Here's video shot during the construction phase of Apple's new $1 billion data center in North Carolina.
The data center is reportedly finished and was rumored to go online in the spring. To date, Apple hasn't explained what the data center will be used for. Speculation has revolved around a cloud-based music and/or video service. That speculation seems more and more likely as time passes.
All Things Digital is reporting that Apple is close to finalizing agreements with the four big music labels regarding cloud-based music storage.
"And sources tell me that Apple has already procured deals from at least two of the big four labels (Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony and EMI) within the last two months. One source tells me Apple content boss Eddy Cue will be in New York tomorrow to try to finalize remaining deals."
If true, Apple could have a significant advantage over rival Amazon's recently debuted cloud-based music service. Reports indicate Amazon has yet to reach any agreements with the music labels.
Similar to Amazon's service, Apple's service will reportedly allow users to upload their existing music library to the cloud and then access that music on multiple devices. This will likely include music that users have ripped from CDs. The All Things Digital article reports that music executives are claiming Apple's service could be a more "robust service" with a better user interface thanks to proper licensing.
One thing we can expect: A cloud-based music service from Apple will surely feature industry-leading design and excellent integration with iTunes, OS X, and iOS! I'm betting that Steve Jobs and company will have a few surprises up their sleeve. We might even see a nice "one more thing" moment. Apple fans are due for one of those!