MobileMe iDisk Streaming Hints that iTunes Cloud is Getting Closer

Last month, Apple [AAPL] updated the MobileMe iDisk app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The new update sneakily brings in the ability to stream music from your iDisk to your iOS based device. Any music that you upload to iDisk can now be accessed and run in the background on devices that run iOS 4.

This appears to go against what record labels are demanding in that when music is streamed, you need to pay a license fee.

Apple recently pushed a new version of their iDisk software. iDisk is Apple’s online storage service similar to Microsoft Skydrive and Google Docs. Quietly mentioned in the release note of version 1.2 is the ability to play music files from remote storage in the background. I say “quietly” because this capability is not among the bullet list of features. Only if you click the “More” button do you see this listed:

* Play audio from your iDisk while using another app

It appears that Apple is pushing the boundaries a little with this one in terms of seeing what they can do before getting in to trouble. We suspect that iTunes Cloud is not that far away although it looks like Apple is trying to force a different licensing structure instead of the current one being used by labels.

Michael Robertson has quite a bit of information on this that is well worth reading. Click on his name to check it out.

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