It’s no secret that Apple will be unveiling the long awaited iCloud service next week, and now a few more details are beginning to emerge. Steve Jobs is set to take the stage at Moscone Center next week for Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference
and it’s already been made clear that iOS 5, Mac OS X Lion
and iCloud will be the main focus of the event.
Apple has delayed iCloud in order to obtain licensing agreements from all of the major record labels before launching the service. Now that Apple has everything in place, they are free to launch iCloud at the WWDC next week.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “The agreements will let Apple offer an easy way for consumers to create and listen online to their entire music collections, without the time-consuming work of manually transferring or uploading songs.”
This feature alone will make Apple’s iCloud service a very attractive option to what’s currently available from competing companies. So far, it looks as though iCloud will allow users to stream music from the cloud to any mobile or desktop device. It will also come with a monthly service charge.
One question remains, however, will this ‘scan and match’ system of scanning a users hard drive, apply only to songs purchased though the iTunes Store, or include every song on the users hard drive? If every song is available, then this will be a key selling point for iCloud.
“Many in the music industry see such offerings as a key next step in the evolution of digital media, in which music, and eventually video, is convenient and ubiquitous.” There is some indication that Apple will allow video streaming with iCloud at some point as well.
Current digital music locker services, such as Amazon Cloud Player
and Google Music
, require users to first upload their music libraries to the site before being able to listen to any songs in the cloud. This can be a time intensive task, especially for people with large music libraries. Also, many internet service providers have usage limits in place and going over monthly allotments can result in serious consequences for the subscriber.
By this time next week, we’ll know all there is to know about Apple’s iCloud digital music locker service. Hopefully, Apple will hit another home run with this one.
Source: The Wall Street Journal