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Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has sidestepped the issue of bogging down 3G networks and draining mobile data plans by making its new iCloud service perform daily updates over Wi-Fi. (See What's in Apple's iCloud?)

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iCloud service at Apple's worldwide developers conference (WWDC) in San Francisco Monday. He described it as a digital hub in sky that will copy and replicate content from every one of the Apple devices a user owns and make it available across all of them.

"Basically, you want your content everywhere," Jobs was quoted as saying in the Engadget event feed. "We're going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud."

This means that consumers can take this free service and replicate their iTunes music collection, photo, videos, iBooks, email and calendar details among multiple iOS devices. Jobs says that Apple has made the process automatic and everything from app updates to new songs will replicate between devices.

Clearly, mass daily updates could have put a strain on 3G networks and blown through 2GB or 5GB data caps on mobile plans. An album of MP3s can represent anything from 60MB to 100MB of data. So, replicating 20 or more albums -- depending on how much of a Yes fan you are -- to a new iPhone using the iCloud service over 3G could take a user over his 2GB data cap.

So, Apple has sidestepped this issue to making the daily synchronization across devices over the iCloud a Wi-Fi affair, like its popular FaceTime video chat service. Jobs didn't address what would happen with updates if no Wi-Fi signal is available.

Nonetheless, Apple has built some serious muscle behind the remote service to support its ability to replicate data across devices and even match non-iTunes songs in the cloud (for a $24.99 annual fee).

The company has just completed its third data center to power the cloud, which will be available when iOS 5.0 ships in the fall.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:03:12 PM
re: Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

Dunno. Sounds plausible, though. 

crazy4geek 12/5/2012 | 5:03:12 PM
re: Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

"Nonetheless, Apple has built some serious muscle behind the remote service to support its ability to replicate data across devices and even match non-iTunes songs in the cloud (for a $24.99 annual fee)."


So, could someone download 100's of albums from the usual sources and then legalize them for $25/year?











Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:03:11 PM
re: Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

"... 20 or more albums -- depending on how much of a Yes fan you are -- ..."


Hey, hey, hey wait a minute! Yes has a new album coming, I'll have you know, and it doesn't include any 23-minute songs...


...Oh, wait, it does. Never mind.


And in true Yes-fan form, here's a 2,600 word (!) review of it:


http://bondegezou.blogspot.com/2011/06/riding-tiger-review-of-fly-from-here.html


Actually, I haven't liked anything of Yes's, or its components, for a couple of decades. But I actually like Topographic Oceans. YOU HEAR THAT, WORLD? I LIKE TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS.

crazy4geek 12/5/2012 | 5:03:11 PM
re: Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

The idea of having my music in the cloud as opposed to locally is appealing to me and worth the $25/year.  I have many CD's ripped to my itunes, CD's which I paid for but are only locally available with respect to iTunes.  If an Itunes user has the misfortune of losing their HD and hasn't backed-up their music library, all is lost.  One choice is to rip all the music back again, which is time consuming and, of course, doesn't solve the problem of missing music purchased from ITunes.  At that point the only option is to write Apple begging forgiveness.  I did have such an occasion and Apple was "gracious" enough to give me a one time exception to get all my music back.  I am hoping iCloud will eliminate all this hassle and provide another option to local storage.  If it does that alone, never mind the other features, I would gladly pay the yearly fee!

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:03:11 PM
re: Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

> So, could someone download 100's of albums from the usual sources and then legalize them for $25/year?

That's how I heard it. Unless there's something in iMatch that can somehow choke on pirated copies, but I wouldn't think that's possible.

Even if it were, something you burned from a friend's CD could be laundered through iMatch to become legal.

I was surprised iCloud forces you to download, rather than letting you stream your music. Cloud music gets more interesting when you can use it as a personal Pandora feed.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:03:11 PM
re: Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

Some of the big labels are said to have signed up for it though, I guess the $15 or whatever their cut turns out to be is more than the nothing they would have seen for ripped tunes that stay on someone's laptop.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:03:10 PM
re: Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

One proviso on cloud storage: This does tend to depend on the service being a success (and I suspect this is better thought out than Mobile Me), otherwise what happens to your tunes if Apple kills the service 11 months in?


 


Just a thought...

crazy4geek 12/5/2012 | 5:03:10 PM
re: Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

Ahhhh, indeed.  I guess at that point off to a back-up I go- Yikes!  Still a move in the right direction :)

ravanelli 12/5/2012 | 5:03:09 PM
re: Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

I think you can only stream content that was originally purchased on iTunes, since according to Apple's website it's based on your iTunes purchase history.


So if you have stacks of old CDs, it's not like you'll be able to upload all of it and distribute it to other devices.  At least that's how I interpret their marketing. 


 

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:03:07 PM
re: Apple's iCloud Lets Wi-Fi Take the Strain

Actually, I'm not sure you can stream anything. My impression, listening to the keynote, was that iCloud's music is a download-only service for now.

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