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Apple clarifies cloud strategy for music labels

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Apple has reportedly informed music labels that it wants to protect the existing market for paid song downloads, positioning its cloud strategy for iTunes as a form of "insurance."

Apple has consistently pushed for direct downloads in iTunes, as opposed to the rental music subscriptions services offered by Microsoft and Rhapsody, or the streaming music on demand services operated by today's Pandora, Rdio, and MOG.

As news began to leak about its online plans over the last two years, it remained clear that Apple viewed music as a downloads business, with its proposed online services aimed at acting as a convenient option for users to store their purchased music in the cloud for network access while mobile.

At the end of 2009, Apple acquired Lala, a business based around selling both downloads and the right to play online songs, as well as the ability for users to upload their own music for remote playback from various devices.

Apple shut the site down last spring amid rumors that it hoped to use Lala to build its own iTunes cloud service around the concept of enabling users to upload their music to Apple's servers for online playback.

Reports have noted that Apple's cloud plans for iTunes seemed to be thwarted by the labels, who wanted additional performance royalties from Apple for allowing users to play back their purchased downloads from its servers.

A new report by the Financial Times says that a "person with knowledge of Apples plans said the company did not want to undermine the market that it dominates for paid downloads, likening its plans for the cloud to 'insurance.'"

This contrasts with the plans by the Swedish Spotify, which rather than selling downloads like Apple or Amazon, is seeking to stream unlimited music to subscribers on desktop or mobile systems, or for free with radio-style ads. Songs can also be purchased from Spotify's music download parter.

Spotify is in talks with major US labels to begin offering the service in America; it is currently available only in Spain, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Sony Music and EMI have reportedly already signed deals with Spotify, while Warner and Universal are said to still be in talks with the music service, aiming for a summer launch. Both are said to be wary about how much free music the service will offer to unpaid listeners.

Following the collapse of CD sales, digital downloads are said to be slowing as well, leaving the labels increasingly worried about the business prospects of prerecorded music going forward. Both EMI and Warner are being shopped around for a buyer, making the outcome of Spotify talks an important factor in their valuation.

Google is also expecting to launch a music business, and according to the report has indicated to labels that it wants to open a store by next month, but it does not yet have deals in place to sell their music. Like Apple, Google hopes to mix a downloads store with the ability for users to bank their music in the cloud for flexible, remote playback.

Apple's plans to set up subscription in app purchases have been criticized by a number of service providers who offer content through apps, suggesting that the company's 30 percent cut of sales made within iOS apps will drive them out of business. It isn't yet clear if Apple's plans for periodicals actually even apply to Software As A Service or other online content access apps like Spotify, Hulu, Kindle, or Netflix, however.
post #2 of 40
So what does this mean? Soon we will be to put our music collection on MobileMe and stream our music to our iOS device, mac's and possibly pcs?
post #3 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_lavasser View Post

So what does this mean? Soon we will be to put our music collection on MobileMe and stream our music to our iOS device, mac's and possibly pcs?

That's exactly how I understand it.
post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Both EMI and Warner are being shopped around for a buyer, making the outcome of Spotify talks an important factor in their valuation.

is AI serious? What sort of market force is Spotify? They're nothing. If all of a sudden EMI's content was denied access to iTunes, I'd say that would have a material impact on EMI's valuation since iTunes is the worlds biggest music retailer. A deal with Spotify, though? Come on!
post #5 of 40
This article has little meat.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This article has little meat.

The original FT article had little meat.
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post #7 of 40
"... proposed online services aimed at acting as a convenient option for users to store their purchased music in the cloud for network access while mobile".

Isn't mobile using an iPhone or iPod, which are mobile devices, which store all the music, which doesn't require a network connection?

The cloud is indeed, cloudy.
post #8 of 40
We'll know more next week.
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by axual View Post

"... proposed online services aimed at acting as a convenient option for users to store their purchased music in the cloud for network access while mobile".

Isn't mobile using an iPhone or iPod, which are mobile devices, which store all the music, which doesn't require a network connection?

The cloud is indeed, cloudy.

I understand it as all your music being hosted on your own computer, synced to MobileMe, and then streamed to your iDevice or any other internet capable device Apple opens the service up to. That way you still own the music but don't have to use all of your device's storage space.
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_lavasser View Post

So what does this mean? Soon we will be to put our music collection on MobileMe and stream our music to our iOS device, mac's and possibly pcs?

I doubt it. I think youll be able to access your music from the cloud, but I dont think youll be putting your music onto the cloud.

The only way I can see this feasibly working*is a simple file you upload to the iTunes Servers via the iTunes app that contains your iTunes Library info, which then allows your account to access your content for streaming on the go on an iDevice when youre logged in to your iTunes account.

You are likely already sending all the info they need when you send them your iTunes Genius updates.
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Reports have noted that Apple's cloud plans for iTunes seemed to be thwarted by the labels, who wanted additional performance royalties from Apple for allowing users to play back their purchased downloads from its servers.

What? Are you kidding me? Who thinks this makes sense at all? This makes me want to slap all the record execs and go back to stealing music. And I thought I couldn't hate them anymore than I already do.

Seems like there are robots sitting around contemplating how to make people miserable by finding ways to ruin every form of market evolution that creates a viable evolution, one in which they get to survive.

When will the Record labels get in the drivers seat instead trying to stop the train from running over them. They need to wise up and understand that they only get a few chances to steer the market solutions, if they don't someone else will (apple) and then they will have to put up or shut up.

There is a thing called a win/win. Their "wins" repeatedly turn into "loses."

We made you freaking rich (label execs), now do something to pay us back or we will continue to ruin your industry and your chances for turning in your leased 2009 black BMW 750i for the 2011 black BMW 750i that you deserve so badly.

This is simple, Apple gives people what they want and need and they look forward, all the labels are looking backwards and trying to road block progress, has that strategy ever worked?

Sorry for the rant, we need to over through these retards like they did Mubarack.
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

I doubt it. I think you’ll be able to access your music from the cloud, but I don’t think you’ll be putting your music onto the cloud.

The only way I can see this feasibly working*is a simple file you upload to the iTunes Servers via the iTunes app that contains your iTunes Library info, which then allows your account to access your content for streaming on the go on an iDevice when you’re logged in to your iTunes account.

You are likely already sending all the info they need when you send them your iTunes Genius updates.

I'm not sure it'll work like that. I have a lot in my iTunes library that the iTunes Store doesn't offer at all, as I'm sure others do too.

The way I understand it, once we sync our iTunes libraries to the cloud, that media resides on both our HDDs and in the cloud. I presume for MobileMe members with larger libraries, Apple would charge for the extra storage space needed (if, that is, the members choose to upload their massive libraries to the cloud at all).

Personally, I don't quite understand Apple's thinking on this. For "insurance", I have a Time Capsule that's backed up my entire media library already.

With between 2GB and 160GB iDevices available (and larger ones on the way probably), we can already have more media in our pockets than we can realistically listen to or watch in a day, or even before the iDevice's battery dies. So who is this service aimed at?

And wasn't there an app at one time that let you stream music from your iTunes library directly to your iDevice without having to pass through the cloud at all? I remember doing that with my original iPhone (not jailbroken) a few years ago, but the battery drain was crazy. Plus, it was too easy to just load up the iPhone with more music than I needed anyway.

Really, I'm not getting their push for this.

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post #13 of 40
Quote:
Following the collapse of CD sales, digital downloads are said to be slowing as well, leaving the labels increasingly worried about the business prospects of prerecorded music going forward.

Gee.... Increasing the price of a song from 99¢ to $1.29 might have something to do with it. That's a 30% increase and psychological barrier of a song that costs pennies to one that is almost a dollar and a half will do little to prevent people from simply downloading for free (stealing) somewhere else.

To further add insult to injury, the promised 69¢ songs are nowhere to be found. It was promised that while major hits would go to $1.29, most library songs would cost 99¢ and 69¢. I see the occasional 99¢ song but most are the new higher price.

The music industry old folks need to die off and a new generation of record labels embracing new ideas needs to emerge.

Selling more 99¢ songs is better than selling less $1.29 songs. The greedy ol' folks need to be replaced.

Apple is offering something that would bring a lot of buyers back. I'll gladly pay for my music on iTunes again if it means that I can access it via MobileMe on any device.
post #14 of 40
There are two probable ways this will work

1. You can only stream what you've bought from iTunes. The info for which is in your account history already.

2. Exactly the same as LaLa did. You use some kind of tool to upload your library list. The system compares that list to the system collection and uploads only what it doesn't find in the collection for your private use.

Hopefully they will also have the 10 cent or similarly cheap priced streaming only copies. And maybe even the mix it up sampling and one time full play from LaLa at some point also

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post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

The original FT article had little meat.

Fair enough, but given that the title feels a bit link bait-y.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #16 of 40
I don't see any benefit of music being stored in the cloud. Think about the case when you're listening to songs in a bus and your are being forced to go offline for a while because the bus has to go through the tunnel.

Plus if you really have lot's of music, you can just get the classic iPod. It's probably cheaper in the long run than paying subscription online just to access the songs you already have.
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

is AI serious? What sort of market force is Spotify? They're nothing. If all of a sudden EMI's content was denied access to iTunes, I'd say that would have a material impact on EMI's valuation since iTunes is the worlds biggest music retailer. A deal with Spotify, though? Come on!

Spotify isn't available where you live, is it?
If you were living in Sweden, Norway, the UK etc where it is available you would have seen how fast Spotify has dramatically changed people's music habits and attitude towards buying music. Music has turned into a free service here, and people expect it to be free now. It's very worrisome and an extremely bad deal for artists in terms if revenue.
In terms of money, the best deal for an artist is to get played on the radio. The worst deal is to get played on Spotify. The Spotify model works for big labels with thousands of artists where all the bits and pieces become a somewhat decent total. And this too is worrisome. If the BIG labels like this model, they will go for it regardless of it being a bad deal for the individual artists or not.
In terms of availability though, Spotify is a great deal for individual artists.

I think Apple is feeling the pressure and competition, and is worried that free music will win over paid music. They have to change and evolve in order to meet this competition. Things can change very quickly, as it has over here.
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

The original FT article had little meat.

Are you admitting that your source was the FT, and you did not cite the source prominently.

I notice that in many Apple Insider articles. MacDaily News and Daring Fireball always cite the original source.

CGC
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPedro View Post

Gee.... Increasing the price of a song from 99¢ to $1.29 might have something to do with it. That's a 30% increase and psychological barrier of a song that costs pennies to one that is almost a dollar and a half will do little to prevent people from simply downloading for free (stealing) somewhere else.

To further add insult to injury, the promised 69¢ songs are nowhere to be found. It was promised that while major hits would go to $1.29, most library songs would cost 99¢ and 69¢. I see the occasional 99¢ song but most are the new higher price.

The music industry old folks need to die off and a new generation of record labels embracing new ideas needs to emerge.

Selling more 99¢ songs is better than selling less $1.29 songs. The greedy ol' folks need to be replaced.

Apple is offering something that would bring a lot of buyers back. I'll gladly pay for my music on iTunes again if it means that I can access it via MobileMe on any device.

It's 30 cents! If you can afford to buy a Mac or iDevice, how can you be complaining about 30 cents more for something that you can keep forever? You pay more than that for the Starbucks coffee that you piss out at the end of the day
post #20 of 40
I dont think its a matter of outright costs, more psychological marketing - people will tend to buy three things for £/$5, but will think twice about buying 2 for £/$7.00. AngryBirds is a case in point, they sell millions of copies for 0.59p, if it was 1.59 then it would have sold a lot less.

Apologies for currency translation issues.
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

There are two probable ways this will work

1. You can only stream what you've bought from iTunes. The info for which is in your account history already.

2. Exactly the same as LaLa did. You use some kind of tool to upload your library list. The system compares that list to the system collection and uploads only what it doesn't find in the collection for your private use.

Hopefully they will also have the 10 cent or similarly cheap priced streaming only copies. And maybe even the mix it up sampling and one time full play from LaLa at some point also

Your option #1 will not work. I have a lot of songs which have been 'pulled' from iTunes, or at least the store. Also, I've been buying on iTunes for 5 or 6 years. Apple has lost track of what I've purchased a couple of times, probably when they overhauled it. I have a lot of 128 songs I can't upgrade because either the iTunes store doesn't carry the song/artist anymore, or they lost the fact that I already purchased it.

anyway, my 2 cents.
post #22 of 40
Talking about uploading your files is naive. You only need to supply what you have and if you own it. One master file will contain the song. It will be threaded to the ones with proper ownership credentials. I suspect that those with ripped songs will be disappointed.
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edmund0Dantes View Post

I dont think its a matter of outright costs, more psychological marketing - people will tend to buy three things for £/$5, but will think twice about buying 2 for £/$7.00. AngryBirds is a case in point, they sell millions of copies for 0.59p, if it was 1.59 then it would have sold a lot less.

Apologies for currency translation issues.

I agree that the OP's point was that there is a psychological barrier between the two prices. It's common sense though - most things you see at the supermarket are $x.99.

Most people can afford the thirty cents difference between the old iTunes price and the new. Personally the new price rips my undies every time I buy a song, but that is probably because of my distaste for the insidious greed of the labels.
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post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

Spotify isn't available where you live, is it?
If you were living in Sweden, Norway, the UK etc where it is available you would have seen how fast Spotify has dramatically changed people's music habits and attitude towards buying music.

No, it's changed the music habits of a subsection of people who work in media and kept money out of the hands of the artists.
post #25 of 40
Is anyone asking for this functionality?

I know I don't want it. As I'm in the uk I use spotify, it's beyond awesome. All apple need to do is clone it, then add access the the entire iTunes catalogue and most spotify users would switch in a second. I know I would.

I consume so much more new music thanks to spotify, as you haven't got the price tag to consider when trying out new music.
post #26 of 40
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post #27 of 40
Music in the cloud... nice idea but...

Here in Canada, high speed internet connection comes with tethers brought to you by the major ISP players.

Getting 10, 15, 25 or even 50Mbps download speeds is possible. The problem is that you can do it UP TO a point. Say, at 16Mbps (that i currently pay 49$/month and has a 600kps up speed) i get 90GB of traffic. That's UP/DOWN traffic. I could download more... I could potentially download UNLIMITED amount of data... for 60$ more. That's getting pricy.

Add to this that, unless you download using standard methods not perceived as 'mass download and piracy' techniques (read torrent) your speed will be fine. If you chose to download something like say... Linux via torrent, well, you can count on being limited to 50kbps at peak times. I'm not talking about downloading the latest Batman movie here... just USING torrent.

Now, music in the cloud... Each time i want to listen to my music, i'll be checking how much bandwidth i have left. I don't and go over board... ISP will come and politely ask me to ... pay up.

I love Apple... but, my music will stay @ home guys. I'll just copy to my iDevice what i want to listen to and voila... to me, as long as i can't use the Net freely without incurring the ISP tax... i'll stick to what works. Why fix what's not broken?

P.S.: I'm not even going to talk about GSM download rates.... iPhone streaming of my iTunes music in a subway that i have no reception anyway... Not adding up...
post #28 of 40
There are obviously many hurdles still to over come (ISP tax, coverage, download speed) but as a direction I think Apple have got it right, after all they are the ones putting their money where their mouth is, ie with their new data centre.
Cloud computing whether we like it or not is where we are going into the future, and all recorded mediums and peripheral devises are on the change, hence the reasoning behind Apples refusal to adopt Bluray,
The latest MacBook pro doesnt yet tick all the boxes but by 2012 it will be doing so with no mechanical drives just ssd, and hopefully the isps will be better aligned onboard by then too or apple may decide to take the lead that way too.
because of out of range inconsistency there will always be the need to download a held copy unless the world coverage by Satellite transmission takes over which would technically require a near impossible micro up /down stream equipment redesign, "beam me up Scotty"

But cloud computing would only require that you had interaction devices rather than megalumps of machinery in the home that would be much better for the environment especially the illumination of CDs DVDs Blurays recorders and players and all the plastic and paper rubbish with it, as all this would be done online virtually from the artist to millions of customers, byby EMI, Warner, and friends your back catalogues are nice.

The end result would change the face of entertainment hence the pockets of resistance are feuding for their right to exist in an ever evolving world and are in the gravest danger of being simply left behind.
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

But cloud computing would only require that you had interaction devices rather than megalumps of machinery in the home that would be much better for the environment especially the illumination of CDs DVDs Blurays recorders and players and all the plastic and paper rubbish with it, as all this would be done online virtually from the artist to millions of customers, byby EMI, Warner, and friends your back catalogues are nice.

The end result would change the face of entertainment hence the pockets of resistance are feuding for their right to exist in an ever evolving world and are in the gravest danger of being simply left behind.

First, speaking for home theater enthusiasts, our "[media], recorders and players and all the plastic and paper rubbish with it" are not "rubbish" to us, despite your disinterest in, or objection to, those things. Cloud streaming has a LONG way to go to even compete with blu-ray audio and video quality, properly implemented. Not that it won't ever get there, but it's not there yet and probably won't be for many years. Many home theater installations rival commercial cinemas in picture and sound quality (not to mention interior design and construction). Take a look at what some people do with their home theaters and with what you call "rubbish".

Second, I don't think end users represent "pockets of resistance feuding" for our collective right to stave off technological evolution in favor of our current collection of satisfying gadgets and sources of entertainment. Some of us here are merely pointing out the fact that the cloud streaming argument, as it has thus far been presented, doesn't answer some basic questions of how it will be implemented and address the obvious and immediate concerns related to large media libraries containing material not found on iTunes' servers for myriad reasons.

Third, I think for many, there's a satisfaction that comes with actually possessing the media you own. I'm all for streaming (music and movies), but then there's my personal collection things that I want to own. For me, and I suspect others, that means I want the satisfaction of knowing that I literally "have" it that it's physically with me not accessible depending on my cloud connection, but with me. Childish perhaps, but as a Pixar fan I hope you can cut me some slack.

The cloud-computing concept has great promise, and I welcome its measured implementation, but I remain a bit skeptical of some of the practical implications. And in any event, I don't view it to be the end all be all for everyone's needs or desires, at least not in the near future.

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post #30 of 40
In theory I can understand Apple wanting direct downloads to be the primary model - and supplement it with streamable access to a library. But ultimately they must be seeing the trend of people's libraries outgrowing their hard drives. When my sister and fiance of all people (non-tech-savvy social workers) have gotten to the point where they can't purchase anymore music/tv because their Macs are already too full with iTunes downloads, photos and HD home videos - then Apple knows they have a problem.
post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshreeder View Post


We made you freaking rich (label execs), now do something to pay us back or we will continue to ruin your industry and your chances for turning in your leased 2009 black BMW 750i for the 2011 black BMW 750i that you deserve so badly.

Well...the heads of the four remaining large labels may be rich, but their companies aren't. The record industry is in free-fall. The peak year for the U.S. record industry was 1999, when it did $14.585 billion in sales (at list prices). In 2009 (2010 numbers aren't out yet, but they're probably worse), it did $7.778 billion (only 53% of its peak) and that doesn't even include inflation (which would place the industry at 40% of its 1999 peak).

And what's killed the industry isn't so much that we've moved to virtual formats, it's that the industry has moved back to mostly selling singles as opposed to albums. That worked back in the 1950s-early 1960s when a pop artist would go in the studio and record three tracks in two hours and have the record on the streets two weeks later, but it's unsustainable for the way artists record today, especially the big artists who obsess over their music for a year and record/mix/master with multiple studios and multiple engineers/producers. The decline of radio hasn't helped much either, since radio, for the most part, no longer sells product. And I suppose one can also make the case that there's lack of interest because the artists are not producing a lot of compelling music.

Citibank had to take over EMI and they immediately put it up for sale in order to beat Time Warner putting Warner music up for sale. You are getting your wish - it's already over for the big record labels and in spite of the fact that they have mostly put out crap for the last decade or more, that's still a very sad state of affairs.
post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by c4rlob View Post

In theory I can understand Apple wanting direct downloads to be the primary model - and supplement it with streamable access to a library. But ultimately they must be seeing the trend of people's libraries outgrowing their hard drives. When my sister and fiance of all people (non-tech-savvy social workers) have gotten to the point where they can't purchase anymore music/tv because their Macs are already too full with iTunes downloads, photos and HD home videos - then Apple knows they have a problem.

Well it depends: Apple supposedly doesn't make all that much profit on iTunes - it's all about selling hardware. And if a lack of HD space means that people replace their Macs with bigger Macs and their iPods/iPhones with bigger devices, that's all good for Apple. Even if only 1/10th of the people who are running out of space buy one new device, that's far more profit for Apple than selling another 100 tracks per person.
post #33 of 40
Here's all I want - just give me the ability to redownload or stream my purchased music and movies whenever I'd like. Every other downloadable service out there let's me redownload content I've already bought for free, allowing me to build a continually growing library without needing to manage the data myself. I have literally hundreds of games purchased on my Steam account, but if I had to hold onto that data myself and risk "losing" that purchase, I simply wouldn't have enough storage.

You can redownload apps, you can redownload books, but you can't redownload music and movies, nor can you stream them to a device you already own without first syncing it back to a PC that has a copy already stored on it. It's lame, and I hope that changes.
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post #34 of 40
Ok Dana perhaps I am going a little too quick for some who are possessive over their materiel offerings along with their music and video preferences all and much more of which will be interactively available direct from the artists and producers web site offerings.
Lets say there are benefits from cloud computing that will become clearer to folk as it unravels over the next two years, for eg: Steve Jobs is negotiating 192khz 24 bit sound file downloads similar to FLACK files that will exceed Bluray or SAC-d streamed through Wi-hi-fi devices that will augment modernizing the theatre / HI-Fi world, and 1080P is already a streaming standard beyond the reproductive quality on many such even top end home theatre setups, Discs are an endangered species! your personal library can exist in cyberspace with various download preferences to load different reading, viewing or listening to your relevant devices.

I am an engineer with some 35yrs professional experience so I do understand your argument, but what I have used for many years in a macpro logic studio is now becoming Web cloud based mainstream for everyone to enjoy online on reasonably priced as well as top end home theatre setups that are going to have access to every market including iTunes with studio quality HD video and audio on demand from various facilitators, including Disney and Pixar.
The only hold up from this future are those who can't see the benefits in the short term during such a transitional phase because they are so attached to over-burdened legacy devices.

From my perspective 2012 is going to provide a major generational shift in the converging computer video experience and its time to get used to the idea of change now or get left behind, it's your choice!.
post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

Ok Dana perhaps I am going a little too quick for some who are possessive over their materiel offerings along with their music and video preferences all and much more of which will be interactively available direct from the artists and producers web site offerings.

Perhaps, Allan, but I'd argue that, for some, the material offerings associated with their favorite films (including copies of the films themselves) are intrinsically valuable, whether they're available from the cloud or not, or even how quickly that access becomes available. The same applies to music, though maybe to a lesser degree.

A recent example is the BD release of Fantasia/Fantasia 2000. Disney opted to provide the bulk of the supplemental package through the Disney Digital Vault (BD-Live) rather than include that material on the physical discs as they had previously done with the Fantasia Anthology DVD several years ago. Presumably, this was partly a manufacturing-cost-savings measure. And while accessing those supplements isn't a terrible inconvenience, many, myself included, would have preferred to have the material simply included, or at least had the option of purchasing those supplements on a disc (even if it was something we had to send away for).

Regardless, this is representative of the progress you're talking about. And it's not, in and of itself, unwelcome. But in some instances, such as with Disney Classics like Fantasia, some would prefer the physical over the cloud. Admittedly, such preferences are subjective, but, particularly in this transitional stage when the quality of the physical (e.g., DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 and other lossless audio codecs) generally surpasses the quality, or at least the streaming constraints, of the cloud (e.g., limited to, or only offering, Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 lossy audio), it's preferable to still have a choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

Lets say there are benefits from cloud computing that will become clearer to folk as it unravels over the next two years, for eg: Steve Jobs is negotiating 192khz 24 bit sound file downloads similar to FLACK files that will exceed Bluray or SAC-d streamed through Wi-hi-fi devices that will augment modernizing the theatre / HI-Fi world, and 1080P is already a streaming standard beyond the reproductive quality on many such even top end home theatre setups, Discs are an endangered species! your personal library can exist in cyberspace with various download preferences to load different reading, viewing or listening to your relevant devices.

There are absolutely benefits! I'm certainly not trying to imply that there aren't. If I did, I didn't state myself clearly. I saw the report that iTunes may start providing 192kHz/24 bit sound files. That'd be wonderful! As it is, I import everything Apple Lossless. But again, that high quality is a matter of choice. Music I take the time to collect gets imported losslessly, but I really don't care that much about iTunes' free weekly singles. In fact, stream those!

For music, discs are certainly an endangered species; for movies, I'd say a threatened species. If your assessment that it will only take two years for cloud offerings to surpass disc offerings by way of PQ and AQ, then okay "endangered". Maybe. I still think discs have a longer life expectancy than that.

Plus, there are millions of people who don't have the fast, reliable internet access needed for the type of streaming you're talking about. Many of them, particularly those living in rural areas, probably won't even get it in the foreseeable future. And they don't have any choice about it; ISPs simply don't service their areas well, if at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

I am an engineer with some 35yrs professional experience so I do understand your argument, but what I have used for many years in a macpro logic studio is now becoming Web cloud based mainstream for everyone to enjoy online on reasonably priced as well as top end home theatre setups that are going to have access to every market including iTunes with studio quality HD video and audio on demand from various facilitators, including Disney and Pixar.

Great! Bring it on! I welcome it. Again, I still think the possession aspect of ownership carries more weight with many consumers than you're giving credit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

The only hold up from this future are those who can't see the benefits in the short term during such a transitional phase because they are so attached to over-burdened legacy devices.

I think there are other technical, practical, and logistical hold ups than just "sentimental" people like me, namely bandwidth and access to that bandwidth. As you said though, that's changing. Still, there is a place for sentimentality, and legacy devices too for that matter. And as far as recognition of, and respect for, such things fit into their business models, forward thinking companies like Apple are wise to consider them as they "improve" the landscape of how consumers enjoy their media and interact with the technology used to bring it to them. Consider: touch screens and multi-touch gestures are the way of the future too, but no company, not even Apple, is going to eliminate physical keyboards or mice any time soon, if at all. Some leaps are going to take longer than others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

From my perspective 2012 is going to provide a major generational shift in the converging computer video experience and its time to get used to the idea of change now or get left behind, it's your choice!.

I agree that the next couple of years will garner a "major generational shift" in our interaction with media and the technology that connects us to it. Apple, its iPhone and iPad, iOS, Mac OS X Lion and the anticipated convergence of desktop and mobile platforms, as well as their increasingly improving HIGs, will continue blurring the line. Conversely, the public's rejection of concepts like GoogleTV will continue to serve as reminders that not all convergences are useful or desired, no matter how logical the evolution may seem.

I don't have a problem with the idea of change. But change for change's sake is unwise. I also don't think the issue is as urgent as your last sentence implies. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how things develop over the next couple of years.

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by axual View Post

"... proposed online services aimed at acting as a convenient option for users to store their purchased music in the cloud for network access while mobile".

Isn't mobile using an iPhone or iPod, which are mobile devices, which store all the music, which doesn't require a network connection?

The cloud is indeed, cloudy.

Depending how big your iPhone is and how many songs you have there not necessarily going to fit.
post #37 of 40
I always get a little concerned when someone regimentally dissects ones opinions sentence by sentence rather than to just respond with an alternative point of view but ok I can live with that, you also have a strong entitled opinion, but should the world of computing evolution be held up by those who won't allow change.
If what you already have is good enough for you then enjoy.

It seems to me that cloud computing is all about variety of the convergence experience that would lead you to shopping for the related materiel and in this "here now" world we live in few are going to wait outside the shop in future for a nondescript box that is no longer sold because the product in all its glitteratii is only sold downloadable online.

The financial advantage is put back into the pockets of the originating artists who can use the likes of itunes to sell their musical or video creations to the world direct with their supporting website to peddle further "collectable" merchandise which combined with HD video content and 5ch surround from cloud computing to any devise you own with out breaking anyones harddisk bank has to be a major step forward which will in time lead to groups social video channels akin to the next step of Facebook.
So computers/screens of the future will become intelligent cloud app's terminals,
post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

I always get a little concerned when someone regimentally dissects ones opinions sentence by sentence rather than to just respond with an alternative point of view but ok I can live with that, you also have a strong entitled opinion, but should the world of computing evolution be held up by those who won't allow change.
If what you already have is good enough for you then enjoy.

It seems to me that cloud computing is all about variety of the convergence experience that would lead you to shopping for the related materiel and in this "here now" world we live in few are going to wait outside the shop in future for a nondescript box that is no longer sold because the product in all its glitteratii is only sold downloadable online.

The financial advantage is put back into the pockets of the originating artists who can use the likes of itunes to sell their musical or video creations to the world direct with their supporting website to peddle further "collectable" merchandise which combined with HD video content and 5ch surround from cloud computing to any devise you own with out breaking anyones harddisk bank has to be a major step forward which will in time lead to groups social video channels akin to the next step of Facebook.
So computers/screens of the future will become intelligent cloud app's terminals,

You had a lot of good points and I wanted to address them, but I'll try to be more succinct for you. I get the impression you think I'm disagreeing with you about the transition we're witnessing or that I'm opposed to the coming of cloud computing, neither of which are the case. I just don't think the transition will be as rapid, or as absolute, as you're suggested/insisting. Time will tell.

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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post #39 of 40
Dana, your most probably right, whilst we do posses the technology even today of presenting professional services direct to cloud distribution, it does remain the downstream dissemination restrictions that dictate the timeline involved.
However infrastructure is undergoing large scale data-center redevelopment and rewiring through optical fibres to cope with higher download speed and volume of service demanded by HD sound and video and the ISPs will have to ease their constriction of service practice as demand grows, so cloud services will become available to higher end users firstly within citys this year and to the worldwide masses as rollout progresses which as you point out may take considerably longer, its a transition phase for business as well as end user that may take many years to realize its potential,
All I'm saying is for those who have the link and can afford the like of apple computers and theatre systems will realize realtime online cloud HD convergence replacing the need Bluray or local mass storage within the next 12 months so there is my prediction, time will tell.
post #40 of 40
You may have already seen this, Allan, but this 24-Bit Downloads article was featured in my most recent Sound+Vision Mag email. Butterworth even opines that the fact that we're even having this conversation is a "minor miracle." The link in Butterworth's conclusion to another article, The REAL Death Of The Music Industry, is more on topic and adds even more curiosity to the issue. As an audiophile, I honestly hope you're right in that the infrastructure behind the distribution streams outpaces demand and higher quality content becomes the norm, even if the majority of users don't seem to care.

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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