Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apple's Latest Music Announcements

Cloud Music image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Apple's press conference today didn't introduce the iPhone 5 like everyone was anticipating, and the general feeling was that it was underwhelming in terms of product announcements. If you look underneath the surface of the event though, it wasn't really about product at all. This was more for the investment community and developers to let them know that Apple was still in good hands and there was truly some continuity from Steve Jobs to Tim Cook as the guiding light of the company.

That said, there were a few announcements that did affect the music industry. First was the official introduction of iCloud, which officially launches on October 12th. According to Apple, fully a third of all music sold on iTunes store is purchased on iOS devices, so iCloud is an important tool for the future of that ecosystem. As we were lead to believe, songs purchased via iPhone or iPad on iTunes will automatically be downloaded to a user's Mac for no additional charge.

And finally, some real details on iTunes Match, which launches at the end of October as well. With over 20 million songs, Apple claimes that iTunes is the largest music store in the world, which becomes an important piece to Match. Match "scans and matches your library against our 20M songs we’ll upload. What we don’t find, we’ll stream,” according to Apple's Eddie Cue. The operative word here is "stream." The price is $24.99 per year. Worth it? We'll see, although it seems to be a no brainer at the moment.

Finally, news about the death of iPod are extremely premature apparently. Apple introduced a new iPod Nano with a modified touch screen and a new clock face that also measures walking and running sessions, and a new iPod Touch and Shuffle were also introduced. It seems there's some life left in those Pod's, and the digital files in your life, yet.

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