Peter Kafka at AllThingsD has reliable information that Apple is close to finalizing content license deals for its forthcoming cloud-based music locker service.
Sources tell me that Apple has already procured deals from at least two of the big four labels (Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony and EMI) within the last two months. One source tells me Apple content boss Eddy Cue will be in New York tomorrow to try to finalize remaining deals.
Kafka also notes that, unlike with Amazon’s Cloud Drive service, Apple has cut a deal to “store a single master copy of a song on its servers, and share that with multiple users.” Amazon seemingly took a shortcut rather than worry about licensing deals and is storing a copy of each file for each user, a massive undertaking from a storage perspective. Apple’s method should allow it to be much more efficient and nimble with its data center operations.
This would be great news if Apple just analyzed your iTunes library and flipped the switch to make all of your content available for streaming without having to upload it. You can bet this is what they are aiming to do.