back to article Apple's cloudy music streamer won't stream music

Apple's long-awaited iCloud music-streaming service won't actually stream your iTunes music collection. Instead, it will download tunes to your device, though you'll be able to listen to them while they are being downloaded. That's what an unnamed Apple spokesperson told AllThingsD on Tuesday after a video appeared on the …

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Well, easier to track you once they hide stuff inside your media.

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Joke

Stuff that should work...

....does not work as advertised from Apple....that's a new one....Yes?

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PS

I would be really dumb to rely solely on simple streaming for an obvious reason - no access to your media anywhere you have no network connect - including on airplanes.

Users won't tolerate that, so the content MUST be copied to the iDevice.

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Devil

Nice Self Nuke...

> I would be really dumb to rely solely on simple streaming for an obvious reason

This is the reason to shun the cloud in general.

Bring stuff with you. Ditch the network entirely. Buy a bigger device if necessary.

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A bad joke compared to Amazon or even...

..Google, that's for sure.

As always, the faithful crowd gets shafted by the Puritan-in-Chief cheap@ss approach - rest of us enjoy Amazon's unlimited music cloud service with unlimited streaming or Google's 20GB w/ unlimited streaming service.

I guess that's how you become so rich, by being so cheap in your services...

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Take a close look at AppleTV and eyeTV

The first AppleTV (white) already uses a similar technique - it will play track and movies while they are loading to the device, either from the host computer or from iTunes - eg a rental movie, which typically can be played a minute or so after purchase if you have a fast connection.

It appears to be streaming, but it's really play-while-downloading. It was obviously done this way fir exactly the same reason - uncertain connection bandwidth that woukd otherwise disrupt streaming - and it works well.

By comparison I have tried streaming media from eyeTV over the 3G carrier network to my iPhone when roaming around outdoors. While it works, the streaming is frequently borked by bandwidth hiccups and this is frankly not a great user experience.

Apple are on the right path with this.

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Happy

Spotty coverage and intelligent caching

I also agree that Apple are doing this the right way. On my commute to work I have several areas where there is no (or very poor) coverage (despite what my carrier claims). I'd love to be able to use a personalised streaming radio type service, but 5 minutes of either silence or 3 second bursts of songs makes it frustrating. I've yet to find one that will fill coverage holes with locally stored music.

As long as there is an automated purging of older content so that it doesn't overflow the device (user configurable would be ideal, but this is Apple) I don't see the issue. I'd further like to have an option to "don't start playing song until you have it all downloaded".

Of course the fact that I own a Driod phone ('cause I find the "simplicity" of iDevices just a little too simple) makes this kinda pointless anyway.

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Happy

I do have to say

Using the pic of Grandpa Simpson yelling at the cloud on the index page was genius.

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Coat

Maybe they see it more

as a persistent cache . . .

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Paris Hilton

Doh!

I saw that vid on insanely mac yesterday, and it looked Very believable

Paris, because she'll swallow anything too.

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Happy

RTFM - Apple do not mention streaming

As I wrote in an earlier comment,

" This is the largest misconception about iCloud.

It is all about SYNCing, nothing to do with STREAMing. All iCloud does is ensure all your iDevices (including Macs and PCs) are transparently synchronised. This may include your music, which does not have to be uploaded to iCloud if iTunes Match has a copy of all your tracks. If not, then only those non-matched tracks are uploaded, but ONLY for the purpose of re-synching back to other devices, not for streaming.

They want you to store data and use apps locally, otherwise you would not buy high-capacity iPhones etc, and would not pay for local apps.

To summarise, iCloud keeps your local off-line world in sync; it is not about the on-line use of data or applications."

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Anonymous Coward

So what you are saying is

iCloud is pointless. Totally pointless. If you want access to your stuff and it has to be stored locally anyway then just put it on your device before leaving the house.

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FAIL

hardly pointless...

I don't know before I leave the house exactly what I may want to listen to. Especially when going away for a few days.

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Multiple devices?

As I understand it, it ensures that your Mac, PC, iPod, IPhone are all synced without physically having to do it yourself. As a bonus, you get a backup of your stuff on iCloud in case of nasty accidents/theft of your device(s).

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What if you aren't at your house?

I quite often find a new album/playlist on spotify that I want to listen to on the way home. A quick tap on my iphone makes that album available offline, and spotify will download it over 3G and cache it.

I also don't buy that streaming *music* over 3G won't work - I rarely if ever have dropouts when streaming spotify over 3G, it just works. Obviously, there are times when you can't use 3G, and offline mode is handy for that.

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Assumptions ahead, but it seems simple.

"What we don't know yet is how Apple plans to manage the tunes on your Mac, PC, or iOS device. Will they automatically go into the iTunes Library? Will they wait in some flushable cache that, as it fills to a predetermined – user determined? – point, will trigger an "I'm getting stuffed" alert?"

I'm assuming, in typical Apple fashion, you'll never see the word "cache" in their UI.

It will probably just download into an unseen cache, and from the users point of view they are simply clicking to play a song or album from iCloud, and won't know if it is being downloaded on the fly or if it is already in the cache. The cache will delete content that hasn't been used in a while if it gets full, without telling the user.

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Facepalm

How will it work?

Simple - the service will sync your iTunes libraries on different devices, via the cloud. Or, is this too obvious?

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Anonymous Coward

Spotify

Anyone looked at how Spotify works?

Clue, there's a cache of a few hundred Mb on your disk - not just the currently playing track a la Flash.

Anyone actually tried using a 3G device while mobile?? Things I've observed - full signal strength, but delays of up to 30 seconds before data is received - then arriving at 100s of K per second. Distinct impression that a lot of 3G networks were optimised for high bandwidth, high latency. And of course, way too many blackspots.

So it strikes me this is an eminently sensible approach (even more obvious is to speculatively load in the likely next tracks). And the obvious way to handle space constraints is to delete some 'least likely to play' tracks, then reload them on demand or sync.

I really don't see the advantage of a pure streaming approach, unless you spend a lot of time playing your audio on devices you don't own - and don't venture outside WiFi territory. (Cue joke about living at home).

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Holmes

Legal issue?

Is it possible there are legal reasons why they keep on saying it won't stream? As we have seen with other streaming services they run into legal problems when streaming to mobile devices (I'm fairly sure I haven't imagined this) So maybe this is Apples way of giving a service while side stepping some legal terms?

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Paris Hilton

Er... is it not better?

In the sense, if I want to listen again to the song I just listened to five minutes ago, then I don't need to move bits all over the world again? What is the problem with that? Or are we so much in the future that "bandwidth" and "downloading caps" are no obstacles anymore?

About the fact you need an Apple device, well yeah, it IS Apple we are talking about, right?

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FAIL

iPoint?

What is the point of uploading your music from your computer to iCloud then downloading it again to your device? Why not save time, bandwidth and potentially money by plugging in a cable and copying it to the device directly?

I struggle to see the iPoint in iTunes, iDevices, iEtc at the best of times but this one really seems to be nonexistant.

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Exactly what I want

I don't want to be bothered copying files to all my devices. This is the solution I was hoping for. In a perfect world where connectivity was constant then I would be happy with a pure cloud streaming service however this is not what the icloud is about.

This is a simple way of making sure all my idevices have a copy of all my music so I can access it where ever I am. Easy.

As is often the case Reg commenters miss the point of mass market appeal and are only interested in their own technical solutions and yes I consider plugging and copying as @Dave Murray suggested as a technical solution.

Apple have a solution that will make sense to most users. I fail to see why this is a bad thing.

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Am I the only one?

Did anyone else read the "fat app" part discussing the large TomTom app as "fart apps" because as well all know, the most popular[1] apps in the store are all fart apps!

[1] possibly not a fact.

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Spotify Does This

Spotify offers real mobile/desktop streaming but also allows you to cache music (songs, playlists, albums) locally on your device. It's like Lala with local caching. I have about 20 albums on my Nexus S right now, but I also have access to everything else in the Spotify library (100's of thousands of albums). Personally I think this is a much better alternative than iCloud (or iTunes),, because I really don't want to "own" and manage physical CDs or MP3 libraries or (worst of all) to be beholden to Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Syncing folders between devices

Couldn't Windows Mobile 5 and 6 handle this using Activesync? It's been a while since I jumped ship to Android but I'm sure they could activesync over 3G and sync folders over Activesync. Certainly modern Android has apps that'll let you sync folders (which could contain ID3-tagged music files).

I mean it's not a 'cloud' service as you need your own computer turned on to sync with it. But then Apple's attempt isn't a true Cloud solution as the data isn't being kept in the cloud and just cached locally for a brief period- it's provided from a server to your device for storage.

Pretty much, as with all Apple offerings, this offers bugger all that WinMo classic couldn't do in 2007 (or, if I'm mistaken, what android can do) but makes it a lot less powerful to give ultra-thick users a slightly easier time.

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Looking forward to it.

I consider synching my iphone and ipad as a pain in the a$$, and i don't like to have to do it very often. Why should i have to fire up a computer at home in order to get my unplayed podcasts, new music, new videos, apps, and synch photos between devices?

This is a great solution, and well overdue. Granted, there are other ways to do this (manually synching, using other apps, and with dropbox on your idevices) but this will make it much more seamless.

If you still want to plug your phone into your laptop like it's 2004, go ahead.

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