|Apple has taken their first step "in to" the cloud with the launch of iCloud.com. The site went live today as a beta, giving us a small preview. iCloud should be available this Fall, with 5GB of free storage, plus an additional option of 10GB for $20/year, 20GB for $40/year and 50GB for $100/year. The iCloud announcement happened earlier this Summer at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, and Apple just added TV show rentals to the iCloud service this week.
iCloud will let users do many of the same things that they can now do with MobileMe (bookmarks, iCal, email, etc). It will be a cloud-based storage service, and includes the long-anticipated Apple music service. This would let iPhone and iPad users store music and files online, and synch them from multiple devices. The Apple iCloud service should be a nice piece of that puzzle completed, allowing people to have access to all of their music and other digital goods from all of the things they use. Now you can stream music from iCloud at home, in the car on your iPhone, at work on your Apple computer, in the backyard on your iPad. You'll never escape!
The iCloud.com domain name was originally being used by Linkoping for a cloud-based data storage service. Apple was sued by the computer company iCloud Communications for trademark infringement over the iCloud name soon after launch. The Arizona-based company had been active in "computer and electronic data transmission" for VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) before Apple's launch of the iCloud and iTunes in the Cloud service. No word yet on how this is turning out.
Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.