When Apple bought Lala, everyone anticipated that iTunes.com streaming music service was on the horizon, but now CNET hears it might be on hold as Apple works on... streaming video.
But eight months after the acquisition, Apple is telling executives at the four top labels that if Apple offers any cloud-music features within the next few months, they will likely be "modest in scope" and not include the kind of functionality that Apple outlined in meetings with the labels, such as storing users' music on its servers, sources told CNET. They added that Apple still hasn't negotiated the kind of licensing deals it would need to distribute music from the cloud.
Delays launching a cloud music service might disappoint some iTunes users, but if Apple is focusing resources on a cloud-video service it could be welcomed by those who have maxed out hard drives with films and TV shows. Sources at the major film studios have said this year that Apple plans to create "digital shelves" that enable iTunes users to store movies and other media on Apple's servers.
With competition from a Google Music service on the horizon, can Apple afford to take their time rolling out the iTunes Cloud? Are they far enough ahead in media that it doesn't matter? Could they actually be waiting for Google to negotiate cloud-streaming licenses with Big Media so Apple can simply adopt them as well and add to the existing iTunes service? Time -- and perhaps this fall's annual iPod touch/iTunes event -- will tell.
But add to all this that one of the Lala execs is rumored to have already moved on from Apple, and Internet/iTunes lead honcho Eddy Cue reportedly took a long time to even tell the Lala team what Apple wanted to do with them, and it seems like there's a lack of urgency around One Infinite Loop.
Are you getting impatient for your streams? Does it matter to you if Apple rolls out video from the clouds before music?