A Guide to the Big Three Cloud Music Services

By The Atlantic Wire

With details continuing to leak out about Apple's music service, this promises to be the summer that the cloud, that on-demand collection of resources that can be tapped from any Internet-enabled device we've been hearing so much about in years past, actually takes off. The Atlantic Wire's John Hudson took a look at the three big competitors in this space and compared them. Here, a summary of what we know so far about Apple's "iCloud" service:

Threatening to really undermine the competition, Apple's music service will reportedly have the blessing of major labels including EMI, Warner Music and Sony (Universal continues to be a holdout), reports BusinessWeek. Unlike its two competitors, slow upload speeds won't be as much of a problem. "Apple's 'iCloud' service will automatically add tracks that are in Apple's extensive iTunes Store library," reports Ars Technica. The service will "scan customers' digital music libraries in iTunes and quickly mirror their collections on its own servers." If the songs aren't available on iTunes, they'll have to be uploaded but the feature will definitely speed the whole process up. Another benefit for audiophiles will be the sound quality, reports Ars. "Users will be able to stream iTunes Plus versions of the songs, even if the user originally encoded the tracks as lower quality AAC or MP3 files," writes the website. "Such a feature was also a benefit of Lala, the streaming music service Apple bought in late 2009." Those major features may give music fans pause when facing a time-consuming upload of their entire music collection to Amazon and Google.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/05/a-guide-to-the-big-three-cloud-music-services/239650/