It seems clear that Apple is interested in and targeting cloud technology – a new advancement (in the form of an Apple job listing) suggests that Apple will begin working on advanced media streaming technology in the near future.
This is intriguing as rumors of a possible “iCloud” service continue to pick up traction in the blogosphere. The job listing calls for a Santa Clara Valley “Media Streaming Engineering Manager” to be brought on (discovered by AppleInsider), and the position will be a part of Apple’s Interactive Media Group.
The IMG handles local media playback, video on demand, and realtime streaming of multimedia content. The technology is already used in a number of applications, such as QuickTime, Safari, and iTunes, as well as some third-party applications.
From the job listing:
We are looking for an excellent engineering manager to join our team and help develop our media streaming engine for our iOS, Mac OS X, and Windows products
Preferred candidates for the job will have experience with system design for media streaming. Potential applicants are required to be able to deliver “complex software releases on tight schedules with high quality.”
It’s also possible, and even likely, that Apple’s new service will also incorporate the role taken by the MobileMe of today, storing MobileMe information (such as bookmarks, calendars, and so forth) in addition to the possible new capabilities.
Apple could lower the price of the new service, as MobileMe refresh prices have been rumored anywhere between free and $20 per year (much better than the current $99 annual price for MobileMe). It’s likely that, at the very least, Apple will initially offer a free trial to push the service and generate interest.
Apple is also said to have acquired the iCloud.com domain name, suggesting the MobileMe successor will be given a new moniker. The anticipated service is expected to allow users to access music, media and personal files without the need for a great deal of local storage on devices like iPhones and iPads.