Eagle-eyed Michael Robertson noticed that the updated iDisk app for iPhone/iPod/iPad has a nifty feature enabled that is bound to cause excitement and ruffle feathers. The release notes revealed that the iDisk app can now play audio from the cloud backup service in the background. Want to listen to something from your iTunes library but don't have it on your device? No worries. Just stream it from the cloud.
Given that music companies insist that streaming music requires and extra license and more money, I imagine this is going to raise the ire of music label executives. Apple has been trying to work out details for a streaming service connected to iTunes, though sources say that the project is going to be more about video than music. This new iDisk functionality is different from most streaming services, though, because users are only streaming music they own to their own devices. Users can choose to publicly share their files, but it doesn't look like they can publicly stream.
So far, adding music to iDisk doesn't appear to be as effortless as syncing Calendars, Contacts, Bookmarks and the like. Users have to add each file individually. And iTunes playlists won't work. Support for this may come in the future, but for now it's a bit of a pain to transfer an entire collection over.
Whether this is a test run for iTunes in the cloud or a tentative step toward a more robust iDisk-based service, those of us with huge music collections and a paltry 16GB to work with on the iPhone have something to look forward to.
Image Credit: Michael Robertson