide technical qualification under a special blanket so people won't think about it.

              I don't care if someone l

              • The lying and worshiping is all in your little insecure head, my friend.

                Those are some awful analogies as well.

                What if the person who is a wine snob is in a position to force toy to drink wine?

                Name one example where Apple, with its 4% desktop market share, has been able to force anyone to use OSX?

              • by tyrione (134248)

                What if the person who is a wine snob is in a position to force toy to drink wine?

                What happens when they try to you how you should enjoy your beer with the same qualities of wine?

                What happens when they keep telling you you beer is what's wrong with the world, and you should drink wine?

                And by using the term *magical* they are being insulting, and trying to divorce reality from the device. Meaning they hide technical qualification under a special blanket so people won't think about it.

                I don't care if someone likes something different, just don't lie about it and turn it into some kind of worship.

                Did you write this when you were two fisting beer and wine?

              • by Americano (920576)

                And by using the term *magical* they are being insulting, and trying to divorce reality from the device.

                I see. Tell me, did having to read poetry in high school english class also work you up like this? I can only imagine how angry you must've been to learn that some people use their words to say things in a less-than-literal manner.

                I don't think there's been any significant hiding of "technical qualification" with the iPad... the tech specs were pretty clear, and pretty widely available from day 1 on the

            • by scot4875 (542869)

              I'm not a particularly big fan of wine, but I don't get worked up into a lather when wine tasters talk about the sweet tannins and smoky aftertaste of the oak, chocolate and honey notes - I just shrug, and say "I'll have a Guinness, please."

              This is all well and good; no problem here. The problem arises when they then try to point out how much better their expensive wines are than your Guinness. The problem is when you have to explain to them, "no, I really like what I have, you keep to yours." And the bi

              • by Americano (920576)

                Obviously nobody thinks they are literally claiming that they manufacture it using magic.

                Then why would you get so upset over their use of the term "magical" to describe the device?

                Again: Only the most literal-minded simpleton would read "It's magical," and assume that it's made with 100% Grade A Fairy Poop. Regular people understand that, when Apple says, "it's a magical device," they're saying - "It's really great. It'll surprise you, it'll delight you, it'll make you want to keep playing with it. Yo

            • by poptones (653660)

              You're joking, right? Have you ever been condescended to? Spoken to like you don't know what you're talking about, wether you do or not? Being told, in so many words, "what I like is the best and I think your opinion is both ignorant and meaningless?"

              I don't give a fuck what desktop someone uses. If you like windows, fine - I don't, and for a variety of reasons. I also don't like Apple or its OS, for many of the same reasons (evil corporate empire, brainwashed drones, etc). But it's not as if I have never s

            • by jedidiah (1196)

              > I guess what I don't get is, why does somebody else's appreciation for something bother you so much in the first place?

              Why? Because it's obnoxious and often times includes LIES that even Apple Corp would not associate themselves with. Such nonsense, if taken seriously by other similarly clueless consumer types could lead to real consequences. First there would be real consequences for anyone that fell for the fraud and potential nice network and other side effects for those of us that have better taste

              • by Americano (920576)

                Let me see if I can paraphrase that back for you:

                "We get upset because we clearly have better taste than you, and you still dare to disagree with us."

                Thanks for clearing that up.

            • by CODiNE (27417)

              I think it's because geeks are a lot like "objectivists".

              They research something, they weigh the facts, and then make a concrete decision that's completely based on reason.

              Normal people also do this... they're called opinions. The difference is how much evidence they require and how much they trust their sources.

              Just about everyone believes that what they believe is correct. But a geek doesn't have an "opinion" it's ALL FACT. Never mind that they may have missed many important facts, got biased or incorr

          • by Kjella (173770)

            No, Apple rubs it in slashdot's face that it's not the engineers and technical innovation that sells stuff. Like so many have pointed out Microsoft had windows tablets long before Apple did. Same with most everything Apple does, people point to some reason why the competitor is a technically superior product - and then Apple wins. Hell, sometimes it's just rebranding an age old idea that never caught on like Facetime.

            The attitude remind me of certain IT systems that technically work fine - except nobody use

            • by Anonymous Coward

              No, Apple rubs it in slashdot's face that it's not the engineers and technical innovation that sells stuff.

              Huh? Apple is a good example of how engineering and technical innovation do matter, when used to solve problems people care about. The egomania required to think apple is "rubbing it in slashdot's face" when they create things people outside slashdot's narrow set of super-nerds wants borders on mental illness.

            • by jedidiah (1196)

              > No, Apple rubs it in slashdot's face that it's not the engineers and technical innovation that sells stuff.

              Perhaps you missed the 80s and 90s.

              Microsoft already established that principle.

              The soundly spanked Apple too and further demonstrated that principle.

        • by cpicon92 (1157705)

          I think what bothers some people is the fact that Apple actually manages to convince a large portion of the population that its products actually are revolutionary...

          • It's helped by the fact that some of its products are revolutionary.

            The Apple II was a mass-marketed home computer for people who didn't own an oscilloscope. (Seriously, one review I read of an older computer said it was really easy to build, and the reviewer only had to get the oscilloscope out once.) That was about the same time Radio Shack and Commodore were doing it, but the impact was pretty big.

            The Lisa interface was revolutionary when it came out, before everybody copied it. Sure, the compone

        • Smugness.

          I've never understood why Apple's use of basic marketing strategy seems so *outrageously* offensive to some people - every company does it.

        • I think it's because they use the exact same marketing-speak when they add something that actually is new and interesting as they use when they add something that isn't novel at all, like cut-and-paste. No, I don't expect them to say "this is really boring, it's cut and paste", but maybe they could just say "we have cut and paste now" or add it in a bullet point somewhere and leave it at that (AND they use this same lavish praise to describe features that they previously described as worthless and unnecess
          • by Americano (920576)

            I'd point out that the "magical" term wasn't used to describe "cut and paste" - in fact, their presentation of "cut and paste" was pretty much "We have cut and paste now." And then they proceeded to show people what they considered to be an elegant way to accomplish cut & paste on a small touchscreen device, along with a host of other "user enhancements" with their 3.0 release.

            It's the literati here on Slashdot who have created the myth that Apple billed cut and paste as anything other than "a new feat

      • I haven't heard anyone point out that the Ubuntu One Music Store exists. https://one.ubuntu.com/music/ [ubuntu.com]
    • I burned some supposedly high quality mp3s from Amazon and it still sounds like crap on my CD player.

      If I pay for it, it better be as good as listening to a CD when I burn it to CD.

      People wonder why p2p is such a problem. Hmm. Tough to figure out.

      Master recording -> FLAC, please!

      But, subscription music has and will be where it is at, not buying specific songs, which is sooo January 8, 2001.
    • by arose (644256)
      And Canonical beat Amazon...
  • by chemicaldave (1776600) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:13AM (#35906762)
    Assuming you MUST use an iOS device and MUST use iTunes as is Apple's norm. How is this going to beat more open platforms like Amazon or (I assume) Google. Especially as Android overtakes iOS in terms of users.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Americano (920576)

      I don't know anything about the service that doesn't come from speculation I've read in news reports, so your guess is as good as mine. But, here's some points to consider:

      1) It might be a compelling alternative if it's simpler to use, integrated out of the box with your iTunes account and Apple device(s) - iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Apple TV, and Macs running iTunes - not just iPhones.

      2) Android has a ways to go before it overtakes *iOS* in terms of users. We're talking about the entire platform, not ju

      • 4) Google may be a big company, but they don't have the one really big stick - namely, the iTunes music store - that Apple does. Apple may actually be able to get the music industry to agree to non-extortionary terms that Google & Amazon simply don't have the leverage to negotiate.

        You're right, but it would be funny as hell to hear the Google negotiations.

        "We want to start a cloud music service so your customers have more ways to pay for your product"
        "That'll be *puts pinky to mouth* Ten BEEEELION dollars."
        "we were thinking more like...less than that, plus revenue sharing"
        "Well I'm sorry then, but I'm late to a meeting with Steve Jobs for his iStream project negotiations"
        "Alright then, we'll just have to save up our money then. I think we're going to have to downsize, starting with o

      • by geekoid (135745)

        The goal post for measuring of users between iOS and Android always changes when android beat the previous set of number.

        I'm sure in 2 years people will have another excuse to inflate the iOS number to still 'beat' android.
        MS still kicks both their ass when you consider the entire platform. And if they keep,pissing in each others soup, MS will over take them with the long game.

        4) If they do that, they can expect to be in court for unfair market practices.

        • by Americano (920576)

          Really? When have the goalposts been moved? Android fans seem to have set the single arbitrary goalpost of "our platform is the most popular smartphone platform, therefore we win!" As far as I can see, that's pretty much the ONLY metric that Android fans have even been paying attention to, so pray tell - where is this goalpost-moving happening, exactly?

          If you want to actually *compare platforms,* and not just engage in a dick-measuring contest in a narrowly defined segment, then you need to look at the e

    • Because Apple will have invented it first, and any newcomers will simply be ripping off a revolutionary new technology.
      • "Invented?" Oh and I suppose they will now patent the idea of storing music on servers so you can use it from anywhere.

        When I thought of this (obvious) idea 20 years ago or so, I realized that in theory, only one copy (ok with several backups)
        of each tune or movie or whatever was required to exist.
        If people were to be charged money for it, each tune would just need a list of owners allowed to access it and stream it.

        Then I thought. That's a pretty silly idea. People should just play a flat fee if any for ac

        • by geekoid (135745)

          an idea isn't what you patent. Did you think of all the technical details? solve latency and location issues? design supporting hardware? A process for tracking purchase, etc..etc...

          Anyone can shit ideas out.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      iTunes is as far as I know available for 99% of the desktop market (that is, Windows and Mac) so essentially your argument boils down to the iOS device. I don't think they mind that at all, if you want the Apple service you must use Apple hardware.

    • by splerdu (187709)

      > Apple Inc has completed work on an online music storage service and is set to launch it ahead of Google
      If you read the summary, It'll be by releasing first.

    • How is this going to beat more open platforms like Amazon or (I assume) Google

      You do realize that there are 59% more iOS devices [wsj.com] than there are Android devices, don't you? And that this would likely also work with iTunes on the desktop which has a gigantic install base...

      If it is real, how could it "lose"?

    • by jbplou (732414)

      You mean like how open Linux desktops beat closed Windows desktops in terms of users?

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      It doesn't have to beat them. there are tons of iOS devices out there now, with more flying off the shelves every day.

      Plenty of revenue potential on its own.

    • Because they will make it so that if you already do use an iOS device that you CAN'T use the Amazon or Google products on them. There is no Amazon MP3 store app for the iPhone right now for instance. That didn't matter as much when they were just selling song downloads that you could then transfer to iTunes on your computer, but if we're talking about streaming features you'd really need the actual app installed on your device (technically they could make it a mobile web app, but those never seem to work
  • by cultiv8 (1660093) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:26AM (#35906902) Homepage
    will take Apple down next [slashdot.org].
    • Wait. It all makes sense now. Skynet wasn't really a military computer network but was actually developed by the combined efforts of the RIAA and MPAA to take down Internet piracy (and anything that threatened their business model). Skynet was programmed with a rigid interpretation of copyright law, became self-aware and soon reasoned that humans would commit copyright violations every time they thought of or hummed a song. It reasoned that the only way to prevent all copyright violations from occurring

  • The record publishers, the funding behind the RIAA, live off the work of both living and dead artists. But the publishers don't seem to publish their content directly for online distribution. It somehow seems natural that Google could begin taking the place of the recording industry. So I wonder not "if" that will happen, but "when" that will happen.

  • by ProppaT (557551) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:35AM (#35906988) Homepage

    ....when Apple starts a subscription service. I don't need cloud access nor do I want to take the time to upload my collection to the net. I really don't think they'd want me uploading 200gb of hand ripped audio files, anyway. Until then, I'll just stick with listening to my own music on my mp3 player and streaming everything else via PC/cellphone with my $10/m Rhapsody account.

    • by thestudio_bob (894258) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:52AM (#35907136)

      ....when Apple starts a subscription service.

      Wow! I thought you guys were a myth or some sort of statistically anomaly. I really didn't think the "Consumer That Wants To Rent Music via Monthly Subscriptions" actually existed.

      So, do you know more of your kind? Where do you live? Do you breed? Is it true that you were created in a lab from record executives scrapings and dead lawyer parts?

      • Lemme try to break it down:

        Renting music is exactly like renting movies. There are certain movies I'll buy shortly after DVD release. There are other movies I'll buy at the bargain bin. Still others I'll get from Netflix. Some I'll watch when they're on broadcast TV and nothing better is on. They all compliment each other.

        I'm a Napster subscriber, and have been since 2005. For $15 a month, I can stream whatever I want, and download protected WMA files. DRM, yes...but I clearly don't own them. I do this in o

        • I'm a minority, but as an iDevice user, I would love to pay $15-ish / month to "rent" music, just for music exploration alone. I'd probably end up buying way more music than I do now (are you listening Apple and Music Industry) if I were able to discover music I like from renting. Radio stations suck at discovering new music because by definition, they make music not new (by playing the same pop-tripe over and over again). I've heard enough Katie Perry to know I won't be buying her next album, but I never

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            Why bother? There is already a superior free service called Pandora.

            Pandora is going to spank anything that Apple has to offer. Their whole "musical DNA" stuff is far beyond what anyone else offers and is far more effective in terms of "exploration".

            • True, but they're for different kinds of discovery. Pandora is great for finding stuff you haven't heard and expanding one's musical horizons. However, if $GOOD_BAND releases a new album, I'm not going to listen to 50 hours of Pandora to hear it. It's also not good at hearing older albums of bands with more recent releases, unless you're station seeds lend themselves to the older era.

        • by sincewhen (640526)

          So, do you also pay $15 per month to your local shoe store to entitle you to go and try on any of the shoes they have for sale, and later buy the ones you like?

          Not trying to be a dick here, if it is working for you, that's fine with me, but it is a little odd that you have to pay to sample music before you buy it.

          • I'd pay $15 a month to my local shoe store if they let me try them on, wear them to work or a party, and return them the next day, whenever I wanted, even multiple times a day.

      • by ProppaT (557551)

        For $10/m, I get to listen to everything that comes out (within reason) as much as I want. I probably listen to 15-20 new releases a month, plus I get to dig through all sorts of old stuff I've never heard of.

        I have a rather enormous music collection at home and it would be impossible, financially and storage wise, for me to buy everything I'm interested in. When I find rarities that I really like, I buy them. If I see something new that I really like, I try to buy it directly from the artist when possib

  • Still Vaporware... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Z_A_Commando (991404) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:45AM (#35907060)
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but in order to "beat" Google, doesn't Apple actually have to have a service that's available to the public? Until then, this supposed cloud-based iWhatever is vaporware, just like Google's supposed service.
    • It's not even vapor ware yet, it's speculation by people who supposedly are in the know about Apple and Google.

      I can make a claim I know something about Apple, but if it's a stupid claim, then I'm to fault, not Apple.

  • Am I the only one with half a brain on this planet? This fad of "cloud" saving has got to be the dumbest thing to emerge from the idiots who convinced people that their personal information would always be safe and then either lost it all or it was compromised by hackers. How about just keeping your damn files, information, or anything else of value OFF THE INTERNET!!!!!!! You want safety? You want to ensure your info? It's called an external drive or usb flash drive. It keeps ALL you put on it and it's wit
    • I use Mspot, myself, and I don't use it to "store" my music. I use it to keep my music accessible so I can access my collection from just about anywhere, without having to sync everything when I get a new song. (Also so I can use voice to pick a song on my phone.)

      Really, I could give less of a crap if somebody gets into my music- they might be able to delete it from Mspot, but the local copy on my computer that it syncs from stays intact.

    • by geek (5680)

      Yes, you are the only person on the planet with only "half a brain." You're special.

    • Sorry, the tradeoff of "safety" versus being able to play my iTunes collection at work over the cloud is not even close.

      What is unsafe about putting my music in the cloud so I can hear it anywhere I go? Am I going to be stalked and murdered based on my music profile? Will the feds access information about me to use against me in trumped up charges?

      I fail to see any risk of uploading my music to a cloud service. Some data is really not all that insidious, ya know.

  • I wondered if Apple had a leg up with the labels due to their senior status in the market, but TFA says, "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."

    So, Amazon, Google, and Apple are on roughly equal footing as of now. Well, perhaps Amazon has a bit more negotiating power.

    • by xMrFishx (1956084)
      It will be interesting to see how this evolves, now we've got the three headed hydra of music streaming. I would like to see the Big GAA (google, apple, amazon) get so intertwined with the RIAA that the RIAA can't exist without them, then merely change the ball game in a way that the RIAA can't possibly prevent, or even just kill the RIAA off entirely. This may be the only real way to destroy that copyright monster, by eating it away from the inside.
  • All those songs in itunes are already stored somewhere. And Apple already has a list of songs that a user has purchased. So wouldn't Apple's "music storage cloud" basically be adding a streaming service? No real extra cloud storage required?

    I'm sure the RIAA has some cockamamey restriction against a simple implementation though.
  • I like 7digital.com a lot. They have a pretty damn good library (in the UK at least) and have had a "Digital Locker" since sometime near the end of 2010 i think. You can stream your purchases online through a decent HTML5 player, and download as many times as you like.

    Also some selected albums (eg. lastest Radiohead) have FLAC downloads for a couple of quid extra. Better than those £12.99 WAV/FLAC download prices you see everywhere else. Hopefully they start encoding more FLAC.
  • Just wondering, since Apple makes a VERY hefty profit on marking up those models that have more memory capacity than the "basic" model of iPod/iTouch/iPad, I wonder how much they stand to lose when consumers no longer have a need to have a 32GB iAnything because it's all stored in the cloud.

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