Taking a risk in reviving a service where they had failed before, Apple has just confirmed in their press conference on May 31st that they will be launching something called the iCloud during the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, to be presented by Steve Jobs himself. iCloud is the fourth attempt of the company at a cloud-based service, something where their previous one called MobileMe failed incredibly. With this Cloud service, iTunes users can get their music from anywhere they can connect to the web. By making this announcement before the conference, it does appear that Apple is trying to head off speculation about an iPhone presentation.
Making use of their newly acquired domain name of iCloud.com that is worth $4.5 million, many of the tech blogger community have already had an inkling of the existence of the service, some even calling it Apple’s worst-kept secret of the year. iCloud is apparently another of the many stabs at cloud music lockers, like that of Google and Amazon, however, the company has made sure that they are backed by the industry as they already inked deals with three of the four major US record label companies. They are now awaiting the last deal to go through with the final label, finalizing it with the Universal Music Group.
Cutting down on server space and the hassle to get the music files in there has always been the major setback to cloud music services, and is one that Apple has tackled by hybridizing how they will offer the files to the users. Instead of uploading each and every file that there is, files existing on their servers would be mirrored, and in instances many of the low-quality files of the users would be turned into higher-quality MP3s. If, however, the service encounters a file that is not found in their cloud, it would then be uploaded. No details were given if iCloud will recognize only legally bought iTunes files or whether it would also support other operating systems.
The competition with Apple, Google and Amazon with this new iCloud service heats things up in the music services area between the companies. Apple has done extremely well with the iPod and with iTunes with this becoming another extension to the very profitable business.
iCloud aims to provide users access to their music library on any Mac OS X and iOS without waiting for any transfer at all, working more at wireless streaming and syncing of data between the devices.
The Tuesday announcement included details that they will also be presenting the new Lion Mac OS X and the iOS 5, however, one notable exclusion is that there was no mention of any new iPhone at all, something that has been speculated to be launched later this year. Steve Jobs will be making the presentation starting at 10:00 am, this coming Monday.