We own multiple devices in the home: multiple computers, iPods, and more. And pretty soon, everyone in the household will have an iPad. At the same time, we seek ways to share and hold our content. And while it may not be necessary to have access to the content at all times, we want to make sure it is there and safe when we do want it. So we buy back up digital storage or copy content onto cd-roms. And what we get is multiple copies of the same content filling up tons of storage. We have decentralized storage across each device in each home; now is the time to start centralizing and the solution lies in the cloud.
My first introduction to this concept was when Cablevision announced that it wanted to offer a N-DVR with content saved not on the device but at the central network. For Cablevision, it was an uphill, legal fight. Since then the need for more centralized storage has been turned into the latest buzz word, cloud computing. As defined in Wikipedia, "Cloud computing describes computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services."
So Apple is now trying to do the same thing with iTunes. "A deal would provide iTunes customers with a permanent backup of music purchases if the originals are damaged or lost, said the people. The service also would allow downloads to iPad, iPod and iPhone devices linked to the same iTunes account, they said. The move would be a step closer to universal access to content centrally stored on the Internet." Simply, user-friendly, and convenient. Download what you need immediately and store what you want to own and hold. Hopefully Apple will secure agreements from content companies to distribute and store in this manner.
And it seems to me that convenience spells more revenue. The safety of back-up combined with the need to continue to purchase and own. We, as human beings, remain pack rats; it's just nice to know that we don't have to clutter our own drives with digital content.