Forbes asks: “Did Apple just create an amnesty program for digital music?” “At $24.99 annually iTunes Match is the one piece of Apple’s iCloud service you’ll have to pay for — and if you’ve spent years rolling up a giant ball of questionable music on your PC, it might just be the biggest bargain.”  TuneCore CEO Jeff Price reminds us that Michael Robertson pioneered the iTunes Match model a decade ago with, but adds that “The iCloud business model has created a way for copyright holders to make money off of pirated music without making consumers feel like they are paying for the music.”  Billboard reckons that “…By retraining its user base to think differently about the notion of a file, or about how content is distributed between multiple devices, Apple with iCloud could eventually spark a whole new way of thinking about music in the digital age…” ” Other than the fact that iCloud just makes the already dominant iTunes even stronger, the Rhapsodys, MOGs, Spotifys and Napsters of the world have little to fear, as their biggest challenges reside outside of Apple’s moves.” “…The exception is Google and Amazon. They’d better work out their differences with the music industry and get the licenses needed to offer a similar scan-and-match locker that Apple just unveiled because at $25 a year for 20,000 songs, with no uploading required, it’s going to be difficult for either company to offer a compelling reason not to just continue using iTunes.” Billboard  Mark Mulligan, formerly of Jupiter and Forrester: “Apple has done what Apple does best: it has let the competition move first, learned from their mistakes and launched a better product.” “This is the sort of locker service Amazon and Google *should* have launched”.  Ben Drury of 7 Digital “…We’ve allowed customers to re-download their purchases for several years. The new services from Apple are a step in the right direction but only if all your devices are Apple devices. Their platform is essentially closed and proprietary; customers are forced into choosing Apple for all their devices. 7 Digital’s approach, through our open APIs and partnerships, is to offer cloud functionality that is independent of device. You can use our service on Android, BlackBerry, PC, Mac, Linux, Safari, Chrome etc.”
A hands-on review of iTunes in the Cloud from ArsTechnica rates it as “Good”  Engadget says that “Complete with a more robust notification scheme and a brand new messaging protocol, Apple has filled in many of the gaps that have left it behind other OSs like Android and webOS.”  AllThingsD has published a compilation of all the statistics from Apple’s presentation  and has also identified the various third-party apps that will suffer as a result of Apple’s new releases:  CNet has compared the predictions against the reality for its “Rumour Scorecard”

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