Cloud iTunes Launch To Be “Limited In Scope”

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Ever since Apple bought the web-streaming music service Lala, our teeth have been aching in anticipation of our iTunes libraries vaporized from our hard disks and existing in the Wonkavision like ionosphere of the cloud.

According to CNET, though, we may very well have a while to wait before Apple truly capitalizes upon its Lala purchase… and when it does come, it might be a far more modest proposal at first than even Cupertino would like.

In talks with the four major labels, Apple is apparently downplaying expectations, saying that if they launch their cloud-streaming iTunes functionality in the next few months, it will be “modest in scope” when it comes to streaming music.

There’s few details on just how modest we can expect the scope to be, but since the only details that have been semi-concretely cited so far include the ability to stream music and movies directly from Apple’s servers, it sounds as if Apple has had difficulties in working out the necessary licensing agreements allowing the majority of users’ libraries to be squirted wirelessly over the Internet.

If iTunes does go into the cloud in the coming months, then, what we are likely looking at is only a small selection of the total available iTunes music library being available for streaming. It’ll be a soft launch, with total cloud rollout of all available iTunes tracks delayed until the required and convoluted licensing agreements are in place.

On the other hand, video streaming appears like it is in better shape. CNET is reporting that for most of the last eight months, the majority of the Lala team has been spending most of their time working on an “undisclosed video feature.”

If I were to hazard a guess, Apple’s prioritizing streaming video over streaming music right now. It makes sense: video takes up far more room than music on most devices, and would benefit most from a streaming option… particularly if rumors of an iOS and cloud driven AppleTV pan out.