If the CNET report is true, Apple only needs to close deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group now before it secures unprecedented, legitimate access to music from all "Big Four" labels.
In March, Amazon launched its cloud music locker without such rights and faced threats of legal action; it is now reportedly in talks with the labels to secure licensing agreements. Google launched Google Music at its Google I/O event a couple weeks ago.
In April, CNET reported that Apple had inked a deal with Warner Music and "at least one of the remaining three" major music labels. Apple has not officially acknowledged the development of a cloud-based music storage service, but speculation is rife after reports "confirming" the development with unnamed sources. Furthermore, the company recently built a massive data center in North Carolina, reportedly meant to host a video streaming service.
Our pals over at BGR have got a scoop from a “reliable Apple source” that has told them that the company is preparing for a major shift in their iTunes strategy. Basically, Apple is readying an iTunes cloud service that would bring a few new capabilities to the service, and untether you from keeping and accessing your content strictly off of a local hard drive. Once live, you’d be able to stream your music and movies directly from Apple’s servers to your devices, no matter where you are. Further, you’d be able to steam music and movies from your home computers to your other computers and remote devices, kind of like an extension of Back to My Mac. Lastly, we should finally see wireless iTunes syncing come to devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
These changes would immediately negate pretty much all storage space woes with WiFi-capable Apple devices. A 16GB iPad could stream every movie you own rather than requiring the movie to be stores on the device itself, making internal storage much less of an issue. Apple typically has their iTunes and iPod event in September, and this year should be no different. If this is real, we’d expect it to be unveiled in just over two months.