Before you click the button to backup all your info on the iCloud, you should read on. There’s a lot of mystery out there about the cloud. Sure, the cloud is this big nebulous thing out in cyberspace where you get to store your music, pictures, files or whatever and that’s great. But don’t be fooled into thinking that once you choose the iCloud setting that your new iPhone or iTouch that it’s going to back up ALL of your media and information. The iCloud is selective and you need to know how to navigate it. So we’re taking a crack at demystifying the cloud so you can better prepare yourself when you click that radio button that says “Backup to iCloud”.

First, let’s look at your music. As music goes – if you’re only using iTunes to buy music you’re all good to use the iCloud. The iCloud will back up and download all of your iTunes purchased music. Works great. But what about all of your CD music, your borrowed music, and all of those non-iTunes purchased music? What about that stuff. Does it go to the cloud as well? The answer is no – it doesn’t go unless you sign up for what’s known as iTunes Match.

The following items are NOT backed up to iCloud as part of the free 5gb storage service:

  • Music and TV shows not purchased from the iTunes Store
  • Movies, podcasts, and audio books
  • Photos that were originally synced from your computer

For other files, you can sync these items with a computer using iTunes (so the iCloud is NOT an option) – unless you purchase something called iTunes Match (read on).

 Backing Up a Standard iCloud Account

You get 5GB of free iCloud storage for:

  • Photos and videos in the Camera Roll
  • Device settings (for example: Phone Favorites, Wallpaper, and Mail, Contacts, Calendar accounts)
  • App data
  • Home screen and app organization
  • Messages (iMessage, SMS, and MMS)
  • Ringtones

By the way, along with the 5GB free storage, Apple does not count purchased music, apps, books and TV shows toward your storage limit. So you ask “Why can’t they let me store ALL my music?” I think you already know that answer. If you need more iCloud storage, you can purchase additional iCloud storage from your iOS device, Mac, or PC.

iTunes Match

If you want the benefits of iTunes in the Cloud for music you haven’t purchased from iTunes, iTunes Match is the solution. It’s built right into the iTunes app on your Mac or PC and the Music app on your iOS devices. And it lets you store your entire collection, including music you’ve imported from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes. For just $24.99 a year.

Here’s how it works: iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to iCloud. Since there are more than 20 million songs in the iTunes Store, most of your music is probably already in iCloud. All you have to upload is what iTunes can’t match. Which is much faster than starting from scratch. Once your music is in iCloud, you can stream and store it on any of your devices. All the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality. Click Here to learn more.

iTunes Match supports up to 10 devices — including your computer, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Apple TV. When you create, edit, or delete a playlist on your Mac, PC, iPhone, or iPad, those changes will sync across any iTunes Match-enabled device you own.

Consider Google Music as an Alternative

Google Music, once known as “Music Beta for Google,” has grown into a vast and  dynamic database of music. Songs and album compilations are available for free  and for minimal cost. Users register for an account through an easy-to-use  interface and then install a Music Manager on their computer hard-drive for the  sake of uploading and organizing music from Google Music’s cloud storage locker.  Where the iTune is more indirect and difficult in its application and approach,  though, this process is easier but can take a while. The Music Manager requires  about a minute or two, but the music files take longer, depending on the load  size and the cloud computing activity rate at the time. Once this process is  complete, users are good to go.  You can add up to 20,000 of your own songs — all for free Read more…

Cloud Options

The Box Cloud

Put all your content on Box – any type of file, from any device. Organize it into folders. Invite friends or coworkers to your folders too, whether working on a project or simply sharing pictures.

Box provides simple, secure sharing from anywhere – letting you easily store files online, send big files fast, access content from your iPhone or iPad and collaborate with others.  Designed apps are availble for iPhones and iPads, Android phones, Blackberries, desktops, laptops and more.

Store video, pictures, music, files, or whatever. You control who accesses information in a simple directory structure.

In case you’re not familiar with it, is  cloud-storage service not unlike Dropbox and SugarSync. After uploading your  various documents, media files, and the like, you can easily access them online,  share them with others, stream media to a mobile device, and so on.

  • Box provides simple, secure sharing from anywhere – letting you easily store files online, send big files fast, access content from your iPhone or iPad and collaborate with others.  Box for iPhone and iPad lets you:
  • View files directly on your iPhone and iPad
  • Share files easily with a link
  • Quickly search for files and folders
  • Mark files and folders as favorites for easy access to content even if offline
  • Secure content with file-level encryption, a four-digit passcode and automatic logout when the app is closed
  • Upload photos and videos to your Box account
  • Open files in other apps installed on your device, like Documents to Go and GoodReader (iPads only)
  • Project files from Box to a TV, LCD monitor or projector via AV Out (iPads and iPhone 4S only); wirelessly stream content using AirPlay (iPad 2 and iPhone 4S only)
  • Wirelessly print to AirPrint-enabled printers (iPads only)

There’s even a new feature that allows iPhone 4S and iPad  2 users to wirelessly stream files to an Apple TV.

Now for the bad news: although it’s easy to enough to  select files and folders to upload to your account, you must do so using a Web  interface or your iDevice (which is limited to uploading photos)

Read more:

Honestly, does it really have to be this difficult? Guess so!

Restoring an iPhone from the Apple iCloud

How content is restored to a new device
When you go through Setup Assistant on a new iOS 5 device, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup” and enter your iCloud account and password. You will see the three most recent backups for each of the devices on which you enabled Backup. Choose which backup to restore from.
After your device restarts, your settings and accounts are restored and Backup starts downloading your purchased music, TV shows, apps, books, Camera Roll, and other content.* You may be prompted to enter the passwords for all accounts enabled on your device.
A progress bar will appear underneath the apps that are being downloaded. To prioritize the restore of a specific app, tap its icon. Restore will attempt to download the same version of the app that you had installed previously. If that version is no longer available, the latest version of the app will be restored.

For additional information on the iCloud visit Apple:

Getting Music to a new Computer with new iTunes

While this doesn’t work with the new iPhone or iTouch – it does work with most of the older Apple products if you’re looking to copy music files from one iPod profile to another. Take a look.

Other Useful Information:

Xilisoft iPhone Magic – Backing up your iphone or getting music from your iphone 4 – Click Here


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