Cloud music showdown: Apple vs. Amazon vs. Google


Chart courtesy of paidContent.org

With all three players having introduced their respective cloud music offerings, we can now pit them against each other. The above chart is from paidContent which opined that “Apple doesn’t always get it right the first time”. Author Amanda Natividad observed that in iTunes “syncing should be faster and easier” while “song quality may get a boost”. She obviously wasn’t paying attention to yesterday’s unveiling of iTunes Match, a new iTunes feature that works in conjunction with Apple’s upcoming online service dubbed iCloud. iTunes Match scans your music tracks (regardless of their sources), making matching songs instantly available to all computers and mobile devices without you having to spend weeks to upload gigabytes worth of music to servers. Jobs said yesterday:

With 18 million songs we’re most likely to have what you got.

Apple’s boss also noted that his company will automatically upgrade all matching songs to 256Kbps AAC. On the downside, you cannot stream songs via iCloud – yeah, you read that right. Instead, you are required to manually download iCloud songs that aren’t stored on your iOS device by tapping a tiny cloud icon next to each missing song in the iTunes app before you can actually listen to it in the iPod app. Great, what else should you know?

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Another casualty of iCloud transition: MobileMe email aliases

If you’re a MobileMe subscriber, prepare for some inconveniences while Apple moves your stuff to its humongous North Carolina datacenter. Between yesterday and this fall, when iCloud becomes available to everyone with iOS 5, some services won’t be available and other may need your attention. Apple outlined what’s to be expected in both a support document and an unreleased guide we uncovered. We’ve spotted another support document, this one related to MobileMe email aliases. So, what’s the deal?

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AirPlay Mirroring in action (video)

One of the new iOS features that has been met with great enthusiasm from journalists and developers attending yesterday’s WWDC keynote is AirPlay Mirroring. Apple’s iOS software head honcho Scott Forstall only briefly described it during the keynote talk:

AirPlay Mirroring, you can now mirror your entire iPad 2 right to your television, wirelessly, using Apple TV

Sounds pretty cool and here’s a video of AirPlay Mirroring in action. Check below for more information from Apple and a video showing lag time.

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The guide to migrating personal data from MobileMe to iCloud

Yesterday, Apple killed MobileMe and replaced it with the iCloud online services suite which will be available free with iOS 5 this Fall. Apple has published a nice Q&A explaining what the transition means to MobileMe subscribers and how the company plans to go about it. Additionally, a notice at http://www.me.com/upgrade says that “you’ll be able to upgrade your account to iCloud soon”. With that in mind, you may want to prep your migration ahead of the Apple-imposed June 30, 2012 cut-off time when the MobilMe service will no longer be available. Wondering how? Turns out there’s a leaked document for that!

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What is iTunes Tone Store?


iTunes Tone Store has been outed on this slide from yesterday’s keynote.

In addition to the big ones, iOS 5 includes dozens of nice-to-haves that have been given little air time during Apple’s WWDC keynote talk yesterday, excluding passing mention on a group slide. So, what do you see in the above snap? Yeah, it’s Apple’s iOS software chief Scott Forstall zipping through the iOS 5 segment of the keynote. See the iTunes Tone Store mention on the slide? Given Apple already sells 99-cent ringtones on iTunes and they let us create our own 30-second snippets from iTunes purchases, we can’t help but wonder – why do we need yet another store? Plus, a Paal, Belgium-based reader creates a YouTube video as a comment to this article, found at the bottom.

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Here's your Lion wallpaper


This is the new default wallpaper in Lion (click for larger)

Yesterday’s on-stage demos of OS X Lion (what, you haven’t heard? They dropped the Mac from OS X) included a fancy new default wallpaper that follows the space theme introduced with Leopard. Want it? Get it here (thanks, Benjad). Matter of fact, you can get all Lion wallpapers as a downloadable ZIP file from It’s all tech.

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