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Has Apple Beaten Google to the Music Cloud?

Search giant's development of its media locker has hit roadblocks
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Apple has completed work on a cloud-based online music storage service, according to sources within the company who have spoken to Reuters. Google has also been developing its own music locker, but Apple is beating the seach giant to the punch.

Apple's service will allow iTunes customers to access their music library from anywhere that they have an Internet connection. So far, Apple hasn’t signed any licensing deals with record labels, sources said, but it plans to do so before the service is launched (although Apple still hasn’t provided any of the labels with a launch date).

Apple has been able to learn from others’ past mistakes in launching its cloud service. When Amazon launched its own music locker last April, it made the mistake of failing to get licensing agreements from record companies, leading to threats of legal action from labels. Now, Amazon is having meetings with several labels to reach agreements for “a new, more sophisticated” music locker.

Google’s development of a cloud-based locker has been plagued with difficulties. Originally, Google was supposed to have released a service for its Android phones in December, but the launch has been repeatedly delayed. The company has been involved in ongoing talks with record labels, but “they keep changing what they're asking for,” said an anonymous label exec. Some music insiders are also blaming Google’s leadership shake-up for the problems.