Amazon and Google have rolled out cloud music services, says Dan Lyons at The Daily Beast, but, naturally, now that Apple's announced plans to introduce a competing service next week, "there's been plenty of speculation about how Apple might leapfrog the competition." Nobody knows much about iCloud yet, but Apple clearly has an opportunity to do something big. Right now, people are putting photos on Flickr, Picasa, and MobileMe. They're creating documents on Google Docs, storing backup files at Dropbox, posting videos on Youtube, and streaming music over Pandora. But "what everybody wants... is one place to keep everything." So there's an opening for someone to create a central warehouse in cyberspace "where people can keep all of their stuff — music, movies, home videos, photos, files." And if anyone can pull that off, it's the famously user-friendly Apple. Here, an excerpt:

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that Apple will be the first company to deliver a cloud service that is easy to understand and easy to use.

This is a risky bet, especially because Apple's original cloud service, MobileMe, has never lived up to its promise and has been a consistent disappointment.... Nevertheless, I am betting that Apple sees iCloud as a chance to redeem itself, and that this time Apple will get things right — or at least, not as wrong....

Nobody does user interface like Apple. Nobody is better at creating metaphors that make arcane tech stuff seem simple and easy to understand....

That's where I expect Apple to shine next week. It's not that they’ll be reinventing the wheel. It's that they've spent the past few years studying this problem, learning from mistakes they've made on MobileMe, and now they’ll come out with a solution — One Cloud To Rule Them All.

Read the full article at The Daily Beast.