The Shrouding iCloud

Speculation was triggered when Apple insiders revealed that the company has been building a 500,000 square foot data centre in North Carolina. The new build will complement an already existing data centre in California.

Apple’s new Cloud offering will be in contest with the current major players in the market, Google and Amazon. Both of which enable the consumer to upload music and media to their servers and subsequently stream them to portable devices.

Amazon allows the ability to stream to any device including those operating under IOS and Android. Google’s Music Beta offering however doesn’t support Apple products.

It will be interesting to see how Apple plan to integrate their new endeavour with the existing MobileMe offering in allowing consumers to move all their data as well as their media, into the Cloud.

The idea is that the consumer will effectively have an online locker where they store their media and can access it from any Apple device. With one touch you will be able to access your library on your iPad 2, iPhone or iTouch. Furthermore the iCloud will have the ability to recognise poor quality songs and replace them with better quality files.

The one stumbling block with the iCloud may be movie rights. There are certain licencing issues when attempting to design a service whereby you download once and subsequently stream to multiple devices.

A further stumbling block for many potential consumers may be that the iCloud service is unlikely to be free and what remains to be seen is how much of the outlay costs Apple will be swallowing, and how they will be charging consumers.

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