Apple signs up EMI for iCloud music service

Apple has signed a licensing agreement with music label EMI to include its content in the forthcoming iCloud service. In addition, the Cupertino giant is close to striking similar deals with the Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Having already secured the Warner Music Group, that will be a clean sweep of the top four labels in the world.

Expected to launch on 6 June at WWDC, iCloud will be Apple's cloud-based music streaming service. It is widely believed to adopt a subscription model eventually and, because of the licensing agreements, allow users to play tracks that are already stored on its servers, rather than upload their own. It will merely scan the music folder of the subscriber and build up a library based on that.

This is in stark contrast to the services being launched by both Google and Amazon, who, as they are un-licensed at present, will require users to upload their entire music collection to each company's cloud servers.

One obvious benefit to Apple's "scan and match" service is that a user can have the music collection immediately available to them, rather than have to wait for hours if not days of upload time. However, if you have music released by small independent labels, will it have those licenses in place on time or, indeed, ever?

We feel a frenzied battle coming on...

What do you think is better? Would you prefer to have your music library scanned and then access cloud versions, or is it better to upload your entire music collection? Or, even, are you wary of the cloud altogether? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...