Apple’s cloud music service scans user’s iTunes library for content, sources say

Apple cloud

Apple has yet to formally announce its planned cloud-based music service, but it’s really just a rumor in name only at this point. Amazon and Google are both up and running, to varying degrees, with competing offerings. Cupertino’s been silent on this front simply because of a reported push to ensure that deals are struck with the major record labels before there’s any kind of launch. EMI, Sony and Warner Music are all on board, and Universal is said to be not far behind. Of course, just because nothing is official doesn’t mean people in the know haven’t been talking. They have, and Bloomberg Businessweek has some insider-sourced details on what’s planned.

The so-called iCloud service will apparently scan each user’s music library in iTunes and then create a cloud-sourced mirror of it with any songs ever having to be uploaded directly, three sources “briefed on [Apple’s] talks” confirm. Any tracks with sub-par sound quality will automatically be replaced with a high quality version. Once the cloud-based library is built, you’ll be able to stream the content to your computer or iOS device.

Interestingly, it sounds like the iCloud library scan won’t differentiate between officially purchased iTunes Store content and music that comes from other sources, whether it’s a ripped CD or an illegal download. This will reportedly be possible because of the deals Apple is signing with record labels and the rumored plans for how iCloud will earn money.

It is believed that the service will be tacked onto Apple’s existing MobileMe offering, currently a $99 per year subscription service that simplifies the process of syncing things like e-mails and contacts across multiple devices. Reports earlier this year suggested that Apple may be moving to offer MobileMe for free, but tacking on iCloud music syncing would add value to the offering while allowing record companies to earn some revenue off of content that may in fact be pirated.

While it certainly won’t squash the piracy bug that continues to elude pretty much any industry that trades in digital content, it’s an undeniably elegant solution for sending some revenue in the direction of frustrated record labels. That said, streaming music from the cloud, no matter which company said cloud belongs to, raises questions as wireless providers increasingly move toward monthly data caps.

If the bulk of your music listening is suddenly being streamed in from a remote source, what might that do to your data limits? It’s certainly a factor that needs to be considered as the major online tech companies position themselves to do battle in this evolving marketplace.

Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Movies & TV

Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Movies & TV

From Roma to Isle of Dogs: Here’s where to watch 2019’s Oscar nominees online

The 2019 Oscar field is a strong one, and if you missed some of the films in theaters, you may be in luck: Several of them are available on popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO.
Mobile

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.
Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.
Mobile

Worried about extra data charges? Here's how to check your usage on an iPhone

It's common to get a little nervous about nearing data limits. Keep your peace of mind by checking how much data your iPhone is using. Our guide on how to check data usage on an iPhone helps you stay in control.
Mobile

Save space on your iPhone by turning off Live Photos in the camera app

If you want to save storage space on your iPhone or reduce the size of your backup for iCloud, then you should think about turning off Live Photos in the camera app. Find out exactly how to do it with our easy guide.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Mobile

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.
Mobile

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.
Mobile

Flip from portrait to landscape as we reveal how to rotate a video on iPhone

If you've accidentally shot a video in portrait orientation and you want to flip to landscape, then this is the guide for you. We'll explain how to use iMovie to rotate a video on your iPhone or iPad for free and suggest alternative apps.
Mobile

The 2019 iPhone could put a charge into your other Apple gadgets

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.