iPhone app news: Apple seeks UK iTunes Match deals

iTunes cloud service won't arrive here until 2012

Talks still at a very early stage with both UK publishers and record labels.

UK iPhone and iPad users will have to wait until 2012 in order to take advantage of Apple's new iTunes Match streaming service as the company chases deals with user music licencers.

The service, which will Match the songs a user has in its iTunes library and make them available to listen to using Apple's new iCloud platform and will also upgrade low bitrate songs to 256kbps.

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Apple scrambled to make deals with the four major music publishers - EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner - before announcing the service on Monday at WWDC. It's scheduled to launch with iOS 5 this autumn.

However, when iOS 5 arrives in the UK, it's likely to be missing this one massive iCloud component. Speaking to the Telegraph, the Performing Rights Society (PRS), which controls publishing rights in the UK, claims that talks with Apple have only just begun.

The spokesperson said: “The licensing team at the PRS have started talks with Apple, but are a long way off from any deals being signed…It is very much the early stages of the negotiations and is similar to the launch of iTunes – which began in the US and took a while to roll out to other countries,”

The Telegraph also spoke with an unnamed executive from a major UK record label who added that “Tentative talks have begun between the major labels and Apple in the UK. However, all talks are at the really early stages and no one expects to see the cloud music service live on this side of the pond until 2012.”

UK users can still make use of the iTunes in the Cloud service which allows iOS users to download any of their purchased music to any supplementary devices free of charge.

As for the iTunes Match launch, Apple remains as cryptic as ever, with a message on its website revealing: “Coming This Autumn – Starting in the US.”

Link: Telegraph