The iCloud Cometh

Apple Inc. has reached deals with major music companies to help launch an online storage service called iCloud. Steve Jobs is expected to unveil the online listening platform next week. 

What's the Latest Development?

Apple seems poised to again set a new benchmark in online music sales. Having already signed deals with the nation's largest record companies, Warner, Sony and E.M.I. among them, Apple's online music-listening platform will have greater access to a larger variety of songs than ones already rolled out by Google and Amazon. "The agreements will let Apple offer an easy way for consumers to create and listen online to their entire music collections, without the time-consuming work of manually transferring or uploading songs."

What's the Big Idea?

Apple's new platform will appropriately be called iCloud, which takes its name from the information industry jargon "cloud computing". Information in the cloud exists on remote servers that can be accessed easily and from nearly any remote point. "Many in the music industry see such offerings as a key next step in the evolution of digital media, in which music, and eventually video, is convenient and ubiquitous." Music is not the only kind of information to be stored on the cloud. Many businesses are already storing data remotely and video is also poised to become accessible through the cloud. 

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