Apple fans are no doubt getting quite excited at the prospect of the company's cloud-based iTunes music service taking to the skies at Worldwide Developer Conference next month, especially after being beaten to the punch by both Amazon and Google.
But with new doubts emerging over whether Apple actually does have the all-important music labels on board, it's now being suggested that predictions of a WWDC launch could in fact be wide of the mark.
Last week we reported on a CNET exclusive claiming that Apple was “closing in on deals” with Universal and Sony after already getting EMI to sign on the dotted line.
Over the weekend new reports suggested the Sony deal was done, as was an agreement with Warner, leaving Universal as the only outstanding music label still to sign up.
However, AllThingsD points out that even with the record companies onside, Apple still hasn't agreed terms with the music publishers, who own a separate set of rights – those to the compositions, rather than the recordings themselves, which are controlled by the record labels.
That's not to say there should be any issue getting the publishers on board – it's seen largely as a formality – but if the deals with the labels are only being set in place now, the reality is that negotiations could make an announcement at WWDC, which starts on June 6, a bit too much to hope for.