We all knew music was to be the headline act at Steve Jobs’ iCloud announcement, but many of us expected more from Apple considering what’s already on offer from the competition. The cloud is all about giving us access to what we what, where and when we want it, but Apple’s iCloud music features fall far short of this.
Ask any iGadget owner what’s their biggest frustration when it comes to entertainment and they’ll probably say it’s the fact their wundergagdet can’t hold their entire digital library of movies and music. iGadgets owners are forced to copy a subset of their iTunes library to their devices, making do with a handful of their favourite albums and movies while they’re away from their computer.
It seemed Apple’s iCloud service was promising to change all this. When you purchase music from the iTunes store, iCloud will make it directly available to all your iGadgets via the internet. Apple was even generous enough to add the iTunes Match service for $US24.99 per year, which lets you add songs to your iCloud service which you’ve ripped from CD rather than purchased from Apple. There’s no need to waste time and bandwidth uploading all your songs to iCloud, Apple will just keep a vast music library online and give you access to the songs you already own.
How the Apple Web site summarises iTunes in the Cloud
So far so good, but the problems start when you try to access that iCloud music from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Considering the wealth of streaming audio services, combined with the fact Apple has just built a massive new data centre in the US, many people naturally assumed that Apple would let us “stream” our music from iCloud to our iGadgets. This is the obvious way to get access to the music that you couldn’t fit on your device. But iCloud doesn’t work that way. If you want to listen to your music that’s stored in the iCloud, first you need to “download” that music to your device.
If you're music lover then your iGadget is probably already full of music. If there was room for more songs, you would have copied more albums to your device the last time you synced with iTunes. A streaming service would be perfect for listening to extra music when your gadget is full. Right now you can only delete music on your iPhone using iTunes on your computer, so it will be interesting to see how Apple deals with this issue. A downloading service is pretty pointless for those of us who have already crammed our gadgets full of music.
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