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iCloud announced, free MobileMe replacement, $25/year iTunes Match service


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icloud.pngSteve Jobs personally announced the debut of iCloud, Apple's new cloud service to replace MobileMe. iCloud lets Mac and iOS users store their content in the cloud, ensuring that data is sync'd Over-The-Air in realtime.


Whilst MobileMe used to have an annual license fee, iCloud will be free when it's launched this fall, and gives users 5GB of storage. Users can expect to have their contacts, calendar and @me.com mail sync'd across all enabled devices. Because iCloud is built right into the apps, there's no separate apps to download, you need only upgrade to iOS 5 which is compatible with all devices that iOS 4 is compatible with (iPod Touch 3rd generation or newer, iPhone 3GS or newer, all iPads).


Furthermore, the new iTunes Match service will let users download music that they may have downloaded or ripped from elsewhere, giving them access to potentially higher quality 256kbps AAC tracks across all their iCloud-enabled devices. This isn't quite the Spotify killer that it potentially could have been, but it's a step in its direction.


For more details check out Apple's iCloud pages.

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So, now they have a full farm of servers to analyze and make the use they want (by mandatory and mutant user "agreement") of our data. Always a sandwich of features in trade of your privacy. I am happy to not be in North-Africa or any other "rebel" country.


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As I understand it your iTunes music collection wont need to be uploaded to your cloud - As Ed says iTunes Match will allow you to listen to files (preumably streamed direct from iTunes.) that you already have in some iTunes library somewhere ....


As with mobileMe - I see iCloud working great to sync contacts, calander and email. Very useful I'm sure for iPhone, iPad users.

And I'm sure it will make a great job of updating dynamic IP addresses, again, as per MobileMe.


That's great - but what when it comes to syncing or sharing photos or videos - for example -

I don't know about average upstream internet connection speeds globally, however in the UK your average upstream data rate on a domestic non-symetrical connection is around 1-3Mbps!


It would take me a week to upload my photo library alone!


We're not talking about ALL you files and data existing in 'the cloud' that's simply not practical with current ISP upstream speeds.


We're talking about mail being held on a remote server (Big deal, I use gmail, my mail is already held on a remote server.).

We're talking about Apple knowing what music you listen to - So what I use Spotify ...

We're talking about you're contacts and calender events being held on a remote server - Again big deal, I use gmail calender .. Contacts would be a bit of a worry I admit!


What does worry me is security.

I'd like to see 'Back to My Mac' and related AFP and VNC connections run through a tunnel as standard.


Unless iCloud offers either a VPN or redirects 5900 and 548 via ssh tunnel port 22 - I'll continue to use my dynamic dns account and do some terminal bashing each time I remote connect using vnc:// and afp:// ..



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  • 4 weeks later...

I guess it'll be nice if you need an external source to store your data, but 25 bucks a year isn't really worth it. I'd rather just take the chance and keep my information at home for free. The chances are slim that you'll encounter a complete failure that corrupts all of your data. Well, not rare......But you know what I mean. lol.


This could the beginning of the end of huge personal hard-drives? Hmm.

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