There haven’t been any truly significant advances with iTunes music since Apple unshackled songs from the FairPlay digital rights management ball and chain in early 2009. That all changed with the recent introduction of iTunes Match, a new scan-and-match subscription service offering access to your entire music library from any Mac, PC, or iOS device which can also upgrade matched tracks to higher quality versions, regardless of where you acquired them.
Technology moves faster than poop through a goose: New products crop up quickly, while established brands and well-loved hardware can disappear just as fast. The same goes for those that make new technology possible, with new entrepreneurs bringing their wares to the fore, and legends leaving us years before their time. This past year proved no exception. With the new year creeping ever closer, we submit to you ten of our picks for the most important tech stories of the year. Designed by Apple users for Apple users, we're sure you'll find yourself nodding in agreement at more than a few of our choices.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had access to your entire music library at all times? And what if you could share that library amongst all your Macs and iOS devices? iTunes Match is an optional paid iCloud component that offers exactly that, and while it’s charms are obvious, there are some limitations and usability issues that make Match’s forecast a little cloudy.
The 2011 Christmas holiday will be just a memory in a few days’ time, and our thoughts then turn to the new year and what 2012 might bring. For those of us covering the Apple beat, those ruminations include the first full year without Steve Jobs and what kind of new wonderment the team left in his wake might bring us -- some of which might still have involved his magic touch.
Backups to the cloud encrypt and transmit your Mac’s data to online servers that could be anywhere in the world. These backups depend on a fast, reliable internet connection, and may lack the speed of local backups and restores, but they offer important advantages over backing up locally. For starters, most cloud backups offer some storage for free, with additional plans to choose from as your needs grow. Your files are kept far from where thieves could realistically reach them, and they’re protected (again, within reason) from disasters and random acts of clumsiness better than most external drives. We have yet to hear of a server brought down by a spilled iced latte at Starbucks.
What’ll it be: Mac or PC? Consumers have their reasons for loving or hating both platforms. When expressed in online forums and the user comment sections of websites like Mac|Life or our sister site Maximum PC, these rational talking points act to chum the digital waters, attracting the most irritating of all predators: The Fanboy. With Macs users now capable of easily running Windows and OS X on the same computer, and Windows rig owners leveraging iTunes to keep their iPads and iPhones purring along, you’d think the hostilities would be settling down.
Unfortunately, there’s a new argument to be had, and it revolves around the issue of which company, Microsoft or Apple, provides a superior cloud computing experience: SkyDrive or iCloud. While we wear our pro-Apple leanings like a badge of honor, we wouldn’t be doing our readers a service by simply declaring iCloud the single greatest cloud computing and storage platform of all time. Instead, we present you with a blow-for-blow account of how the two of the web’s most prominent cloud computing platforms -- iCloud and SkyDrive -- stack up against one another.
It's Black Friday, and you might be sleeping off your pre-dawn shopping binge and missed the news; but it's also the day after Thanksgiving, so you might have been too busy stuffing cranberry sauce into your chops to keep up; and, last but not least, it's two days after you sat for hours in bumper to bumper holiday traffic, where you couldn't see these hot news stories. Luckily for you, we have a sweet leftover plate of the week's hottest newsflashes and we know you're going to gorge yourself on these awesome Apple stories.
While iCloud brought many long-awaiting features to iOS and OS X, many users were still holding out for Dropbox-like syncing service. Though Apple didn’t go this direction with the official release, there is actually a way to trick iCloud into syncing files and folders between Macs, just like Dropbox. Read on and we’ll show you exactly how to use this hidden functionality of iCloud.
iCloud finally arrived alongside iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S last month, but music lovers had to wait just a bit longer to spin their virtual platters via iTunes Match, Apple’s “one more thing” announced at WWDC 2011 back in June and now, finally available for anyone willing to part with $24.99 each year. Curious about how it works and why you might want it? Read on!