Apple chief executive Steve Jobs will take the stage at the company’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference next week to introduce the next version of iOS, the next version of OS X and a service called iCloud.
And as exciting as the new operating systems may be, most of the attention thus far has been focused on that third, mysterious product.
The service is likely — at least in part — a remote iTunes library that users can use to access their music anywhere they have Internet access.
The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Apple had officially finished its negotiations with the four major record labels, and would be completing its negotiations with music publishers today.
Citing “sources familiar with the negotiations,” the report said that the service will be initially be offered for free and that Apple will charge $25 per year for subscriptions.
CNET also reported that Apple may be looking to sign deals with television and movie studios for iCloud somewhere down the line.
The cloud-based service is also likely to be some sort of revamp of Apple’s MobileMe storage, the company’s current foray into cloud storage for documents, contacts, calendars and photos.
Apple recently built a huge data center in North Carolina, which Apple has said will act as a hub for iTunes and MobileMe services.