Much Ado About iDisk Streaming
There's been a fair amount of digital ink spilled today about the "discovery" of a feature Apple openly released last month: the ability to stream your music files from your MobileMe iDisk in the background, just like Pandora and Rhapsody do. Though even Michael Robertson, the former MP3.com honcho who wrote about the feature clearly states
that this is not
the long-rumored "iTunes in the cloud," that hasn't stopped folks from saying it's just that
Robertson said he found the feature "buried in the release notes of an iPhone app," though it's the 4th item in the 'What's New
' list for MobileMe iDisk, so maybe the discovery is not quite
the same as finding pirate treasure. However, he does clearly highlight the most significant and interesting part of this development that relates to any future cloud-based iTunes service. The world's largest music company, Universal Music Group (UMG), has been telling streaming music services that they must get a license and pay them every time the play music from any of the approximately 4,750.226,453 artists
under contract to a UMG label. If Apple can get away with this, then they may be able to get away with true iTunes streaming. If not… well this is just the first shot in a long battle.
One upside of this for jailbreakers is that streaming from Dropbox also works just as well
. Someone could put together a front-end app to manage music collections on Dropbox or any file sharing app, and put in support for a song browser, playlists, genres, cover art… in short, all the bells and whistles that people are used to from iTunes, and use My3G to get around the 20MB limitation. In other words: we don't need to wait for Apple.