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'iTunes Match' Allows Both Streaming and Downloading of Music

Apple released a developer beta of the iTunes Match system this evening. The system is described by Apple as follows:
iTunes Match stores your complete music library in iCloud, allowing you to enjoy your collection anywhere, anytime, on any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or computer.
Insanely Great Mac provides this nice walkthrough video which shows you how the service works. It also shows that this is both a streaming and downloading service.

For the $25 yearly fee, iTunes Match will scan your existing iTunes music library and allow you to access it from any of your iTunes-linked Macs or iOS devices. Songs that already exist in Apple's iTunes music store will be streamed straight from Apple's master copy (at 256kbps bitrate) without a need to upload the songs yourself. Songs that don't exist in iTunes will be uploaded to iCloud. Either way, all your music (up to 25,000 songs) will be accessible from your various computers and iOS devices.

iOS 5 Music App streaming a song. iCloud button allows you to download locally.

What wasn't clear before is the fact that music can be either streamed or downloaded locally to any of your computers or devices. While the video only shows the service on a Mac, we've confirmed it works the same way on iOS devices. So, essentially, you will have instant access to your entire music library from all of your Macs, iPhones, iPads, or iPod touches for only $25/year. This ability on your iOS devices means your music library won't need to take up valuable space on the device itself, as long as you have some sort of internet connection.

iTunes Match is expected to launch alongside iOS 5 this fall.

Update: Insanely Great Mac has now posted a video showing how it works on an iOS device:

Top Rated Comments

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101 months ago

will you be able to stream your music to an iOS device?

Yes. it's mentioned in the article multiple times.

Rating: 24 Votes
101 months ago
This $25 is burning a hole in my pocket! Apple, I need to give it to you NOW!
Rating: 10 Votes
101 months ago
What the little demo didn't show is what exactly happens with that file he downloaded. Is it accessible in the Finder to be "kept forever" or has the computer truly become just another iOS-style "device" where the underlying file system is not really accessible, and the downloaded track is only visible or able to manipulated from within iTunes? Is the iTunes Library now like the iPhoto Library?

Personally I don't care, but there were some heated arguments a while back ( about whether iTunes Match would be purely streaming or would actually let customers "keep" all the 256kbps files they could possibly download/hoard, essentially making it an all-you-can-eat buffet for a one-time $25 fee. Looks like the streaming is clearly in place, but whether or not downloading means "for keeps" remains to be seen. My prediction: no.

Also curious if the latest iTunes will close the CD-burning loophole. Apple's deal with the record companies on this is suddenly believable if all the tracks are "trapped" inside of iTunes on the various devices, including computers.
Rating: 9 Votes
101 months ago
Apple better not use this as an excuse to drop the iPod classic. Streaming will not be a suitable replacement to massive local storage until a 24/7 network connection can be assumed, and the carriers stop their assault on heavy users.
Rating: 7 Votes
101 months ago

Unless I am misreading, something doesn't sounds quite right here

I can now download illegal music
iTunes match will make it legal

I now pay $25/year for all the music I want instead of buying albums

Yes, you're paying the general license fee. I'm sure the thought is better to have everyone paying $25 a year (in addition to everything they purchase legally) than just have you torrenting music and the record companies making nothing. You'll still be a douche, but at least they're getting something for it. :)

With streaming being an option, this service is going to flat out dominate.
Rating: 7 Votes
101 months ago
He says $25/month at the end, I'm assuming he meant /year. :)
Rating: 5 Votes
101 months ago
So lets say you get this for a year, when it runs out does all the music you had during that year still count as purchased through iTunes or no?
Rating: 5 Votes
101 months ago
Here's a video showing it on iOS


thanks to

Rating: 5 Votes
101 months ago

Spotify= $4.99 per month = $59.98 per year.

iTunes Match = $24.95 Per year.

That's like comparing apples and oranges. With Spotify, you're paying to have unlimited access to their entire streaming library. With iTunes Match, you have to pay for the music you want to listen to on a per song or per album basis. iTunes Match only gives you the ability to sync your music between devices, have unlimited access to previous purchases, and get online access to songs you already owned/illegally downloaded.

They're very different "Cloud" solutions.



Will this work over your Wireless Carrier 3G or Edge connection?

Probably only if you jailbreak.

Rating: 5 Votes
101 months ago

Feel free to enlighten me then. They must have come to a conclusion similar to what I stated otherwise they wouldn't have gone through with the deal. The record companies aren't daft enough to have not worked out that users would attempt to use illegitimate copies to gain ones from Apple.

Zalgiris beat me to it...

If someone obtains an illegitimate copy of a track, the record labels aren't seeing anything from it financially. Sure, maybe that person goes on and actually buys/legitimately downloads the rest of the cd, but I'd be willing to bet that doesn't happen as much as people suggest.

The record labels are coming out even better from this because they are finally collecting, albeit a small portion, from the illegitimate users plus their collecting again from the people who actually paid for the songs in the first place.

Besides, it's not like the person who pirated the song really gets more music now. They still have the same illegal copy, and that copy was in their iTunes folder, and thus on their iDevices anyways.

Sure, maybe they now have a better version of the song, but what was to stop them from pirating a better copy? Obviously their morals aren't, because they've already pirated the song in the first place.
Rating: 4 Votes

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