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

matchWith 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

tharris0101 Avatar
140 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.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
140 months ago


Other than hard drive failure protection for your iTunes.... I don't see the point. I've always believed streaming was the whole point... Now I struggle with why this service even matters

iCloud allows you to have 20,000 of your songs in the cloud and available on all your iOS devices... while a 16GB iPhone could only hold 3,000 songs.

If you're out somewhere, and you suddenly wanna listen to some Jimi Hendrix, you can download your Hendrix songs to your iPhone.

Whether it's pure streaming, or playing while downloading or whatever you wanna call it... iCloud gives access to all your songs anywhere you have a data connection.

Otherwise... you gotta wait to get home to add new songs to your phone.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SirHaakon Avatar
140 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
179202 Avatar
140 months ago
For the .0003% of people who have 20,000 songs, they can download one song at a time, listen to it and then delete it. Genius!





Some people will swallow anything Apple sells. Sad, really.


See first comment above ^



Well, that's it in a nutshell. All these millions in development Apple spent on this so once or twice a week I can down load a Jimi Hendrix song I already own, then delete it when I'm done. Brilliant.

Wow. Sounds like you're part of the hate brigade. Don't like it, don't buy it. Simple.

Personally, I like the idea that I don't need to remember sync an album to my iPhone. I can just get it whenever I want. I'll gladly pay for that convenience.
Let's remember song catalogues too...there are countless songs that I listen to that just aren't available on Spotify or any of the other streaming apps, so they would be useless to me. Different users, different needs. Again, simple.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wilymon Avatar
140 months ago
It would be great if they'd add a "keep last 100/200/1000 songs downloaded." That way the iPhone would automatically delete the oldest songs to make room for the newest, without taking up too much space.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bretm Avatar
140 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
iphone 13 pro max display bleen

iPhone 14 Max Reportedly Weeks Behind Schedule [Updated]

Thursday May 26, 2022 7:25 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Max is currently behind schedule by around three weeks, according to Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu. Yesterday, Nikkei Asia reported that at least one iPhone 14 model was three weeks behind schedule due to the impact of lockdowns on Apple's supply chains in China, but it was not clear which iPhone 14 model this related to. Now, Pu has clarified that the model...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
iOS 16 mock for feature wishlist

iOS 16 Wishlist: Features MacRumors Readers Want to See in the Next Version of iOS

Friday May 27, 2022 2:15 pm PDT by
There's just over a week to go until the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference, which is one of the biggest Apple events of the year. We've heard surprisingly little about iOS 16 this year, so we're in for some major surprises when June 6 rolls around. As we wait for the keynote event, we thought we'd share some iOS 16 wishlist items from MacRumors readers, because who knows? We just might...
top stories 28may2022

Top Stories: WWDC 2022 Schedule, New Apple Watch Pride Bands, and More

Saturday May 28, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
It's Memorial Day weekend in the United States, and that means WWDC is right around the corner and anticipation is building for what we might see at the opening keynote. Software updates are a given, but will we see any new hardware? Other news this week included the annual release of new Pride-themed Apple Watch bands, iPhone 14 Pro rumors, and Sony's latest headphones that compete against...
a16 5nm m2 3nm feature 2

Alleged Apple Chip Plans Suggest 'A16' Will Stick With 5nm, 'M2' to Make Jump to 3nm Instead

Friday May 27, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
The "A16" chip for the iPhone will reportedly be manufactured with the same process as the iPhone 13's A15 Bionic, with Apple saving a bigger performance leap for the "M2" chip designed for its next-generation Macs. Meanwhile, the company is working on a "final" M1 chip variant that uses more powerful cores from the A15, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In a thread on...