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Apple iCloud wants films and TV shows, but HBO rains on parade

Apple is storming ahead with cloud media storage -- but can it bring your favourite movies and TV programmes to the service?

Apple wants your TV shows and movies to be available from iCloud, its music-streaming service due to be officially launched at next week's Worldwide Developers' Conference.

The company is said to be in talks with the major Hollywood studios in the hope of securing films and TV progammes as part of iCloud's offering, according to our sister site CNET News.com.

But HBO is casting a dark fog of doubt over such a deal. The prestigious US cable network has an exclusive relationship with three of the top film studios that requires all other sales and distribution of a movie to cease while it airs a film or show. This 'HBO blackout' makes a streaming service complicated, as no consumer wants to be told they can't watch a film they already own.

Apple is thought to have finalised deals with music labels over storage of customers' music using the iCloud service. iCloud would work by scanning the titles of your music, or other media, and matching it to a copy on Apple's servers. Then you'll be able to stream the tracks you own from the cloud on to your Apple device, and use it as and when you want to, wherever you are.

The hope is that Apple will provide near-instant access to your music, TV and films via a device with Web access. Steve Jobs himself will announce the service on Monday 6 June in San Francisco.

Despite the turbulence, Apple could still launch iCloud with video from Disney, Paramount and Sony. These companies aren't at the beck and call of HBO, but if Apple's going to do something, it'll generally do it well (except Ping, that sucked).

It might be looking a little overcast, but every cloud has a silver lining, though this one probably has an aluminium unibody and extortionately priced rain. It seems unlikely that a deal will be completed with HBO by Monday, but stay tuned for future forecasts.