Talking tech since 2003

Recently, BusinessWeek published an article which discussed some new details of Apple’s iCloud which is supposedly launching at WWDC.  So what did they learn?  Well, according to BusinessWeek, Apple has acquired licenses from the major labels and is now prepared to launch iCloud.

Armed with licenses from the music labels and publishers, Apple will be able to scan customers’ digital music libraries in iTunes and quickly mirror their collections on its own servers, say three people briefed on the talks. If the sound quality of a particular song on a user’s hard drive isn’t good enough, Apple will be able to replace it with a higher-quality version. Users of the service will then be able to stream, whenever they want, their songs and albums directly to PCs, iPhones, iPads, and perhaps one day even cars.

The question that remains is how much will it cost?  And how much are you willing to pay?  Obviously these licenses aren’t going to come cheap.  Apple is going to have to cover the costs by passing it onto the consumer, but do they already have the right price point at $99/year?  Is $99/year a good deal? As I discussed in a previous article, I think it is, especially if the other MobileMe (soon to be iCloud) services are included with it.

Also, if BusinessWeek is right and Apple will scan your iTunes library and mirror it in the cloud – that’s awesome.

But you know what is even more awesome?  If they offer the same quality bitrate that you get when you buy a song from iTunes (256kbps) even if your copy isn’t the same bitrate.  Of course, this is all under the assumption, the scan and mirrored copy of your music library includes music that didn’t come from the iTunes Music Store.  In an ideal world that will be the case, but with the current state of the music industry, I could see why it may not be the case.  I guess we will have to wait and see.

So is $99/year a good deal for this type of service?  Let us know in the comments!


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