As our first guest, Molly Wood, executive editor at CNET.com, points out, the name iCloud is a bit misleading. Unlike traditional cloud computing services, this isn't a matter of storing a bunch of your data on a server somewhere and letting you access it through streaming. It's more a series of syncing options. I guess iSync didn't sound as catchy.
With iCloud, you can buy a song on your phone and have it sent automatically to your computer or your tablet or any other device already hooked up to the system. Apple is offering a matching service where, for $25 a year, they can match up the older files you have with better sounding new iTunes files and deliver those to you instead.
Molly Wood says it's a good system for people who already live very much inside the Apple ecosystem: people who have iPhones and iPads and Macs and who acquire their music by purchasing it through iTunes. You will be able to do some of this on a Windows system too, but the further away you get from Apple, the trickier it's likely to become.
Glenn Fleishman, author of several books about Apple, says that $25 fee makes sense if you moved over that big pile of CDs and converted them into lousy files. It also makes sense if you obtained some of your music through not entirely legal means.
Apple had plenty of other announcements at the Worldwide Developers Conference. It introduced the new Lion operating system, and it offered a preview of the upcoming iOS 5 mobile operating system.