MobileMe Revamp to be Free, Include Cloud Music Service

| Rumor

Apple is apparently working on a major update for its MobileMe service that includes cloud-based iTunes music, video and photo storage. Unnamed sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal claim the new MobileMe will be free, too, instead of including the current US$99 a year price tag.

The cloud-based iTunes storage will apparently support Internet-based streaming, giving users access to all of their music, video and photo content without needing to store everything on their iPod, iPhone or iPad. Storing iTunes libraries online will also free users from connecting to their computer to sync content.

MobileMe may add new iTunes cloud features

While the idea that Apple might drop the annual subscription fee for MobileMe, that doesn’t exactly fit with the company’s usual operating style. Instead, the company is more likely to break out more features to offer for free, just as it did with Find My iPhone, and continue to offer the full subscription bundle for a price.

Word of the alleged MobileMe update came along with the WSJ’s report that Apple is also working on a smaller and lower priced iPhone model to launch soon.

Apple is said to be planning to launch the redesigned MobileMe some time this summer.

Comments

prl53

I’m not that excited about any “cloud” computing. I don’t have to have all my files available everywhere I go. I can get my email on my iPhone and download just the music, etc., I want from my Mac. I can share files with family using iDisk. I can also watch movies on iTV even if my ISP is down. Try that with cloud computing. People are concerned with the amount of data on the network and cloud computing just wants to put more out there. I’ll keep my LAN.

geoduck

Agreed
Though I wouldn’t mind the yearly charge going away. Ever since they went to me.com addresses I’ve had far less reason to keep it up. Fortunately it still lets you force mac.com addresses but it’s annoying.

Vern Seward

I hate “unnamed sources”, if this is true then it’s about friggin time. I’m getting a little impatient with Apple’s “not until we get it right” excuse for not releasing much needed features and upgrades. They have smart people, I can’t believe it takes them 2 years after they should have to release this feature.

In fact, it seems to be the way they operate, and even when they do release it they still don’t get it right.

Just grousing. I still love ya Apple. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Vern

Lee Dronick

I?m not that excited about any ?cloud? computing. I don?t have to have all my files available everywhere I go

I am thinking that it wouldn’t have all your files there, just the ones you choose. This would be more for people who travel a lot with just an iPhone or iPad and not schlepping a MacBook with a big enough disk drive. It remains to be seen.

I have used Back to My Mac to access files on my iMac when I have been out of town.

Vern Seward

The big question whether file syncing will be automagic or manual. Apple needs either buy Dropbox, or emulate how they do things.

If I have to manually sync every time I make a change to a file stored there then I may as well stick with Dropbox.

Vern

dmuzzy

Apple needs either buy Dropbox, or emulate how they do things.

Agreed. Dropbox is one of the few (only?) companies does cloud computing right (for my purposes). The files exist both on native machines as well as a copy in the cloud with automatic syncing.

If Apple can tie that together with their Mac OS, iOS, and iLife software, it would be a win on a number of levels.

kevinolive

I’m not going to jump right in and say that cloud based computing is ideal but think about it on a larger scale.  I have about 250 GB of downloaded media, most of which came from apple. I back up my downloads with a time capsule (hourly) and an external bootable backup drive.  If there are several million users like me and we all backup our data, consider the resources required to do this.  Now, if it were in a cloud, then the duplicated files and backup hardware would be unnecessary; all that is required in the cloud is a pointer to the file that links the user to the file.  It would free up my personal resources (my 500GB drive is nearly full) and with fewer copies of files, it would reduce the resource required to backup the data. Granted, this model for communal data storage, or cloud computing, isn’t close to complete.  We all know (don’t we?) that the cloud has to phyiscally exist somewhere and people have to maintain the software and hardware, but is cloud based storage lower cost or higher? Sure we’d have to subscribe but what is the cost of all this personal storage?

Tiger

Since nobody has, I’m going there.

Hey (hey) You (you), get off of my cloud!

Jeet

Cloud is hardly my piece of cake. I have Google Apps, for Backup I use Unlimited space from CrashPlan (Mobile Me 60GB anyone?), and for insta-syncing I have Dropbox and Evernote. For photo gallery my own site is way better than me.com. And iTunes is unavailable in several countries including mine’s, India, so Nokia Music Unlimited is our piece of Cake. It contains all India specific songs with a Yummy pricing. For movies and tv episodes we have YouTube and with only $35 for month for unlimited 2Mbps connection and $60 for 8Mbps ones with no data caps whatsoever, Mobile me is senseless here. I am not saying it’s bad but it lacks a lot like better storage size, support for Linux, Android, Symbian etc. So even if it becomes totally free, it’s a no brainer for some folks like me.

dmuzzy

@kevinolive - I agree that it would be more efficient to go with a cloud model that frees up personal storage and the computer points to the service and hosted files. However, in my opinion it is better to have the cloud service act as a backup/sync/share (via the dropbox model).

This way, your files are your files and you won’t need to worry that someday everything that you (digitally) own is inaccessible (lawsuit/bankruptcy/etc.)

I would much rather the could service be an extension of my personal libraries that my sole repository. Just my opinion.

@ Tiger - Even if you do not like cloud computing, and don’t always get what you want; you might just find… that you can get what you need.

Tiger

Thumbs up dmuzzy!!!!

Lee Dronick

@ Tiger - Even if you do not like cloud computing, and don?t always get what you want; you might just find? that you can get what you need.

Well I’ve looked at cloud from both sides now, but we are still responding to rumors. If this happens I would bet that Apple will surprise us all with something we didn’t even think about.

skeptic

I’m not a fan of “cloud based” everything.  First, it sounds like a plan to be able to make a killing on data charges after everyone uploads their own music/video.  Second, security is lacking.  According to a conversation with a mobileMe rep this spring, the transfer of data is as secure as an e-mail, which is likened to sending a post card.  As a business owner, I don’t want my calendar with client names and dates not to mention phone numbers in “the cloud.”  I want them password protected and transferred by usb.

geoduck

As a business owner, I don?t want my calendar with client names and dates not to mention phone numbers in ?the cloud.?

Very true. You should have seen what happened when the Controller of the company I work for discovered that Accounting was using GoogleDocs.

The term Conniption Fit comes to mind.

Mark

The reality is that there will be free services, but the really good ones will be paid. I have the full meal deal with MobileMe and like it. I want more, but am willing to pay. I’d rather have a good paid service than a so-so free one. Google is even bring out paid service.

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