Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

Summary: Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced iCloud at the WWDC 2011 keynote on Monday. While we certainly learned that it is much more than the now-defunct MobileMe, there are still some unanswered questions.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Apple, Mobility
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Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced iCloud at the WWDC 2011 keynote on Monday. While we certainly learned that it is much more than the now-defunct MobileMe, there are still some unanswered questions.

Most of the remaining holes have to do with iTunes in the Cloud and the iTunes Match service, which involve syncing existing music libraries with the cloud to be pushed to multiple devices. iTunes Match is also the only service that comes with a price tag at $24.99 per year.

But before paying that price, Apple has to answer a few questions first:

  1. What about existing MP3s that were not bought illegally but rather ripped from old CDs? Just because we might have using stored on our hard drives not bought from iTunes doesn't mean the songs were downloaded illegally. I'm willing to bet that most people with MP3 players have just ripped songs from old CDs (using iTunes even) and just uploaded the tracks to their computers. However, it looks like the music industry wants us to pay twice, perhaps to make up for its own shortcomings.
  2. What about 3G/4G data limits? Uploading to the cloud could get expensive quickly if someone is constantly uploading new versions of documents, music files and apps all the time. Apple's likely response will be that this is no different from downloading and uploading files, so the carriers could see an uptick in both larger data plan subscriptions and overage charges. (Note that users can not sync images via Photo Stream over 3G - only via Wi-Fi.)
  3. What kind of security measures will be in place? This was rather glossed over (and almost ignored) during the keynote speech. Obviously, there's going to be some layers of security, but we should be briefed in detail before the service becomes live.
  4. Is it possible to get more than 5GB of storage space? This question isn't as pressing, and it might be answered much later if iCloud becomes a success (or not). Sure, e-book and music purchases don't count towards the total, nor do photos snapped with iOS devices. But what about movies and music not purchased via iTunes? Or other large collaborative files such as graphic-heavy presentations? That 5GB could go fast. Then again, it's free so it's hard to complain.
  5. Will MobileMe users who already paid $99 (especially recently) get refunds? Apple has been known to offer refunds and price adjustments in the past, most notably after the price drop of the first iPhone in 2007, which settled an uproar amongst those who shelled out $599 rather than $399. Thus, Apple might find itself in such a pinch once iCloud launches this fall.

What unresolved questions do you have regarding iCloud and iTunes Match?

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Mobility

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36 comments
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  • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

    I paid another $99 this April and MobileMe will extend my sub only 2 months into 2012. That's 8-9 months after it has introduced the free iCloud! Is that fair? Doesn't sound like it to me.

    5 gb is certainly not enough. To placate it's MobileMe users, Apple should have offered its standard 20 gb. They need not worry since the space isn't really filled up -- if they conduct a proper study, they'll see that on average people will use up only half of their allotted space. They should have learned from Google; it continually ups its gmail space but no one ever goes high enough for the simple reason it's impossible, and people fear getting crowded besides.
    mayadanteamihan
    • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

      @mayadanteamihan I know a few people that have maxed out their Gmail space. And I currently use ~15GB on Skydrive and ~6GB in Dropbox (due to referrals I've got ~6.5GB of space)

      True, most uses don't use that much space. Still though, there are users that will try and use every byte.
      vel0city
  • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

    on point 1:
    I am a vinyl enthusiast so have dozens of old LPs ripped..
    so I feel like I'd already paid for my music fruition across platforms...
    essentially, Can I use just icloud for sync works, mail and contact without touching my existing music library?
    dharma_bum
    • Yes. That aspect is 100% free nt

      @dharma_bum
      Bruizer
  • There's only one unanswered question: why?

    I have only one unanswered question about iCloud, or any cloud for that matter, why?

    I already have my photos, why should I give them to you ... and then pay you monthly for the right to access my own stuff?

    I already have my music, why should I give it to you ... and then pay you monthly for the right to access my own stuff?

    I already have my created data files, why should I give them to you... and then pay you monthly for the right to access my own stuff?

    Yes I see how the cloud benefits *you*, but I fail to see how it benefits me. Why should I trust you with my data, and more importantly, why should I have to *pay you* to use what I already own?

    Regards,
    Jon
    JonathonDoe
    • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

      @JonathonDoe I think you've missed the point. You aren't paying Apple anything. The service is free. The only thing that costs is the ability to "translate" non-iTunes purchased music to iTunes music purchases that can be re-downloaded again and again. I think $25 a year is reasonable since you can "translate" up to 25000 songs! - I'd be interested to know what the limitations of this are though.

      Just to re-iterate... the photo sync/backup, document sync, email, calendars & contacts sync, App & Book purchase history and daily backups of iOS devices is ALL FREE to every Apple owner!

      This is a phenomenal offering from Apple (and that's coming from an existing MobileMe member).

      Ben.
      benwakefield
      • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

        @benwakefield Im skeptical about their idea of "re-download" of non ITunes purchased music. Theoretically, you could legitimize 25,000 songs for 25 dollars and then dump the service but I don't believe it.
        Bodazapha
      • Perhaps for now, but how long will it remain free?

        Hello Ben Wakefield,

        Yup. It's free right now, but no doubt Apple retains the right to change that in the future. Once *they* have all your family pictures, all your music, and all your documents and spreadsheets how are you going to say 'no'?

        Just a concern from someone who has seen that happen before, and doesn't believe that *any* company is above pulling it again.

        :-)

        Regards,
        Jon
        JonathonDoe
    • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

      @JonathonDoe And that's why its free on Windows ;)
      vel0city
    • Because it is free?

      @JonathonDoe
      Bruizer
  • Why receive a refund for MobileMe?

    If iCloud wasn't being released, you'd still have access to every part of MobileMe for the next 13 months at no extra cost, giving every member at least 1 month extra free. After-all, didn't MobileMe members pay for the service for the purposes of using its features?...(which they still can!)<br><br>For everyone else out there that never took the plunge into MobileMe, they're now lucky enough to experience what they've been missing these last couple of years... and more.<br><br>Also, remember that when your MobileMe membership was due to expire, you would have needed to pay another $99 to keep using your email, calendars and contacts... now you can keep them forever and for free!
    benwakefield
  • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

    It seems to me that Question #1 was fully answered when the iTunes Match was described. Watch the video. Start at about 1:50 in.
    msalzberg
  • Sigh.

    Question 1: Way to show that you drink the hyperbole and don't do original research. Jobs never said anything about pirated music. iTunes Match is a service that allows you to take your own ripped music and make it available in the cloud without spending weeks and weeks uploading or using gobs and gobs of storage. Yellow journalists started tossing around the word "pirated" as click bait.

    Question 2: Jobs stated it only works over wi-fi. Because it doesn't STREAM to your device, it lets you SYNC to your device.

    Question 3: You'll sign in with your itunes account. Same security as the iTunes store.

    Question 4: iCloud is about SYNCING your devices. Storage is intended to be temporary. Sheesh. Didn't you even listen to the keynote?

    Question 5: That's a good question.


    So, out of five questions, four of them could have been answered if you actually, you know, did some investigative journalism. You know, the hard kind, like actually freaking listening to the keynote.
    fr_gough
    • My thoughts exactly

      @fr_gough

      It's clear she didn't even take the time to watch the keynote.

      However, on Question 1, I did notice on the Keynote, at ~113:48, Jobs says you can scan and match your entire library (no upload) in minutes for tunes that match their library. Then, "for the few songs that remain, well, we'll upload them." I assume this means that iTunesMatch will in fact make your entire library available to all your devices without normal usb or wi-fi syncing with your main Mac or PC. At just $25 a year, it's great deal!

      But overall, you're right, most of news and reviews about what was announced in the Keynote is a jumble of mis-quotes, half-facts and just common old-time cloud myths and FUD. I'm hoping that Apple themselves come out with some service documentation on what iCloud is and is not in the near future.
      jaypeg
      • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

        @jaypeg
        Regarding "I'm hoping that Apple themselves come out with some service documentation on what iCloud is and is not in the near future." ME TOO - big concerns.
        See 2x.com - Make your own cloud - very reasonable - I recommend it!
        virthddman
  • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

    Anyone with illegal music would be advised NOT to upload anything to the cloud. I can just see the RIAA using this service as another way to get to illegal downloaders despite their announcement that they won't go after illegal downloaders.
    mstrsfty
  • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

    Dear MobileMe member,

    We'd like to share some exciting news with you about iCloud ? Apple?s upcoming cloud service, which stores your content and wirelessly pushes it to your devices. iCloud integrates seamlessly with your apps, so everything happens automatically. Available this fall, iCloud is free for iOS 5 and OS X Lion users.

    What does this mean for you as a MobileMe member?

    When you sign up for iCloud, you'll be able to keep your MobileMe email address and move your mail, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks to the new service.

    Your MobileMe subscription will be automatically extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge. After that date, MobileMe will no longer be available.

    When iCloud becomes available this fall, we will provide more details and instructions on how to make the move. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more about iCloud.

    Sincerely,

    The MobileMe Team
    Andy.K
  • RE: Five unanswered questions about iCloud, iTunes Match

    For various reasons, mostly to do with inertia, I have been using MobileMe from Windows machines.

    Apple says iCloud is free for (only?) iOS 5 and OS X Lion users. What about the Rest of Us? Will it be free? Will it even work? Will I still have WebDAV access?

    Maybe just a little pricey, but it has had a good longevity as a vendor of file space for my backups.
    Andy.K
    • You should be ok

      @Andy.K

      As long as you own one or more Apple devices and have an Apple account. iCloud will sync to your exchange calendars and photo folders etc. But you'll have to get more details when it's ready to launch in the Fall.
      jaypeg
  • Your illegal tunes probably aren't going to get uploaded

    Unless you pay for the matching service. That way Apple insures themselves against hosting any pirated music on the cloud, and assures you'll pay them to 'legitimatize' your library if you want it in the cloud.
    NotMSUser