Apple is, indeed, moving forward with the long-awaited cloud-based iTunes service. And while all indications point to a grand unveiling sooner rather than later, it now appears that Apple has limited its initial aims for the service. While Google toils with a rival service, Apple continues to make arrangements with the top labels necessary to secure proper licensing for an elaborate cloud music service. So cumbersome has that process become that Apple is now expected to release a more limited service before the end of the year.
According to CNet, "Eight months after the acquisition (of Lala), 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 offer the kind of cloud services that Apple had outlined in meetings with the labels, such as storing the music of iTunes users on its servers."
While further set-backs or a more limited service would certainly come as an initial let down to everyone waiting for this eventual reality, Apple has another card it will likely play right out of the gate. Even though the cloud music service may "take a while longer" to prep, Apple is said to be taking equal strides toward a sophisticated cloud-video service, which would naturally be welcomed "by those who have maxed out hard drives with films and TV shows." When Apple finally takes their content to the clouds, all signs point to the creation of "digital shelves" that allow iTunes users to save, categorize, and access movies and other digital media via Apple's servers.
Cloud storage could help overcome one of the roadblocks confronting Apple's top gadgets. The iPad, iPod, and iPhone all have limited ability to store the films, e-books, apps, and songs Apple wants to sell owners of these devices.