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Will the iCloud be an iFlop?

Right now, the buzz word is ‘iCloud’. Many tech minded people reading this will already be groaning. Why? Well it seems that no matter what Apple do, it always gets saturated in the press, even if the technology is actually not new.

iCloud has met with a huge level of interest, because if anyone can sell technology or software, it is Steve Jobs. Even though he is ill, very thin and sickly looking, he can command a stage in front of a worldwide audience. Is iCloud going to change your life, or is it just another buzz word set to attract the attention of the non tech masses?

iCloud is a storage platform to access media files. Most of the music you listen to, won’t need stored. iCloud will recognise it and let you have access to the iTunes version rather than requiring a storage system. If the music however is not on iTunes then you have to upload it into the cloud yourself. There is 5GB of storage on offer, which in theory is fine, but easily filled in a very short space of time.

Rachel King on ZDNet says “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.” She also points out that “Uploading to the cloud could get expensive quickly” for 3G and 4G users, especially “if someone is constantly uploading new versions of documents, music files and apps all the time.”

Other publications have been discussing their reservations and complaints about the new Apple service. MusicMachinery have said that it is deeply flawed from the start, because you can only listen to your own music. “Apple (along with Amazon and Google) are going down the wrong path. The music cloud shouldn’t be a locker in the sky where I can put all the music I own, it should be the Celestial Jukebox – a place where all music is available for me to listen to.”

ReadWriteWeb have other criticisms to level at iCloud. “Apple’s new offer does not involve music streaming. True, you can have your music collection synced across devices (up to 10 of them). But you will still have to download the music you want to play on to your iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch or Mac. You won’t be able to access your entire collection and randomly shuffle between all the glorious gigabytes.” Google and Amazon will “breathe a sigh of relief”.

What about the video aspect of the service? Apple don’t be offering streaming video and full syncing. This is a problem which many publications are discussing and the guys at FierceiPTV say “It does allow users to sync video content. The process may be a drag because users will have to upload and download files in full between devices and iCloud.”

Popular publication Wired have been very vocal about the platform, sayin that this isn’t Apple’s first time targeting the cloud market. They didn’t succeed before and they have concerns they will do it this time. “iCloud will be Apple’s sequel to MobileMe, a paid online service for synchronizing personal information, such as your calendars, address books, e-mail and photos, across multiple devices. Tech observers agree that MobileMe has been one of Apple’s most embarrassingly flawed products, thanks to its extremely buggy launch and limited functionality.“

KitGuru says: Plenty of reservations from the press. Are you sold on it? Do you even need it?

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