Editorial: Why Apple Needs an iCloud

The wrong option can mean a long wait and plenty of misery.

Managing music is a pain. Whether it be through iTunes or other music software it is often difficult to transfer songs or organize them between several computers or smartphones.

So far, Amazon has the best solution with its Cloud Player. A user can upload the music collection to this web app and then play the songs from any computer or Android device. It is still clunky and light on features, but it is an excellent start for those seeking freedom from the tyranny of iTunes.

There have been plenty of rumors this week that Apple purchased the iCloud.com domain and may be looking at launching its cloud-based data service soon. In typical Cupertino fashion the company is probably working out all of the┬áminuscule┬ádetails before it goes live. This service can’t launch soon enough. Most people now have multiple computers, smartphones and music players between themselves and the rest of their family. Those who have ever tried to move a music collection to a new computer or re-sync an iPhone know the misery this can produce.

While iTunes has the best selection of digital content available, it has the most frustrating system for managing it. Unless every single song or video in your collection was purchased from iTunes, neither Home Sharing nor the usual transfer options will easily move all of the data.

Transferring music to Amazon’s Cloud Player, for example, is a simple process with relatively few steps (downloading it is another story, as this can only be done one song at a time.) It is far from perfect, but a solid start in where music software should be going.

One can hope that Apple will take off from where Amazon has begun. The Cupertino company has no desire to cede any of its dominance in the music market, so a bold move into a cloud-based music platform would be the way forward. Just as Cloud Player is only free up to 5 GB, an iCloud would be worth a subscription with a fair amount of storage. An incommodious option would only be irritating and drive users away.

The time should be soon, as Android is only getting stronger and may soon have enough content options to lure those away who are frustrated the iTunes ecosystem.




  1. james katt says:

    Apple will only do a cloud service if it can make money from such a service.

    Thus show us how Apple can make money from the services you talk about. If you can, then we can talk. If you can’t, then Apple won’t.

    • Thanks for your thoughts. Certainly Apple can make a profit from such a service – they must think so to as I am sure they are not building that massive data center just to boost North Carolina’s economy.

      Consider also that Amazon charges for its cloud services – as does Google for other types of storage. In fact, Apple already charges for storage through MobileMe. Any kind of iCloud would likely be an enhancement of existing services.

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