iTunes cloud storage and streaming service all ready for launch?

Reuters is reporting that Apple has now completed work on its rumored online music storage and streaming service. Reuters also claim that Google is working on a similar service but its plans have stalled; Apple will beat it to the launch. The source of this new information is cited as “several people familiar with both companies’ plans”.

Apple's plans will allow iTunes customers to store their songs on a remote server, and then access them from wherever they have an Internet connection, said two of these people who asked not to be named as the talks are still confidential.

A few question still need to be answered. When will this service actually launch? Will it be part of iOS 5? Will we see it announced as part of a revamped MobileMe service? How much will it cost to access this online music locker. What storage capacity will be offered?  No doubt we will have to wait until Apple actually announces the service to find out the answers to these questions.

More importantly, do you think that this is this the future for iTunes? Are you excited by the prospect of an online music storage and streaming service from Apple? Let us know in the comments!


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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

iTunes cloud storage and streaming service all ready for launch?


I received a new MacBook Air 64 gig computer for Christmas. I have loved it from day one except for one thing... you guessed it, not near enough storage. A big chunk of that is music, and I only have fraction of my music on it. Forget about movies. They are WAY to large to store. If this cloud solution works, I am more than ready! If I could Control Z, I would ask Santa for the 128 gig model.

Personally, until the NYC Subway has a consistent internet connection, I don't see this as very useful. While it does have its perks of saving storage space, it doesn't seem too beneficial if you spend a lot of time in an area without wifi and without unlimited data for the streaming.

Hey Moron, learn how to read. He didn't say that he had bad reception, he said that he doesn't have an unlimited Internet plan. Big difference.

He also said New York City and not DC. My girlfriend has Verizon and, save for Times Square, Penn Station, & Herald Square, there is zero reception when underground.

It would definitely help if I lost the hard drive that my library is saved on. That's assuming that they'd allow you to do a one click download of my entire so that I could save it all again in a new hard drive.

I like this idea it would give me alot of space back on my phone aswell (7GB to be exact) just hope you can stream from 3G

While I have unlimited data now I'm not naive to think that this will last forever. For those in the know, will "4G" expand the actual bandwidth available per user or are the gains in speed only? If it does increase capacity will the increase in smartphone users just offset the extra bandwidth? Hmmmmm...

Cloud backup of my computer would be great. Well, maybe great. It would have to be encrypted with basically no chance of anyone but me having access to it.
Not a fan of streaming music service at all. The negatives compared to internal storage plus sync are pretty big:

  1. It will burn battery life as a WiFi or cellular data connection needs to be on while streaming. Playing music from onboard storage is much much more energy efficient.
  2. Internet connections are not always good or not always available.
  3. Wireless bandwidth costs money.
  4. Cost of storage gets cheaper and cheaper every year. Cost of bandwidth gets more and more expensive every year.

The only time I can think it would be nice is for people who need to use internal storage for something else like video and apps. But then again internal storage gets cheaper and cheaper every year.
This is all assuming I'm streaming my own music. All bets are off if it is a streaming subscription service.

I agree with you, but the first problem that you wrote about bad battery will probably soon become invalid. If apple goes to the cloud, then computers will require less internal storage, and therefore have more room for battery.

this is the DUMBEST idea ever, especially since now unlimited data is unavailable from any service. so what, this is only for people who made the cut? If you don't have unlimited, this would completely be unusable. I have a 2g cap, and no, I won't use this, primarily because of that.

Think beyond the mobile device.
Cloud storage for iTunes would be fantastic for AppleTV users... such as myself.
I would no longer need to stream content from a local machine with iTunes and leave it running all day long while my son watches movies.
(Hopefully, it will work for AppleTV users when it does actually launch.)

If it means I can sync (and update) my iPhone over WiFi rather than having to connect it to my computer, I'm all for it. Streaming is fine, but I'd rather be able to sync my device for times that I don't have a good connection.

I think this is awesome if only for the fact that this becomes an great and easy way to sync purchased music on multiple computers to one iTunes account.

I could see having the option to stream OR download to computers, any media you've purchased and to the limit of five (or however many it is these days) computers you've registered under your Apple ID. A pure streaming service outside the home is not viable at this time.

Perhaps a good option for iphone users that have the 3G unrestricter. Great option for home computer users that have quite a bit of music stored on their system. Whoever said that it would be great of Apple TV users, I am in agreement. Guess we'll have to see how it plays out.

If this works, and apple goes cloud with other services, the laptops can become lighter, more powerful, and need less storage.
In other words, it'll be great.

Instead of streaming it could be solved like this:
1) You upload your library from either your computer or your iPhone/Touch/iPad
2) You create playlists while in the cloud's menu.
3) Anytime you purchase anything new, it's automatically added to your cloud library.
4) If you want to update, sync to the cloud over 3G or Wifi. When you lose connection, you're still good to play music/videos.
5) It still stores the content on your device, however it's more temporary and easier to access than a computer sync, so if you're device is running low, just edit the playlists in the cloud menu and re-sync.
That'd be ideal for me, don't worry about streaming over internet, just syncing over the internet. No cables, no streaming, no problem.

I don't see this catching on in a big way, especially with mobile devices with potentially unreliable connections. Also doesn't the Amazon service max out at 20GB and it would take ages to upload even that much? I can't see Apple giving much space for free if any at all without paying some kind of subscription. I prefer to have all my favorite music on my iPhone and then use something like Pandora to listen to something different or discover new music.
With limited space or large fees for more space what problem does this solve?