iCloud or iFog?

AR-iTunes image2.jpegMonday, as promised, Apple rolled out their new iTunes/Cloud software. According to preliminary reports iCloud will only store and support music that HAS BEEN PURCHASED THROUGH ITUNES. The audiophile view of this - it sucks.

By nixing CDs ripped into iTunes Apple has finally violated one of the things they have always done right in the past - backwards compatibility. By making iCloud so iTunes-centric Apple has reduced its allure to serious music-lovers to almost zero.

Apple claims that "iTunes Match" a $24.99 per year service will let users duplicate their entire library, ripped CDs and all, as long as they're in the iTunes store's catalog. So anyone with obscurantist musical tastes will be out of luck as well as $25 more dollars. As a Mobile Me user (don't guffaw too loudly) I'll probably be shunted into this service automatically. And I'll be happy to report on the transition...

As for Hi-Def music, not a word was spoken. The only references to bit rates was that the cloud would be saved at 256 Kbps. That's a decent bit-rate but it sure ain't high-rez. Also several knowledgeable sources have indicated that the iCloud is not a streaming media source but a file saving and retrieval system. It will receive, store, and send files, be they music or other data to your mobile source for use by that source's own rendering software and hardware.

And if you're waiting for a high-rez cloud, please, for the sake of your lungs, don't hold your breath...


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1 Comment

Well covered! However, your comments seem somewhat cynical, perhaps with good cause. You didn't mention something that seems obvious to me. Apple's iCloud and Amazon's version will likely evolve and improve if they catch on and the pressure of competition remains. Will they evolve to satisfy our audiophile appetitites? Maybe or maybe not, but other cloud services may enter the market to fill this gap. The core question for me is this. Are there enough audiophiles willing to pay for high bandwidth streaming and large cloud storage capacity to contain our CD and lossless music libraries? I hope so, but for now I'm not going blue in the face waiting. I'd certainly fork out $25-50 a year to quickly and effortlessly access to my 3000+ CD library on my mobile devices while away from home .

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