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Apple talks to recording companies about free streaming music service

According to CNET, Apple is speaking to recording companies on the possibility of a free streaming music service.  Apple didn’t reveal much, but much like what was reported yesterday, the idea is that people would upload their music to Apple’s servers and it would be available to them anywhere in the world on any device.

The service would be framed to the recording industry as a “value add that could help stimulate sales” according to their sources and would be available as early as this Spring.

The issue appears to be whether the licensing for music changes when users are able to store them in the cloud.  MP3 founder Michael Richardson says consumers shouldn’t have to pay the labels any extra to store their music in the Cloud.  But he’s currently being sued by EMI for doing just that.

Robertson said he expects to see an “upload” button on iTunes as part of a future update.

Interesting.  That would allow you to upload your own music to the iTunes “Cloud”.  But, that doesn’t seem to mesh with what Apple is telling the Recording Industry.  Clearly what Apple is after, at least in the first stage, is an upsell feature that gives you an option of making a song purchased available anywhere.   Just newly purchased songs.  Not songs you’ve ripped off of CDs years ago. 

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