It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! The future of not only music, but information, has arrived, the cloud! That may be a little of an overestimation, but this still is pretty big news.
With the iCloud, Apple has created a new frontier. This will change the way people understand ownership of music. If you can get your music streaming anywhere for a yearly flat fee, why would you ever want to “own” an album again?
Here’s how it works:
– All the songs you’ve purchased on iTunes will show up as “purchased” in the iTunes store.
– Any purchased song can be downloaded from the cloud to your iOS device
– iCloud will be free.
– iTunes Match: Will scan your library for music ripped from CDs or downloaded elsewhere. You can then stream that music to your iOS device.
– iTunes Match will cost $25 per year to use.
If you buy a song from Apple on your iPhone, download it to your iPod. Buy a song on your iPod, download it to your iPad. Set it to push automatically, or pick whichever tracks and albums you’d prefer.
Or, if you’re like a lot of people and haven’t built your entire library from Apple’s trove, there’s iTunes Match. And this is the big one. For $25 a year, Apple will upgrade the crossover between your library and theirs to 256 kbps AAC files, and offer the same re-downloadability as if you’d copped it from Jobs…
iTunes® in the Cloud lets you download your previously purchased iTunes music to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all your devices. In addition, music not purchased from iTunes can gain the same benefits by using iTunes Match, a service that replaces your music with a 256 kbps AAC DRM-free version if we can match it to the over 18 million songs in the iTunes Store®, it makes the matched music available in minutes (instead of weeks to upload your entire music library), and uploads only the small percentage of unmatched music. iTunes Match will be available this fall for a $24.99 annual fee. Apple today is releasing a free beta version of iTunes in the Cloud, without iTunes Match, for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users running iOS 4.3. iTunes in the Cloud will support all iPhones that iOS 5 supports this fall.
Pricing & Availability
The iCloud beta and Cloud Storage APIs are available immediately to iOS and Mac Developer Program members at developer.apple.com. iCloud will be available this fall concurrent with iOS 5. Users can sign up for iCloud for free on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 5 or a Mac running Mac OS® X Lion with a valid Apple ID. iCloud includes 5GB of free cloud storage for Mail, Document Storage and Backup. Purchased music, apps, books and Photo Stream do not count against the storage limit. iTunes Match will be available for $24.99 per year (US only).
iTunes in the Cloud is available today in the US and requires iTunes 10.3 and iOS 4.3.3. Automatic download of apps and books is available today. Using iCloud with a PC requires Windows Vista or Windows 7; Outlook 2010 or 2007 is recommended for accessing contacts and calendars.