Amazon today announced a new service that will soon be available called the ‘Cloud Player’. The idea is that users can upload their music tracks to their own space on the internet and access it from any computer or Android phone. This beats Apple and Google who are apparently developing similar systems themselves. The idea of a large amount of online storage space for general public use isn’t exactly a new idea (i.e. Dropbox), but the fact that the major players see this as the way forward means the demise of the CD and the hard drive.
Take Apple for instance. The iPad has few options regarding connectivity but this isn’t missed as you can do most of the things you need to using the Internet. Earlier this year Apple released the App Store for their desktop and laptop computers with software such as iLife and iWork available for immediate download as opposed to ordering the CD. What’s the betting that Apple will stop releasing future versions of their software on CD? (Also, anyone notice the lack of iDVD update on the recent version of iLife? Another sign of Apple’s intentions?)
To add to this, Apple’s latest computers included ‘Thunderbolt’, a new I/O interface that looks sure to one day replace USB and Firewire connectivity. This new technology developed by Intel gives transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps – a phenomenal speed which will revolutionize the way we transfer data between devices.
These new technologies seem to be spurring on the demise of the physical storage items we need to take with us. We can already rent or buy films over the Internet, download applications instead of installing from a CD, edit documents and store them online and now have the possibility of having our entire music library stored in the ‘Cloud’. How soon before they start selling computers without hard drives? It might not be as far away as we think.
Let’s just hope our mobile phone operators start increasing our 500MB monthly data transfer limit (sold as unlimited), otherwise listening to music could start getting expensive.