updated 06:15 pm EDT, Fri April 22, 2011
Warner said good for iTunes media locker deal
Insiders said Friday that Apple had managed to land a deal with Warner for its upcoming iTunes cloud media locker. It wasn't evident how recently it was signed or whether the label was one of the two supposedly already onboard in recent days. CNET in getting the new tip also wasn't given further details on how the service would behave.
The same story mentioning the two label deals, though, had also had Apple VP Eddy Cue landing in New York City on Friday to secure the remaining two agreements. If accurate, it would point to Warner being one of the earlier supporters.
Apple's negotiations are believed vital since permissions from labels could give it genuine feature advantages over Amazon's Cloud Player and any possible Google service. Amazon's service requires that users upload their own music to its Cloud Drive service unless they bought it directly from Amazon MP3. Users on an Android phone also can't upload any purchases back to the cloud.
Official deals could let Apple simply serve copies of its own from the server for songs it recognizes, speeding up the sync time. It would also offer true mobile sync by enabling cloud access to tracks the moment they're bought on an iPad or an iPhone. Movies and other videos would be more of an unknown and would need separate deals with studios.
Regardless of implementation, an Apple deal with Warner would illustrate the sharp contrast in negotiations between the iPhone maker and Google. Google is widely known to have been negotiating for a cloud music locker in Google Music but to have faced resistance from labels wanting to charge a second time for the privilege, something Google might have been unwilling to do. Talks in recent weeks may have backfired to the point where Google was considering giving up entirely. One tip had it considering partnering with Spotify if and when it gets permission to operate in the US.