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With Labels, Apple Ready To Rule Cloud

To reinforce its upcoming cloud music service, Apple has reached agreements with three of the four top music labels and is close to signing the fourth, Universal Music, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, citing sources. Amazon and Google each recently unveiled cloud music services, but without the support of major music labels. With labels in tow, however, Apple could preview its cloud plans as early as next month.

"The music industry will be watching to see whether Steve Jobs & Co. have discovered a way to quell the deep anxieties of the music biz while creating a flexible, easy-to-use service that isn't too expensive," it writes. Put another way, "With a big enough checkbook, anyone can get a deal with the record labels," says Michael Robertson, founder of an unlicensed cloud music locker called Mp3tunes.

Either way, "Apple's music service ... might well represent the future of recorded music," Bloomberg Business suggests. "Armed with licenses from the music labels and publishers, Apple will be able to scan customers' digital music libraries in iTunes and quickly mirror their collections on its own servers."

Read the whole story at Bloomberg Businessweek »

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