Report: Apple signs deal with EMI for cloud-music service

Apple cloudApple may well be the last one to the cloud-music party, but it could be bringing the biggest gift.

The Cupertino-based company continues to edge toward the launch of its cloud-based music service, with reports surfacing that it has just signed a cloud-music licensing agreement with EMI Music. Storing music in the cloud means a user can access their data wherever they are, so long as they have a device that can connect to the Internet.

According to Cnet’s Greg Sandoval, “multiple music industry sources” are also saying that Apple is on the verge of signing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Apple has reportedly already secured a deal with Warner Music Group.

Once all of the dotted lines have been signed with the four major music companies, that would give Apple four more deals than Google or Amazon have for their respective cloud-based music services. Those two companies decided to launch services without licensing deals, with Google reportedly having had some serious difficulties in reaching agreements with the music labels. In late March, Amazon was apparently beginning to realize that having licenses may be a good idea after all, and as a result was going after such agreements – though there’s no word on those yet.

Not having deals places limitations on the kind of service that can be offered to users. For example, users have to upload tracks from their hard drive to the cloud. For people with thousands of music files on their computer, this will take a big chunk of time. There’s a chance that Apple’s service will be simpler for users – the company could scan a user’s music folder and then give instant access to master recordings on Apple servers. As for Google’s service, it doesn’t even have a music store in place and currently allows users to store up to 20,000 songs (you’d need a while to upload that many).

In his report, Sandoval says that the music companies are hoping that “Apple’s service makes [Amazon and Google] look shabby by comparison. The thinking is that if Apple’s service eclipses those of its rivals, it will prompt Amazon and Google to pay the labels’ licensing rates.”

If Apple can wrap things up with Universal and Sony in the next week or two, that would give it the opportunity to launch its cloud-based music service at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco starting June 6 – providing all the other aspects of the service are in place, of course.

Music

Apple Music may sign up more exclusive artists with purchase of Platoon

Apple purchased London-based Platoon, which is a startup that helps independent musicians get discovered by major labels. The acquisition may help Apple Music sign up more exclusive artists.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Computing

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Mobile

Microsoft Outlook for iOS gets big redesign, with Dark Mode coming soon

Microsoft has deployed a huge redesign for its Outlook for iOS app, which includes new blue branding and some quality-of-life improvements. Dark Mode isn't included, but it's coming soon.
Deals

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Mobile

Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 now available on the Apple Store

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is now available on the Apple Store for $150. The sensor strip, which is only 2 millimeters thin, automatically tracks a wide array of sleep data when placed under the user's sheets.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Deals

Save up to $750 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $750.
Computing

5 reasons your Macbook keeps restarting and how to fix the issue

It can be frustrating when your Apple MacBook keeps restarting, but this serious problem can be fixed! We'll go over the common causes for this issue, what you can do to fix them, and why it's okay to take your Mac to a pro!
Deals

Pick up a pair of Apple AirPods alternatives for less than $50

Apple AirPods are some of the most sought-after wireless earbuds, but they certainly aren't cheap. Luckily, Walmart and Amazon both have some great Apple AirPod alternatives for sale, and you can still get them before Christmas.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.