Cloud Music Providers Allowed to Expand Features

by Parks Associates | Aug. 24, 2011

The decision by the U.S. District Court in New York, on the 4-year-old case involving EMI Group and MP3tunes, could pave the way for Google's Music, Amazon.com's Cloud Player, Dropbox, and other providers of online storage services to add time-saving features. The ruling parted the clouds, allowing more companies to offer the scan-and-match feature without a label's consent.

Dropbox previously used a method called "de-duplication," which is also used by MP3tunes. Dropbox's servers used to send a small digital fingerprint of each file a user was uploading in order to see if another person had already uploaded that same song, video or document. Dropbox has since disabled this method.

Apple is preparing a program called iTunes Match, part of the upcoming iCloud suite of Web tools. iTunes Match will scan a person's music library against the iTunes Store's catalog, and if it finds a match, it will unlock access to that track for a fee of $25 per year. Apple has secured agreements with the record labels.



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