iCloud lets you pirate all the music you wish – for $24.99 a year.


Apple today announced iCloud, their new online storage system which links together iOS and Mac devices, syncing documents, photos, books, apps – and most interestingly, music. The announced ‘iTunes Match‘ functionality does what just about everyone expected that Apple wouldn’t do – it allows the use of non-iTunes purchased music with the iCloud system. It essentially permits, even welcomes piracy – for a price.


The iTunes Match system isn’t an afterthought on Apple’s behalf, or a simple add-on feature: it is a dedicated system for scanning your current music library, and matching it with tracks in the iTunes library. This is a service which would have taken a huge amount of bargaining in order to gain the approval (reluctant or not) of record labels: and that says a lot about Apple’s position in regards to piracy. They are essentially accepting the fact that music piracy is inevitable in the music industry at the present time, and rather than trying to stop it with DRM and the like (as they have done in the past) they have decided upon an entirely new approach. The system is, crucially, working around piracy, and allowing the music labels to make some kind of revenue from it with the $24.99 fee, and that is something truly revolutionary.

Rather than simply ignoring the problem, or trying to put an end to the practice, Apple has taken an entirely new approach – monetizing music piracy. It’s a juxtaposition which bodes well for consumers, and for the music industry itself in the coming years.

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8 Responses

  1. This is the Stupidest blog I have ever happened across, But all the Haters try to make it something It Is Not.

  2. This includes ripped music too though, so there are some legitimate use cases.

  3. Wait, I don’t get it… Why do people want to use this service at all? Pay $25/year to have apple hold onto your music? Why? Because they can “beam” it down to all your devices? So what? I can already get my music on all my devices… people are kinda dumb.

    1.  There are a lot of cases where this would make sense.  For example in my case I spend about half the year on a ship and don’t have a lot of extra room for a laptop and my iPad.  This service will allow me to change out my music when I start to get bored with what I have loaded instead of having to listen to the same 10-15GB of music for 6 months at a time.  I think $25 a year is a nominal fee to be able to access all 70GB of my music where ever I am without having to bring extra devices with me.

  4. I doubt many people are going to be sending a bunch of pirated songs up to Apple. The matching service is of course designed for music that was originally purchased on CD (remember those?).

  5. More important than revenue from these songs is the ability to collect some analytics about what sort of music is being uploaded from pirated sources.

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