Apple unveils its long-awaited iCloud services

Innovations will have big implications for iTunes users

Apple unveiled its long-awaited iCloud services yesterday (June 6), with big implications for its music services.

The announcements came from CEO Steve Jobs at a special conference in San Francisco.

The innovations mean that that the services will work seamlessly with applications on a user’s iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac or PC to automatically store material in the ‘cloud’ and update each device wirelessly when one is updated manually.

Of the nine iCloud services offered at the launch, there were three main ones specific to music. Any song previously bought from iTunes now appears in a searchable purchase history, which can be accessed from any Apple device. Furthermore, any new song now bought within iTunes will automatically be synched to any other iTunes ready Apple device without the need for extra downloading.

In addition to those free services, any music managed by iTunes but acquired through some other means than the iTunes store can be synched to a scan-and-match style music locker-a feature called “iTunes Match“-which would then give it the same synching benefits of iTunes-purchased music.

Speaking at the launch, Jobs said: “Today it is a real hassle and very frustrating to keep all your information and content up-to-date across all your devices. iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it’s integrated into our apps you don’t even need to think about it—it all just works.”

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