One of the cool tidbits to come out of Bloomberg’s look at the upcoming iCloud service is what Apple can do by relying on a scan and mirror strategy in place of a direct upload to a music locker.
“If the sound quality of a particular song on a user’s hard drive isn’t good enough, Apple (AAPL) will be able to replace it with a higher-quality version.”
Because Apple is planning to charge a subscription fee for this service, it won’t necessarily need to differentiate between music that was purchased legally and pirated tracks.
“Users will be able to store their entire music collections in the cloud—even if they obtained some songs illegally. That would finally give the labels a way to claw out some money on pirated music,” writes Bloomberg.
The music labels are trying to leverage Apple against the unlicensed lockers launched by Amazon and Google, which is ironic, since they spent the last ten years watching in horror as Steve Jobs and iTunes became the gatekeeper for music in the digital age.