Your Music and the Cloud in the Next Five Years
Apple's Cloud Service (TBA)
It seems that Apple is taking a wait and see approach to cloud-based music. It bought and then shutdown a cloud music service, LaLa, last year and then has let Amazon, Google and smaller upstarts rule the cloud show. Some have speculated that Apple is letting Amazon and Google test the waters while it tweaks its own cloud service and irons out licensing deals with record companies that have been spurned by Cloud Drive and Music Beta. Apple could announce a new cloud music service with the recording industry's blessing that will make Google and Amazon's offerings seem quaint. Apple might also look for a way to compete head-to-head with Rdio and MOG on unlimited streaming, or just flex enough marketing muscle to drown the young services out.
Markkanen expects something from Apple similar to Amazon's Cloud Drive to integrate with iTunes. Aziz sees potential for added convenience if Apple secures licensing agreements that make uploading to the cloud unnecessary, but it may not be enough to convert all the Apple haters out there.
The Darkhorse Prediction
Hap Aziz thinks it's possible "Facebook will enter the media market as part of their strategy to keep people from leaving their site to transact business (or pleasure) elsewhere."
Meanwhile, I say cover all your bases by standing in line for a Music Beta invite, wait and see what Apple's up to and enjoy all the Rdio you want until then.
Your Music and the Cloud in the Next...