Apple’s Cloud Service Almost Ready to Launch

We’ve heard a lot of talk regarding this cloud thing Apple’s been working on. It’s supposed to allow iTunes customers to store their media on a remote server, and then access it from anywhere they have an internet connection.

It’s obviously coming. Apple built that huge data center in North Carolina and rented all that digital storage space for something. We’ve heard rumors that the service could launch right alongside a revamped MobileMe sometime this spring, but will Apple be able to meet expectations?

Ever since Apple purchased LaLa, a music streaming service, the iTunes cloud rumors have really picked up. But so far, nothing has materialized. It seems like we’ve heard more about competitor’s cloud services than we have about Apple’s. Amazon launched a music locker service earlier this month and major competitor Google is also said to be in talks with music labels.

Reuters is reporting today that Apple is actually finished with the online music storage service, and is set to launch it ahead of Google. The article claims that Apple’s reason for the tardy launch of their cloud service is due to last minute discussions with major labels.

Amazon has already received complaints from music companies that their cloud-based service was violating licensing agreements. Amazon argued that the music users uploaded was already purchased by them, and this would just just give them a wider range of access.

It’s public knowledge that Google has also been struggling in their talks with label executives. One executive notes that, “Google keeps changing what they’re asking for.” The anonymous tipster might be referring to the rumors that Google might have changed up its business model from an iTunes-like store to a subscription-based ‘all you can eat’ service.

Although Apple may be finished constructing their cloud-based music service, it seems like they’re waiting to receive the music industry’s blessing before they launch it.

If they do plan to release the new service to the masses soon, you’d think they’d send out invitations to a media event to introduce it. Maybe we’ll see a late April event introducing a new MobileMe, new iTunes music locker service, and the white iPhone 4?

What do you think?