‘iCloud’ Music Service to Scan and Mirror iTunes Library via Subscription Model

We’ve consistently heard rumours about what Apple plans on doing with its massive $1 billion dollar North Carolina data centre. The most notable is that a ‘music locker’ service called ‘iCloud’ will result. Apple has already negotiated deals with three of the four major record labels, and is said to be nearing completion with the last label, Universal Music.

Businessweek details some interesting tidbits about how this service will work:

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, say three people briefed on the talks. If the sound quality of a particular song on a user’s hard drive isn’t good enough, Apple will be able to replace it with a higher-quality version. Users of the service will then be able to stream, whenever they want, their songs and albums directly to PCs, iPhones, iPads, and perhaps one day even cars.

A recent Apple patent revealed how music would be stored locally to create a buffer while streaming. If users want to take advantage of this new service, it’s not going to be free. Apple has paid for music licenses and ‘iCloud’ would be part of an annual subscription fee. It’s expected that we’ll learn more about this service soon to be unveiled possibly at next week’s WWDC. Stay tuned (and get your wallets ready).