Abode in the clouds. One story from the Boy Genius report appears today to at least answer those questions, and vaguely answer another.
If BGR's "trusted" Apple source is to be trusted, Apple's iTunes Cloud strategy will consist of three parts: 1) streaming content from Apple's servers to your device 2) streaming content from your computer to your device 3) Synchronizing content wirelessly to your devices.
If true, it would clearly be a major push by Apple into the cloud. This would also increase the likelihood of their war with Google. Gmail avast signature
Currently, Google basically owns the cloud, at least in relation to consumer applications. But one of his major weak points is entertainment content. They are hoping to change that this fall will coincide with the launch of Google Music (or whatever it will be called), taking it directly to iTunes.
The big selling point of Google's planned offering (which they talked about in a little detail at Google I / O this year) is cloud syncing with devices. In other words, exactly what Apple plans to offer (again if this BGR report is true).
But Apple has one big advantage: millions of pre-existing iTunes customers. iTunes customers are unlikely to leave because a lot of their content (protected variety anyway) is tied to that ecosystem.
Google will basically start from the bottom, while Apple will start from the top of a mountain. One of them will be very close to this cloud in this regard.
Of course, Google has a proven large cloud infrastructure, while Apple only works in a modest way with MobileMe. But all indications are that they are working on taking it. There are massive data centers, they are building, and of course, Lala acquisitions.
And they are needed. It is inevitable that iTunes goes to the cloud. The amount of material and storage space required is simply the storage space on the equipment.
For example, if I download a full season of a television show in HD, it takes dozens of gigabytes. Devices like the iPhone only have the option to store 32 GB.
Obviously, most people do not place all their content on these devices. But going further, these devices (such as iPads) are more likely to be used as primary content viewers. The only way that is actually possible is with a cloud streaming and/or syncing service.
And it's more than just music, movies, TV shows, etc. - it's also about apps. From this point of view, Google should not start from scratch with content perfection because they are making it to the top (or near) of their Android Market ecosystem.
This means that they have a potential base of millions of users who use the application on Android. (Still, it's not near the numbers that use iTunes as a whole.)
For wireless syncing, we are told that it will work basically. Any app purchased on your iPhone instantly changes your computer, calendar, or notes, or is automatically updated on your computer.
The first part is exactly what Android is promising with its 2.2 release - so clearly Apple is going to answer that. The second part is a bit weird because of what MobileMe already does. Can this new syncing service be created on Mobile Me?
If so, Apple may eventually be preparing to make it a free service, as it will not pay for huge amounts of people if Google is offering similar things for free.
In terms of time, all BGRs will say "soon." At the end of the report, they indicate that the new service may come with an incident in the fall (or earlier).
A report earlier this year indicated that iTunes.com (the obvious name for the web-based version of iTunes in the cloud) will launch this summer. That report said that June was a possibility - but apparently had already come and gone.
Despite the precise timing, this decline is becoming very interesting in relation to Apple and Google. Google TV will be out to take on Apple TV. Chrome OS will be out to pick up on iPads. iAds will be out to take on AdSense. And these new cloud media streaming services are now battling as well.
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