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With iOS 5 Beta 7, Apple is Right: iTunes Match is Not Streaming in iOS

With the release of the iTunes Match Beta to developers earlier week, there has been a lot of confusion about whether or not the service was "streaming" or not.

Early hands on videos seemed to show that iTunes Match was a streaming service for both the Mac and iOS devices. Music would play over the internet, but not appear to be permanently downloaded to your device.

Apple, however, later denied that the service was actually streaming. Instead they described it as "a simultaneous listen and download". We labeled the distinction one of semantics and still considered it streaming based on what had been observed in the early build.

With the release of iOS Beta 7, however, Apple is right and iTunes Match (for iOS) is a listen and download service, and not a streaming one. InsanelyGreatMac put together a new video of how things have changed with this latest release.


Songs that are played are now permanently downloaded to your iPhone, iPod or iPad library. Even if you skip past a song, the entire song is saved directly to your device. That means as you listen to music, songs are pulled from the iCloud and stored. The main distinction is that users may have to manually free up space over time. Once a song is deleted, it will again be available for download once again in the same manner.

As a result, the original impression of streaming may have just been an iOS user interface bug or simply an oversight by Apple. What makes us think it was not just an interface bug is the fact that songs are still streamed in iTunes Beta for Mac. Even with the newest iTunes beta release from tonight, users can reportedly stream songs from iTunes Match and those songs are not saved permanently to their Mac. Mac users must explicitly press the iCloud button to download and save songs locally -- of course, this could change.

Apple's clearly continuing to tweak and make changes to iTunes Match, and we hear there remain a lot of bugs in the interface itself. We should know more for certain when the software seeds stabilize as we approach the expected launch this fall.

Top Rated Comments

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38 months ago
What we are really getting at here is can I get a smaller GB iPhone to save som e money, and Apple is basically saying, no.
Rating: 10 Votes
38 months ago

This is not good news. Apple better switch this back to the way it was.


This is how it was always advertised, which leads me to the stupid title of this article. Apple is right? No, Apple told you how it was going to work, people just didn't listen and assumed on the basis of a BETA that they were getting something that wasn't advertised.

Apple said no streaming, not that hard a concept to grasp.
Rating: 6 Votes
38 months ago

Soooo they basically just could have said "now u can redownload all ur owned songs" just like u always could with apps. I guess iTunes Match just sounds better?

How weird, its basically for people that r to lazy to sync. I rly see no adventage to just synching it (now even wireless). Doesnt waste ur limited data either. Its not like ur saving any space, u might just put it on ur i device as u need the required space in the first place anyway.

On spotify u can at least "stream" stuff u dont even own and can discover new random things or songs u hear on the radio. With match u still have to go to itunes and buy it first ...


Ios5 lets u sync wireless so u dont need a cable anymore. Should be easy enough


I don't think you get match. You could never redownload songs you didn't purchase from iTunes. That's what it is. Match is for all those songs you own that you DIDN'T get from iTunes. Most of my library is CD rips. Match will see all those songs, and let you download whichever ones you want at any time. They won't all fit on my iPhone, so it's nice to know that if I'm out of town or on the go I can basically change out the songs on my phone at any time. An option just to stream would be nice, but meh, what if I don't have 3g or wifi? It's nice that what I've been hearing is downloaded.
Rating: 6 Votes
38 months ago
I'm sure a jailbreak tweak can make it stream. ;)


It cost $25 a year to play music I already bought and own. GTFO


It's not for everybody. To me, the $2 a month is worth it for the convenience of having all my music synced up and ready to play on whatever, whenever.
Rating: 6 Votes
38 months ago

Oh my God! I will have to manually delete the songs I don't listen to anymore! That's the end of the world for sure! :eek: :mad:

Not the end of the world, just completely nullifies the "convenience" factor that a streaming solution would have provided in the first place.
Rating: 6 Votes
38 months ago
Newbie post (but longtime lurker/facebook commentor):

Too many rumors are started to quickly. Had these "developers" actually worked with the feature, then they would have seen it work properly. the problem here is that these "developers" only became devs to be the first to talk about a new feature that becomes available; they don't actually take time to learn anything before their mouths open and spread internet sewage. Shame on them for wasting valuable cyberspace with their garbage talk.
Rating: 6 Votes
38 months ago
Am I the only one who thinks this is exactly how I want it to work. My girlfriend and I had to drive around a bit tonight so I tried out match on my iPhone playing through the car stereo. It worked really well and all the songs I played are there for me to listen to again without worrying about 3G or wi-fi coverage. It was kind of awesome having my entire home library at my finger tips while driving around.
Rating: 6 Votes
38 months ago

That's a question that hasn't been answered yet.

I would imagine that since it's not a streaming service, the file would be stored locally so you would be able to keep the songs.


Everyone seems to want to make this way to complicated. The only real change is that your master iTunes catalog is now located on iCloud instead of on your computer, and you can choose what gets stored on your mobil device wirelessly instead of configuring in iTunes then plug & syncing with it on your computer. Syncing the files wirelessly instead of over your USB cord doesn't make it a streaming service. Your still just syncing your chosen selections for each device from your master catalog on your iCloud.

Why does everyone want to make it something it isn't intended to be?
Rating: 5 Votes
38 months ago
I'm simply dumbfounded on why Apple just doesn't give the option to automatically delete the song after it's played, which would mimic streaming. What's the friggin' difference to Apple? It makes no sense unless it's a licensing issue, and even then it makes no sense.

Tony
Rating: 5 Votes
38 months ago
Is there a reason they'd implement (only) one or the other? If space is an issue and Internet connectivity (or data caps) is not, streaming seems preferable for most people, although I personally usually prefer actual downloads.

Back to my original question, I'm guessing they might have licensing issues preventing them from doing one but not the other, as trivial as the difference may be? Just guessing...

EDIT: Or, like dagamer mentioned, perhaps they want you to buy the larger capacity... ;)
Rating: 5 Votes

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