iCloud and iTunes Match
A few days ago we wrote an article where we spoke about the iCloud logo being revealed. Well, there’s a better look in the picture above. Ta da! Now let’s get down to business and see what iCloud is really about, but first, if you’re unsure what Cloud is, have a look at this short and easy article breaking down what The Cloud is, written by our weekly writer Khalid.
So what exactly is iCloud then, same concept as Microsoft and Google’s cloud, but Apple’s finally hopping on board the cloud express to, erm.. Cloud land? iCloud is basically iTunes in the Cloud, hence the iCloud name (well that and the fact 99% of what Apple make seems to have that annoying ‘i’ in front of it). It’s not quite the streaming music service we tweeted about the other day, but the beauty of iCloud is that you can transfer any music you’ve downloaded from iTunes to any and all of your devices (up to 10) at no extra charge! Any music you download from iTunes will be automatically uploaded to the Cloud (it sounds so cool to say, we’ll say it again – to the Cloud!) and ‘push’ it to all your devices linked to iCloud. Of course, the beauty of it is that it won’t be limited to only music, but it also extends to iBooks, photos, and videos (documents such as pages, numbers, and keynote data are part of it as well). You get a free 5GB of data to begin with, which is more than enough since your purchased music, apps, and books, as well as your Photo Stream, don’t count against your free storage.
Also the great part is that there’s no advertising to speak of, and as with all iCloud services from Apple, expect it to be free (for now at least, who knows about 5 years from now).
iTunes Match is a feature we’re quite excited about, and it does tie in with iCloud as well. What iTunes Match does is it will scan your library collection of songs and it will ‘populate’ your iTunes in the Cloud (aka iCloud) with any of your previous music you had originally ripped from a CD. The beauty of it is that it will upgrade the tracks (as long as they are part of the 18 million songs available in the store) to a quality 256kbps (that’s a higher quality than the rip), DRM-Free (meaning it won’t be locked) file. By ‘populate’ we mean it won’t exactly upload the songs if iTunes already has it, but probably pull from their store. We’re sure this will work on that Britney Spears album you ripped last week, although we’re not sure if it will work on that Flo Rida track you most likely torrented over the weekend (you darn Pirates!).
Unlike iCloud, this service will cost you $25/year, and it will mean you can ‘upload’ up to 25,000 songs for now, with all the benifits and quality of the music you would download from iTunes. Handy.
Well that just about raps up the big Apple Announcements, and you’ll find iCloud and iTunes Match will be available to everyone when iOS 5 is released. To read more on iOS 5, click here.