Apple is on the move - to the sky. And it wants to bring all your content with it.
After much speculation iTunes in the sky, was revealed by Steve Jobs yesterday at WWD, who debuted iCloud, Apple answer to cloud service, which carries "the centre of our digital lives into the cloud."
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The free service will "work seamlessly" with all Apple devices including iPad, iPhone, iTouch, Mac Pc's and the tech giant is releasing a free beta version of cloud iTunes (without Match) for Apple devices running iOS 4.3.
Music purchased in iTunes appears automatically on all devices and allows you download past iTunes purchases. "Where you want, when you want," says Apple.
Users will get access to iCloud when they update to iOS 5, also announced at WWD and all apps will also be integrated to the new system.
And for the first time, Apple is recognising non iTunes do exist (quelle horreur!) and is launching iTunes Match service to rip through your complete library of songs, non iTunes and music from CD's and match it up with high-quality 256Kbps AAC audio files, "within minutes," Jobs proclaimed. It comes with 5GB of free storage, and purchased content music, apps wont count towards storage.
So, it does what it says on the tin.
And Apple are charging $25 a year for the privilege, undercutting Amazon cloud player which charges double that. However, Match will only be available in the US for the moment.
And it looks like Apple have registered the music threat posed by Amazon and Google Beta, and have undercut the former with its $25 for as many songs as you can fit strategy, while Amazon charges $50 for 5,000 songs and $200 for 20,000. So the music war is on.
|But there's more. Apple new cloud service, iCloud will store not just music but also images (called Photo Stream) contacts, e mail and calendar. |
"iCloud stores your content in the cloud and wirelessly pushes it to all your device. It automatically uploads it, stores it, and pushes it to all your devices," Jobs told the WWD conference yesterday in San Francisco.
"iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it's integrated into our apps you don't even need to think about it-it all just works."
It will also automatically backs up your iOS devices to iCloud daily over Wi-Fi when you charge your device, one of the main benefit of cloud storage, so if lose or wipe content accidentially it is still in safe the sky.
Apple is also ditching its Mobile Me service, with Jobs admitting on stage that it wasn't "our finest hour" and is being "completely rewritten" to work with iCloud, the Apple CEO also revealed.
Jobs in his first appearance since March was said to look thin and gaunt at the event yesterday.
iTunes from the cloud will be released worldwide "this fall" meaning sometime around September.