Much media frothing occurs whenever Steve Jobs condescends to make public the latest from the masters of innovation at Apple. Today he is announcing, among some other things, iCloud. By copyrighting the phrase which sticks a characteristic “i” in front of the word, “cloud,” Jobs ordains cloud computing as having finally arrived to the level of cool.
Cloud computing has been around for years. It basically means taking the brains and data of some system and putting it on the internet so that it is available through any internet device that can run a browser.
In his “one more thing” moment, Jobs announced iTunes Match. This is a service that identifies the music that you own and gives you some form of “credit” for that music so that you can stream it from your device without having to upload it into the cloud.
This was a nifty trick popularized by LaLa music several years ago. Apple bought them, and then they shut them down. They killed LaLa music a year ago, and now they are dressing up the same idea as something new and innovative. The only thing innovative about iTunes Match is that it manages to charge customers $25 a year for a service that was free from LaLa.
In its typical way Apple has taken a product, spruced up its user interface, given it a veneer of “cool,” made it more expensive, and offered it up as the latest innovation. I have no reason to believe that Apple’s adoring fans will not lap it up and pat themselves on the back for being an early adopter of the leading edge in music delivery.