Apple has launched its beta iCloud service for iTunes, letting you store your purchased music, books, and apps (boy can they eat up hard drive space) to download anywhere. The service is part of the iTunes 10.3 update available for both PC and Mac and currently it’s free. In the fall, Apple will launch iTunes Match which will allow to you store even music you haven’t purchased on iTunes for $24.99 a year. Regardless of quality, Apples says they will stream back your music at 256-Kbps iTunes Plus quality.
If you’re running PC, you’ll need a 1GHz Intel or AMD processor, 1024×768 or greater screen resolution, QuickTime-compatible audio card, and a few other items for the full iTunes experience. Mac users need an Intel, PowerPC G5 or G4 processor and OSX 10.5 or higher. (you can get more info at Apple).
Content from iTunes is still purchased a la cart (vs. monthly plans), but the ability to store songs you aren’t listening to anymore in the cloud and the flexibility of downloading your purchased content to any supporting device (without needing a cable sync) is definitely a plus.
Along with iCloud, Apple has also released iOS 5 and OS X Lion.