Looking At The Pros and Cons of Apple's iCloud

Well, the big announcement came yesterday -- that Apple would be getting into cloud technology, rendering all of its current devices compatible with new iCloud service.

With CEO Steve Jobs at the helm, Apple hopes the announcement will drastically change how Mac users store their information. In the case of music lovers, consumers can expect the iCloud to drastically change the way we store and listen to music.

Basically, the service will make all of the music you have on one device available to be heard on all of your devices. So, for example, if you purchase the new My Morning Jacket album, Circuital, on your iPhone, the cloud will automatically push it to your computer, your iPad, and so on.

When the service becomes available to customers (the release date has yet to be announced), all music previously purchased through iTunes will be "iClouded." But here's the rub: Any music purchased or ripped elsewhere will only be pushed to your other devices after you've paid an annual fee of $24.99.

But, for only a couple of bucks a month, it certainly isn't a deal-breaker. Especially not for something so potentially revolutionary.

So we can't help but ask: Will the iCloud actually improve the way we store and listen to music? We're not so sure, actually. After the jump, we break down the potential pros and cons of the iCloud.

You won't run out of space.

This is probably the biggest selling point for iCloud. If you're like us, you currently have to delete an entire album from your iPod in order slip a new one on there. You're limited in your storage capacity. But, with iCloud, it won't matter how much storage space you have on your devices; you'll have access to as much music as you want no matter which one you're using (assuming that device has Internet capabilities).

No more syncing.
Listen: It sucks when you've just purchased a few records from iTunes onto your computer and then you have to sync them to your iPhone, iPod, iPad and so on. iCloud eliminates the hassle and the time it takes to update all your devices. For $24.99 a year, your songs will automatically be sent to the cloud, and thus all of your devices, once you've uploaded it to a computer.

You can't lose your music.
If you lose your device with all your music on it, it will automatically sync up with a replacement device. In other words: You won't lose your songs. But backing up your songs elsewhere is probably still a good idea.

It's convenient.
You can listen to your music anywhere. Store it, too. That's awesome.

Now, onto the cons...

You're basically renting space from Apple.

Sure, it's nice to not have to lug around a couple of full hard drives if you want access to all your music. But there's something a


unsettling about relinquishing your hard-earned (or, OK, swiped) music to Apple. What if some unforeseen disaster or hacker takes out one of Apple's server farms and your music is gone? We're not saying this will happen, but who knows? And what happens when the robots take over? Will they let you listen to your music, or what?

You can lose access to the cloud.
Let's say you've got a long flight ahead and you can't access the Internet. Well, you won't be able to access iCloud, either. So, instead, you'll be stuck watching Eat, Pray, Love and whatever else is playing on those tiny airplane TVs.

"Yes, I'd like to buy that twice, please."
If you've purchased music on vinyl and downloaded the MP3s, then you've already paid for your music. Why, then, would you want to pay $24.99 a year to listen to it via iCloud? Sure, the price is cheap considering what you get -- but the problem is the principle of not wanting to pay for something twice.

Seeing as all of the conversations about the iCloud at DC9 HQ end up with robots taking over the world, we're still on the fence. Then again, some of us remember sitting down, clutching onto our cassette tapes and muttering, "This CD trend will never catch on!"

So, what do you guys think? The iCloud: Best new development ever?

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