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Apple's new agreement with Warner could lead to new and improved MobileMe services as well as a new cloud-based iTunes music streaming service

In a recent article, DailyTech reported that Apple is looking to revamp its MobileMe service by allowing users to store all kinds of content on Apple's servers for less than the original $99/year fee. Now, it looks like these changes are finally coming to fruition.  

Apple's MobileMe service is a subscription-based collection of online services and software that was originally introduced in 2000 under the name iTools. It was initially made available for Mac users, but was later called MobileMe in 2008, which is for Mac OS X, iOS and Windows users, after a series of name changes. 

In February 2011, Apple discontinued the sale of MobileMe through its retail stores, and made it so that users had to sign up for a 60-day free trial of MobileMe through Apple's website. After that, the MobileMe user is charged $99 to continue the use of these services. 

Now, Apple is looking to make more changes to their MobileMe service. According to The Music Void, Apple has struck a deal with Warner Music Group that will allow for a new MobileMe music component called a "locker," which is rumored to be a service that stores a users "digital life" in the cloud. Apple is also using this new deal to lure in other labels in hopes of reaching agreements with them as well.

In addition, Apple is constructing a $1 billion data center in North Carolina as a hub to offer these new MobileMe services, as well as the new cloud-based iTunes music streaming service that Apple is currently working on. This new iTunes service will offer backups for downloaded songs in case the originals are damaged or lost, and will also allow users to download to their iPod, iPad and iPhone devices through one iTunes account. The locker for MobileMe may be linked to this new iTunes feature in some way, but this is only a rumor at this point. 

The new and improved MobileMe is due to be released in April, and while previous reports have said that this new plan would be free, The Music Void is placing a $20 price tag on the annual subscription service. 

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RE: $99/year? What a deal!
By name99 on 3/25/2011 4:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
(a) Pretty much the entire Apple world agrees with you. You can make whatever claims you like about sheeple and hipsters here, but the fact is that VERY FEW people sign up for Mobile Me, well aware that is a bad bad deal.
Heck even Apple is aware of this, which is why they are totally revamping it. (Who knows if the replacement will be a better deal.)

(b) There WERE two services available through Mobile Me that cannot be obtained through third parties.
- The first of these was the ability to track and find lost iPhones. This was made free a few months ago. (And, if Apple had any sense, will be built into iOS 5, rather than being an additional app you have to know about, download, and sign up with the service.)
- The second was "Back to my Mac", the ability to log in to your mac via remote desktop software from anywhere on the internet. I believe Apple has already stated this will be a built-in part of OS X 10.7.
We can quarrel with the technical underpinnings of this service (which are not nearly as elegant and efficient as Windows Remote Desktop Services) but the service does work.

Were these services worth the $100 a year? Most people did not think so, but regardless, they were not available from third parties.

RE: $99/year? What a deal!
By messele on 3/26/2011 8:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
Possibly but it is worth that amount of money if it means Yahoo and Google are not whoring out information gathered from my data that I am storing for 'free' on their servers.

Let's get one thing straight, there is NO SUCH THING AS FREE, you are paying for it one way or the other even if you are not conscious of the fact.

RE: $99/year? What a deal!
By Argon18 on 3/28/2011 9:20:23 AM , Rating: 2
"Of course our service is completely free! Just fill out this quick form, including street address, date of birth, mothers maiden name, ssn, a few "security" questions, and then take this brief survey!"

I agree that MobileMe is overpriced for what you get. The value in it lies in the privacy policy, where my information will not be sold to 3rd parties for any reason. Contrast that with Yahoo or Google, who have made a business of mining your personal information, not just from the forms you filled out, but even from the content of your emails, and by tracking what web sites you visit (yahoo toolbar) and compiling statistics- and selling them to advertisers, creditors, and anyone willing to pay- and NOT providing you any way to opt-out. Sorry, no thanks!

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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