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  1. #1
    karter's Avatar karter is offline Always Have Fun !

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    Default How does iCloud work?

    Ok, I do feel kind of silly asking this, but I have never really thought about how iCloud actually works. With the new iPhone 4S due to come out next week, I am wondering, can I purchase the 16gb 4S and save a bit of coin. I have only ever had 32gb iPhone’s due to having 30gb of audio, apps, and movies on my iTunes. So here’s the bit I don’t really get….If I purchase a 16gb iPhone 4S, will I be able to have all of my 30gb of iTunes data continuously on the 16gb? Or do I have to keep singing in to my iTunes account to access the Cloud? Does the cloud use wifi or 3G to sync all the new music, and listen to it, or is it fully wireless? I understand I am going to have to pay the small fee to use iCloud due me having over the 5gb free limit, this doesn’t bother me..
    To me, the concept doesn’t really make sense, but that would be because I don’t really understand the fullness the service has to offer…..

  2. #2
    Erwin's Avatar Erwin is offline ☺ ☻ ☼ ♂ † ♪ ♥ 

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    I can't imagine that you will be streaming 30 Gb of media from the cloud, that would kill the bandwidth limit on your 3g account. It's a good question though.
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  3. #3
    karter's Avatar karter is offline Always Have Fun !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erwin View Post
    I can't imagine that you will be streaming 30 Gb of media from the cloud, that would kill the bandwidth limit on your 3g account. It's a good question though.
    Thats exactly why I'm questioning how it actually works. Because I honestly don't know how it would actually communicate and know what is in your "Cloud" and then transfer the content, with no actual internet connection. In saying this though, I do really hope that it doesn't use wifi/3G to transfer and get the data on the iOS device, because that wouldn't help me much..ahh

  4. #4

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    Firstly, iTunes Match (which is the "cloud" storage of your iTunes music) is not currently indicated as being available in Australia.

    The way it works, if we do eventually get it, the way it works is basically like the current app store. Any song/album you have bought through iTunes will be available to download to any iTunes activated device, as you want it. I think you can choose whether it's accessible via 3G or only WiFi.

    If you have music you purchased on CD and ripped, or happened to obtain some other way, if you want to store it in iCloud you have to pay US$25 a year, and then you can upload your purchases (or if they can be matched with iTunes content, it just appears in your iTunes Match service).

    It's really no different to having 30gb of music on your iTunes at home, and choosing which 10-15Gb of music you want on your iPhone/iPod Touch, the real difference is that you won't have to plug into your computer to get that song you want to listen to right now, and you can do it anywhere you have connectivity.

  5. #5

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    With cloud services in general there are two broad categories/services they offer.

    1. Big hard drive in the sky
    2. Mediate the syncing of data across devices


    How the different services do this differ from company to company. Some will do strictly one or the other, some will do a combination of both.

    iCloud for the most part does the second (with a few exceptions).

    First you need to look at Apple's current system. They have the iTunes store which contains a large catalogue of music, apps, movies and books. When you purchase a song a copy is downloaded to the device you purchased it on. You then have to manually sync it across to your other devices. They key point is they have the song and you download a copy to your device. You listen to the music locally, it doesn't stream.

    iCloud is an augmentation of the current iTunes infrastructure. The difference being that instead of downloading the song to one device, it will automatically download the song to all your devices. The same applies for all other iTunes/app store content.

    Now due to obvious space constraints iCloud will let you remove songs from a single device and re-download them on command. the songs must be downloaded, you cannot stream.

    The above only works with songs you have purchased with iCloud and, most importantnly, the above does not count towards your 5 GB limit. This is because the song is being downloaded front he iTunes store, not being stored on iCloud (you only pay the once though). It is the same with apps, movies, books etc.

    Now Apple will offer a service called iTunes match, which is a paid service. iTunes match will scan your non-iTunes bought music and compare it to it's own catalogue of music on the iTunes store. It will then do one of two things.

    1. If the item exists on the iTunes store it will add the song to the same list as the purchased songs and treat them exactly as described above, that is automatically/on demand download them from the store to the device. Just like the paid songs these songs do not count towards your 5GB limit.
    2. If it doesn't exist on the store iTunes match will upload the song onto iCloud where it will be stored. The music will then be treated like the other types described above. It will be auto synced and downloaded on demand (except if downloads it from iCloud not the iTunes store, so the quality of the song you put up matters). It does not get streamed. This category of music does count towards your 5 GB quota. This is the one case (in regards to music) where iCloud acts as your big hard drive in the sky.


    So from your purchasing point of view you need to ask.

    What % of my music is purchased from iTunes, what % of non-purchased music is concurrently available on the site and what % is not available?

    Other questions I guess you need to determine is; how much music do I listen too, how much of my music do I need available to me? Do remember that songs can always be downloaded to your device on demand through either wiFi or 3G. So I guess the final question you need to ask is how much data are you will to use to manage your music collection?

    I hope this clarifies things and helps. I've only talked about the music side, but iCloud also syncs photos, documents, bookmarks, email, contacts etc.


  6. #6
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    SLY
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    Adding to the conversation

    Im hoping that cloud gives you the oppertunity to have some type of passcode for differant devices, example being I have a iPhone and iPad, my 7 yo son has my old iPhone and iPad and my wife has an iPad, we all use the same itunes account and back up on the same PC under differant logins, there probably going to be things I want syncéd from my iPhone to my iPad and PC but not to my sons ones...

    I assume it will be like bluetooth and you will need to pair devices, can anyone confirm this?

  7. #7

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    Wil you be able to access the cloud storage on any internet device? Like the google tv, My macbook air etc, android devices etc ? And can you store any time of file into the cloud? Like avi, mkv files etc?

  8. #8
    karter's Avatar karter is offline Always Have Fun !

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    feeze, Thanks a lot for taking the time out and explaining it to us, makes it a lot easier to understand..

    However, I am still not sure how it works for the music storing on the iPhone and listening to the music. I understand you first have to download (via the internet) the iCloud stored data to the device. So can someone confirm for me, If I was to download 30gb of music from the icloud to my iPhone (through wit-fi) does it stay on the 16gb iPhone? (How do i access the music, do i access it from the iPod app?)
    Just making sure, If i purchase the extended storage, can i have say 60gb of iCloud data on my 16gb iPhone that will STAY there, and i can access all data (once downloaded) WITHOUT having any connection to the internet? Therfore, I would effectively have all my music (30gb) on a 16gb iPhone, allowing for the actual iPhone hard drive to be used for things such as videos, contact, photos etc.

  9. #9
    ravage221's Avatar ravage221 is offline iPwNer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robstevo View Post
    Wil you be able to access the cloud storage on any internet device? Like the google tv, My macbook air etc, android devices etc ? And can you store any time of file into the cloud? Like avi, mkv files etc?
    Nope. On your MacBook Air, yes, but it is limited to Apple devices.
    The iTunes in the Cloud feature requires iTunes 10.5 and/or iOS 5. Documents, bookmarks and contacts requires iOS 5 and/or Mac OS X 10.7.2, also there will be Windows support for this at some point although I haven't heard anything about this since iCloud's introduction months ago. Photos requires iOS 5 and/or iPhoto 9.2. Email works just fine on anything.

    It isn't like iDisk or Dropbox, there isn't a folder that you can just drag things to and store. However, one under reported feature is the Documents side of iCloud. Say if there was a media player app and it took advantage of the iCloud Documents API. It could (theoretically) store any of the media files in the cloud. Those files would then be available to all of the devices that have that app and are linked to that Apple ID. That includes the Mac OS X version of this app that also uses the Documents API. And possibly extending even to a Windows version of that app, should Apple get a Windows iCloud API out.

    ---------- Post added at 04:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:13 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by karter View Post
    feeze, Thanks a lot for taking the time out and explaining it to us, makes it a lot easier to understand..

    However, I am still not sure how it works for the music storing on the iPhone and listening to the music. I understand you first have to download (via the internet) the iCloud stored data to the device. So can someone confirm for me, If I was to download 30gb of music from the icloud to my iPhone (through wit-fi) does it stay on the 16gb iPhone? (How do i access the music, do i access it from the iPod app?)
    Just making sure, If i purchase the extended storage, can i have say 60gb of iCloud data on my 16gb iPhone that will STAY there, and i can access all data (once downloaded) WITHOUT having any connection to the internet? Therfore, I would effectively have all my music (30gb) on a 16gb iPhone, allowing for the actual iPhone hard drive to be used for things such as videos, contact, photos etc.
    You won't be able to fit all that music on the iPhone. Downloading 30GB of music to a 16GB iPhone would be impossible; you are limited by available storage. It will save as much as possible (tapping a song to play it, does actually download it and save it) until you run out of space. For example, if your 16GB iPhone was empty and you try to save 30GB of music to it, it would only save the 16GB and then any subsequent music you try to save from that point on would not save on the device. When the iPhone or destination device is full, you will stream the media from iCloud, which does require the internet. Summary: A 16GB iPhone can only have 16GB worth of files/music/whatever on it for off-line access, the rest would only be on iCloud and would require an internet connection to access. No matter how you twist it, that 30GB/60GB/whateverGB needs to be somewhere and if it isn't on your iPhone it will only be on iCloud and you need a connection to iCloud to access it. You will never make 16 = 30 or 60. Trust me
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  10. #10
    karter's Avatar karter is offline Always Have Fun !

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravage221 View Post

    You won't be able to fit all that music on the iPhone. Downloading 30GB of music to a 16GB iPhone would be impossible; you are limited by available storage. It will save as much as possible (tapping a song to play it, does actually download it and save it) until you run out of space. For example, if your 16GB iPhone was empty and you try to save 30GB of music to it, it would only save the 16GB and then any subsequent music you try to save from that point on would not save on the device. When the iPhone or destination device is full, you will stream the media from iCloud, which does require the internet. Summary: A 16GB iPhone can only have 16GB worth of files/music/whatever on it for off-line access, the rest would only be on iCloud and would require an internet connection to access. No matter how you twist it, that 30GB/60GB/whateverGB needs to be somewhere and if it isn't on your iPhone it will only be on iCloud and you need a connection to iCloud to access it. You will never make 16 = 30 or 60. Trust me
    ahh, so you have to have an internet connection, to listen to music if you downloaded it from the cloud? I thought once downloaded from the cloud, it saved on the iPhone...damn..

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by karter View Post
    ahh, so you have to have an internet connection, to listen to music if you downloaded it from the cloud? I thought once downloaded from the cloud, it saved on the iPhone...damn..
    No. What his point is is that it is physically impossible to fit 30 GB of data onto a 16 GB drive.

    So, if you have space on your iPhone the data will be saved to your phone (and listen to it off line). If you don't have space, i.e. you've filled the entire 16 GB drive, it will stream from the cloud and require a connection.

  12. #12
    karter's Avatar karter is offline Always Have Fun !

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    Quote Originally Posted by feeze View Post
    No. What his point is is that it is physically impossible to fit 30 GB of data onto a 16 GB drive.

    So, if you have space on your iPhone the data will be saved to your phone (and listen to it off line). If you don't have space, i.e. you've filled the entire 16 GB drive, it will stream from the cloud and require a connection.
    Thank you both..i now actually understand iCloud and am able to decide on which iPhone is best suited to me..Thanks a lot guys!!

  13. #13

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    Glad we can help.

    It can be confusing to wrap your head around. Especially since different clouds work differently. Hey, we aren't even started to discuss the photo stream and the confusion that is surely to cause

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    I just see it chewing up my mobile data a lot quicker than it does now. The Photo syncing is cool, but I don't see the song matching to be all that useful. Time will tell.

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    We don't even know if we'll be getting the iTunes iCloud stuff as it's very dependant upon the record labels.

    I'm hoping we do, for that time I decide I really have to listen to that song I bought a year ago but stopped putting on my iPhone.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravage221 View Post
    Nope. On your MacBook Air, yes, but it is limited to Apple devices.
    The iTunes in the Cloud feature requires iTunes 10.5 and/or iOS 5. Documents, bookmarks and contacts requires iOS 5 and/or Mac OS X 10.7 )
    Ok for someone who has iPhone 4 & a MacBook pro running 10.5. Would I be able to sync my iPhone & iPad wireless
    together via iTunes using icloud.

  17. #17
    karter's Avatar karter is offline Always Have Fun !

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    I'm back....lol

    How do you look at iPhoto photos from your mac on your iPhone, or is this impossible and I'm dreaming?

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    Hey guys, i am wondering . Do you know how with the iCloud it says you have 5gb of software , is that for each device ? And also is that 5gb taken from your internet router storage ? ( does it make the bill go up ?)

  19. #19
    ravage221's Avatar ravage221 is offline iPwNer

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewy38 View Post
    Ok for someone who has iPhone 4 & a MacBook pro running 10.5. Would I be able to sync my iPhone & iPad wireless
    together via iTunes using icloud.
    You can sync wirelessly via iTunes as long as you are on the same Wi-Fi network. You can get iCloud to sync other things, such as your email, calendar, bookmarks and many other things as long as you are using the same iCloud account on the iPhone 4, iPad and MacBook Pro (but you will need to update the MacBook Pro to Lion in a perfect world, I think they may have released iCloud stuff for 10.6.8 too but I'm not quite sure.)

    Quote Originally Posted by karter View Post
    I'm back....lol

    How do you look at iPhoto photos from your mac on your iPhone, or is this impossible and I'm dreaming?
    Isn't this what Photo Stream is for? Get the iPhoto 9.2 update and turn on Photo Stream and try putting photos in it. That should make what is in there, available on your iPhone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchyy View Post
    Hey guys, i am wondering . Do you know how with the iCloud it says you have 5gb of software , is that for each device ? And also is that 5gb taken from your internet router storage ? ( does it make the bill go up ?)
    You get 5GB of storage for free for your iCloud account. The 5GB isn't related to your home internet connection, it is handled and stored by Apple. The bill won't go up, however if you are a heavy iCloud user the usage could go up (especially with silent updates that happen.). If you need more storage see here: Apple - iCloud
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