Today was a big day for Apple and Steve Jobs. Steve has been on a medical leave of absence from Apple for a while and it’s great to see him back in action presenting the Keynote at the World Wide Developers Conference.
So iCloud is pretty much Apple giving its users a way to sync calendars, mail, contacts, documents, etc between all your devices. It’s sort of like Dropbox but more integrated and comprehensive. I could go on for a while about all of the good parts of iCloud, but I spend long enough waxing about the awesomeness of Apple.
My main complaint about iCloud is the limitation of how many photos it will sync. iCloud will only sync your most recent 1000 photos for 30 days. If you’re going to have a cloud sync (which is in effect a backup mechanism as well) I would think that photos should be valued extremely highly. They are irreplaceable. Apple has spent millions of dollars on a state of the art data center to host the music syncing services that I will detail later, but they couldn’t support all our photos? You can always re-rip music from a CD or re-download it from iTunes or amazon… but photos cant be replaced. If you really want to give your users a complete sync service access to their full photo library is a necessity. Anyways, that’s my beef with iCloud. Let us use our whole photo library and give us a real backup of our photos - sure, it will take a ton of rack space in your data center, but too many people these days don’t back up their computers (if you’re reading this and don’t… stop reading… go buy an external hard drive now… and then come back after you’ve backed up.) for Apple not to help those people out.
The single most astounding part of today’s keynote was, of course, Steve Jobs’ “One More Thing.” The jist of iTunes Match is that ANY music you have loaded into iTunes - be it from a CD that you bought 10 years ago or a piece of music that you downloaded from your favourite band’s website when they offered it for free (or for those people who aren’t so legal in how they acquire their music) is matched against iTunes’ database and you are given a FREE, LEGAL copy of the music in iTunes format. Essentially, you can take your music library, run it through this service (which costs a mere $25 a year) and all the music that you have acquired from whatever source becomes 100% legal and makes all your music available on all your devices. AWESOME.
The twitterverse is going crazy calling this a “music laundering” service. I can’t say I disagree and I am completely shocked that the record companies agreed to it. Oh well, congratulations Apple. This is capitalism at work.