As we’ve suspected for a long time, Apple is very close to launching an online music service which may go by the name iCloud. The basic idea is that it will mirror your iTunes collection online so that it is available on any device without clunky cable syncing.
While getting rid of those cables will be a big step forward, if iCloud is nothing more than a music locker service it won’t go far towards transforming digital music, as BusinessWeek proclaims. Apple’s iCloud will be iTunes online, with a few features that make it slightly better than Google’s Music Beta—namely, I won’t have to spend hours uploading my music collection and I will get better quality audio files for some songs. That’s all great, but I am not sure it is enough for me to pay a monthly subscription. If it’s bundled with MobileMe, it certainly would make that service more appealing, but I wouldn’t pay for iCloud as a standalone service if that is all there is to it. And certainly, this could turn out to be only one part of a revamped MobileMe service. Depending on what else will be added, iCloud could help push more MobileMe subscriptions overall.