Many readers were perplexed by the lack of an iTunes streaming music service at yesterday's WWDC keynote. Apple instead launched iTunes Match -- a service that allows users to get the same "download anywhere" benefits from songs they have ripped from CD's (or, ahem, *acquired* from other sources) as songs they have purchased from the iTunes Music Store.

iTunes Cloud
As All Things Digital's Peter Kafka put it:

Apple will take the songs you've stolen, and turn them into legit files, with big music's blessing.

Awesome. But, users still have to download songs to their iDevices, and if you have a ton of music, that can be a pain. Many observers expected iCloud would include a music streaming service, a la Lala -- but it didn't. Why?

Because it would have killed the carriers. Erica Naone writes in the Technology Review:

A streaming version of iTunes could have hugely increased the amount of data that carriers would be expected to carry. The largest carriers in the U.S., AT&T and Verizon, both cancelled their unlimited plan in June 2010. T-Mobile and Sprint both still offer unlimited plans. Today, T-Mobile says, the average 4G smart-phone user consumes about a gigabyte of data per month. That number could change significantly if a popular service like iTunes truly moved to the cloud.

With Apple selling nearly 20 million iPhones per quarter, launching a major streaming music platform that every iPhone user would instantly start using would quite literally overload the carriers. It would be like Manhattan or San Francisco, only everywhere. And what's the point of a streaming music service if you can't get a signal?

Top Rated Comments

milo Avatar
127 months ago
Seems like the obvious solution would have been to include streaming on wifi only (and on computers), but people would whine about that too. No matter what they do, someone will complain, but this service will likely still be a big hit. And down the road when the networks can handle it, they'll upgrade the feature.

Everyone already streams Pandora, Napster, Youtube, etc...

"Everyone" doesn't stream Pandora or Napster by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe 5 or 10 percent of iPhone users? Put streaming audio in the bundled apps and that probably jumps to 90%.

There's a difference between allowing something that's data heavy but only used by a few power users and making something that's data heavy a prominent feature.

I'd be vaguely interested to see the stats, but I can't imagine for one second that 'most people's' digital collections are too big for an iPhone, let alone an iPad. Out of interest, have YOU got more than 64gb of music?

Not just music, apps and particularly movies (which can be HD) can eat up that space quickly.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
locust76 Avatar
127 months ago
I'm a bit disappointed at the lack of streaming from iCloud. How would it kill the carriers? People use Rhapsody and Napster and the carriers are fine. How is it different from streaming tons of Netflix? Obviously it will eat away your data plan, but really what's the difference? iCloud is cool without a doubt, but "it'll kill the carrier" is a pretty weak answer.

Mobile carriers, not ISPs. You won't stream Netflix over 3G like you would your music. Streaming videos over 3G is a painful, horrible experience, while with much less bandwidth you can get perfect audio quality, therefore you'd be streaming gigabytes of music per month instead of that one time you tried to watch a TV show over 3G.

Think about it; AT&T already bitches enough having to carry only a few kilobits per second per phone. Imagine if that jumped to a few hundred kilobits per second per phone because Apple saw fit to enable iTunes streaming.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
andi242 Avatar
127 months ago
Apple will take the songs you've stolen, and turn them into legit files, with big music's blessing.

At least the labels will get something for that pirated music.
And will get a little something more for legally ripped music. :)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jlgolson Avatar
127 months ago
How would it kill the carriers? People use Rhapsody and Napster and the carriers are fine.
The difference is that not that many people use Rhapsody and Napster, especially on mobile devices. If every iPhone user began using a streaming music service for all their streaming needs (as a streaming iCloud would be meant for), it honestly would be more than the network could handle.

As to why they didn't offer it Wi-Fi only? That I can't answer.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
diamond.g Avatar
127 months ago
No sir you do not. Maybe 489 MB. 489GB would be around 80,000 songs. There is no way in hell you even know close to that number of songs. Understood? Good.

see previous reply. THAT WOULD BE AT LEAST 190,000 songs. there is no way in hell you have that many. maybe you have a lot of movies or something in there. I also want you to realize that not even the high end 17-inch macbook prop has a hard drive that big. LEARN YOUR FACTS! it's 890mb or you have like several hundred movies in there.

What if the music was lossless?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ACKRITE Avatar
127 months ago
And you need all of that every time you leave the house?

P-Worm

Obviously not...and in no way did my comment suggest that. :cool:
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
apple refurbished m1 mac mini

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished M1 Mac Mini

Thursday February 25, 2021 6:42 pm PST by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished Mac mini models with the M1 chip for the first time in the United States and Canada, with prices discounted by approximately 15 percent compared to brand new models as usual. For example, a refurbished Mac mini with the M1 chip, 256GB of SSD storage, and 16GB of unified memory is available for $759, compared to $899 brand new. Other custom...
mac mini developer transition kit photo feature

Apple Requiring Developers to Return DTK Mac Minis by March 31

Friday February 26, 2021 3:57 pm PST by
Apple today sent out emails to developers who are in possession of a Developer Transition Kit, asking them to return the machines by March 31. The Developer Transition Kits are Mac minis with A12Z chips that Apple provided for development purposes ahead of the release of the M1 Macs. Apple in the emails provided developers with shipping instructions, and plans to begin collecting the DTKs...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...