Originally Posted by Charles R
Building off the work that Lala did before it was acquired by Apple, the new service scans your hard drive for songs that were ripped from CDs or obtained from other (read: questionably legal) sources. If Apple detects a match with one of the 18 million songs available through the App Store, it will replace that file on your hard drive with the same song in Apple’s AAC format, free of any DRM technology. If it can’t find a match for a song, it will upload it into iCloud, giving you access to that song across all your other iOS devices.
Given that the vast majority of music on iDevices is from questionably legal sources, this is a brilliant approach. In many ways this will allow a lot of people to get on the legal road with music, a path which was truly complicated for many as they didn't even know what they bought or not ( especially with the size of some libraries).
The whole iCloud thing seems very exciting, and one hopes that Apple will not pull a mac.com stunt with charging for e-mail after many of us had moved to their service when it first came out. It was nice to hear Jobs say that that the whole mobile me, itools, etc... fiasco wasn't one of their better moments. The idea of an ad free mail service is really appealing and the syncing thing is really great. It has all become too much to the point of not knowing what to watch or listen to as there are simply too many options with media scattered all over the place.
There are going to be some very interesting options for consumers, finally. Google, Microsoft and Apple are providing us with interesting choices.
While I am not quite ready to give up on WHS, Drobo, etc ... with stored locally content I am getting fed up with maintaining a data centre that is becoming increasingly less fun to do. Mind you, we are willing to put up with slightly less video/audio quality in order to gain in other ways. That isn't for everyone.
As was mentioned in this thread Plex is an interesting compromise for those wanting flexible access to their media ( but again there are some quality compromises).
Finally, the ability of the ATV2 to mirror the iPad2 in real time looks really, really neat. If it works as it seems to then one could attach an ATV2 to a projector and have a wireless free method of presenting content ( as opposed to being constrained by a podium or having Powerpoint/Keynote pre-arranged slides and a clicker).