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
123 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
123 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
123 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
123 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
123 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
123 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)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...