Apple may have captured headlines with its forthcoming iCloud cloud-based media- and data storage and synchronization services, but RealNetworks has announced that it has begun the worldwide rollout of its Unifi cloud media service, starting with Vodafone customers in Germany. Like iCloud, Unifi purports to make all of a users’ photos, videos, and music available across all devices, but stored and managed via a single cloud-based service.
Previewed at last January’s CES show, Unifi aims to make all of a user’s media accessible from any Internet-capable device, regardless of platform. The service provides a single cloud-based library for video, photos, and music that users can tap into, without having to mange separate libraries and applications for music, video, photos, and more. Unifi also works regardless of where users legally acquired that media: according to RealNetworks, it doesn’t matter whether users got their material from Amazon or iTunes or Napster (or even RealNetworks), or whether it’s stored on services like Flickr or Facebook: and yes, RealNetworks says that means folks will be able to get into their iTunes music libraries from their Android phones.
Unifi also support automatic image uploads from iPhones and Android devices—so users don’t have to worry about offloading or making copies later. Unifi also has features to enable users to share photos in their library to Facebook.
RealNetworks says Unifi will launch in North America “this fall,” and although no pricing information has been released, the company has described the cost of the service as being around “a few lattes a month,” with options for customers to purchase additional cloud storage.
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