Apple may be planning an extra special treat during its October 4th press event, for those of you located outside the US. Currently iCloud services are only available for users in the US, but Apple is working on a deal with record companies and music publishers to obtain international music licenses.
If the negotiations are finished in time, the announcement could come as soon as Tuesday. A report from sources in contact with CNET indicates that Apple is nearing the end of discussions and may be close to striking deals with record companies, but that nothing has been signed at this point.
Apple’s iCloud service was released as a beta version to developers back in August, and on September 22nd, iCloud was reset to prepare for its final test phase and public launch, which is expected to be coming with the release of iOS 5. That should happen sometime in October, with October 12th as the rumored date.
iCloud will allow users to upload and share music, photos, calendars, e-mail, and other data between all of their iDevices and computers. While only music purchased from Apple can be uploaded to the cloud with no extra charge, an extra service, iTunes Match, will let users store their music collections in the cloud. iTunes Match allows all music to be uploaded and matched with music available in iTunes, for just $24.99 per year.
While this is not able to be used outside of the US at this point, negotiations with record companies could broaden access to countries like Germany, France, and the United Kingdom by the time the service is publicly released.