Published Jun 06, 2011We have been hearing about Apple's planned cloud-based music service ever since the company bought out Lala back in December 2009. Now, Apple has finally announced iCloud.
Apple boss Steve Jobs unveiled the service today (June 6) at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The program means that anything purchased from iTunes will be automatically backed up and sent to any of your devices running iOS 5 (iPhone, iPad or iPod touch).
As for the music that you own, but you didn't purchase from iTunes (ripped CDs, downloads from elsewhere), Apple has iTunes Match. This $24.99 annual service takes your existing files and matches them to 256 kbps versions from the iTunes store, which you will then have access to remotely. By the sound of things, if you have been hoping to stream music that isn't available on iTunes, then you're out of luck (at least for now).
The full release will come this fall. Until then, Apple has rolled out a beta version of iTunes in the Cloud, which is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users running iOS 4.3. When iCloud officially launches, iOS 5 will be released alongside it.
Unfortunately, it looks like not all of iCloud's services will be immediately available in Canada. An announcement by Apple specifies that iTunes in the Cloud is "available today in the U.S.," while the iMatch subscription will be "U.S. only." Like the iPhone and iPad, which were originally only released in the U.S., expect this to be available in our country soon enough.