We're Missing The Point Of The Cloud: It's Not Supposed To Be Locked To A Single Service

from the where-are-my-apis? dept

In the last few months now, we've had the launch of Amazon's, Google's and now Apple's "music locker" services. There are some key differences there, but all of them involve storing music collections in the so-called "cloud." But here's the thing: none of these actually match the promise of what "the cloud" is supposed to be. Rather, each involves online storage and lock-in to a particular vendor. I made this point back when Amazon launched its offering. I already back up all my (yes, legal and authorized) music via a mountable "cloud" drive using S3. Then I can access all of that music using any music player I want. With Amazon's and Google's offerings, the streaming only can occur via its own streaming service. In fact, the ultimate in ridiculousness was that I had to re-upload some songs to Amazon's music locker, rather than just point it at my S3 drive -- which is run by Amazon as well! At least with Apple's the focus seems to be syncing the music on various devices, but with Apple's control over the platform, it seems likely that for most people this still will effectively restrict usage to Apple applications.

I absolutely understand why this is happening, and am sure that the labels would positively freak out if someone had offered a cloud service that you could point any application to. But, really, when we're talking about "the cloud" and it involves this kind of lockup, it's important to remember that we're really not seeing some of the key features that the whole concept of "the cloud" is supposed to enable. Yes, we're seeing the remote storage and the access from anywhere type features, but not the ability to access information and data with different services. And, of course, once you could access such info with different services, you could see some real innovation start to occur around that information, including unique services for sharing and combining playlists, and making music a lot more social. At some point that will come, but, until then, these offerings are nice, yet hardly demonstrate what the technology really could do if it were unshackled.

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  1. identicon
    abc gum, 8 Jun 2011 @ 4:37am

    Re: Good ole fashioned vendor lock-in

    What happens when a service goes out of business ... its users have a set amount of time to transfer all their valuable data elsewhere. If they have lots of data and live under a cap it will be expensive. Best to backup your data yourself.

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