Apple's iCloud to offer a high-quality mirror of your iTunes library for streaming?Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Both Amazon and Google have launched music locker-type services in the past few months and, although Apple hasn't actually come out and said that it's working on a similar service of its own, many expect that the Cupertino firm will unveil one called iCloud at WWDC. According to a few people that have been "briefed on the talks" speaking with Bloomberg, Apple's service will scan a user's iTunes library and then mirror that collection on the company's own servers, meaning that customers won't need to spend hours, or in some cases days, uploading their music to servers like with Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music. Additionally, Bloomberg's sources claim that if Apple finds that the bit-rate of your music is too low, it'll automatically be replaced with a higher-quality version for streaming purposes. All of this will be possible because Apple has steadily been acquiring licenses from various music labels and publishers. So how much could iCloud cost? The current speculation is that iCloud could be included with a $99 per year MobileMe subscription, which would also allow a user to also sync his or her bookmarks, contacts, emails, and calendars.
If all of this is indeed accurate, Apple's iCloud has the potential to be huge for music lovers that want to have access to their library wherever they go, especially since people with huge collections may not want to take the time to upload the entire thing to Amazon and Google's services. Of course, if iCloud is lumped in with the cost of a $99 MobileMe subscription, that could turn a few folks off from the service. Sure, iCloud sounds attractive, but many may not be able to justify the cost when compared to the pricing of Amazon's Cloud Player (5GB free, 20GB for $20/year or free with purchase of AmazonMP3 album) and Google Music (store 20,000 songs for free, at least while it's in beta). What do you think of the rumored aspects of iCloud? Is it something you'd be willing to pay for?
Via Engadget, Bloomberg (Image credit)