The competition between Apple and Google over who will control the cloud looks less and less like a puffy summer day and more akin to an approaching storm front. After Amazon first beat the Cupertino, Calif. company to the punch. it appears now Apple’s only cloud strategy includes that very expensive iCloud.com domain. Google Music is expected to be unveiled Tuesday in limited fashion, providing free storage for already-owned tunes, as well as playlist creation.
However, Google provides a hint as to what’s holding up Apple’s cloud-based iTunes service: those persnickety publishers. In an uncharacteristically open comment, Google digital content exec Jamie Rosenberg blasts labels as “more interested in an unreasonable and unsustainable set of business terms,” according to the Wall Street Journal‘s All Things Digital.
Because of the inability to come to an agreement, Google Music, which starts as an invite-only service, will bypass the messy rights issue and focus on digital storage, similar to Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Cloud Player launched in March. That service provides 5GB of free storage.
However, unlike Amazon, which recently began supporting both iOS and Android devices, Google Music’s use of Flash rules out Apple. And as for Apple, it reportedly has inked deals with at least two music publishers on the way to open its $1 billion NC data center this spring. The 500,000-square-foot facility is rumored to support a cloud-based version of iTunes.