Apple releases ‘iTunes Match’ beta cloud music service with streaming feature


Apple released late Monday a new version of iTunes 10.5 (v6.1) to developers that includes its upcoming cloud music subscription service, iTunes Match. The new service allows users to download their entire iTunes library to up to five different Mac or iOS devices, or to stream the music directly from their library, over Wi-Fi or 3G, without the need to download — a feature Apple kept secret when the service was first announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

To start, the iTunes Match feature automatically scans a user’s iTunes Library, and recreates that library in iCloud by matching songs on one’s computer with songs in Apple’s inventory (up to 25,000 songs). If Apple does not have the song (perhaps it’s a homemade creation), then the song is uploaded to iCloud. If Apple has a higher-quality version of the file in its inventory, then iTunes Match upgrades a user’s copy to the better version.

Once a library is completely recreated in iCloud, a user can access that music from up to five different Apple devices, either Mac or iOS. This means no longer having to transfer music from a home computer to a work computer, or having to make sacrifices for which music to load onto an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad device.

When using iTunes Mach, users can choose to either download the song to that device’s internal storage, or simply stream the music over a wireless connection without having to download anything at all. The addition of this functionality changes little in how iTunes works, on either Mac or iOS devices, and works basically the same as if the music were just stored on the device in the first place.

From what we can see here, iTunes Match is already more polished, in its beta version, than either Google Music or Amazon Cloud Player. The only possible downside is the price: $24.99 per year. But considering what it gives you — access to all your music, anytime, anywhere —maybe that’s not so much to ask.

Watch two quick iTunes Match run-through videos from Insanely Great Mac below:


You may soon be able to listen to your own songs on Spotify’s Android app

If you love Spotify's streaming, but also have a large collection of niche music, then it can be hard to marry your two passions. Thankfully, Spotify appears to be testing the ability to import local songs to its Android app.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.

Microsoft Outlook for iOS gets big redesign, with Dark Mode coming soon

Microsoft has deployed a huge redesign for its Outlook for iOS app, which includes new blue branding and some quality-of-life improvements. Dark Mode isn't included, but it's coming soon.

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

Apple Music may sign up more exclusive artists with purchase of Platoon

Apple purchased London-based Platoon, which is a startup that helps independent musicians get discovered by major labels. The acquisition may help Apple Music sign up more exclusive artists.

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 now available on the Apple Store

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is now available on the Apple Store for $150. The sensor strip, which is only 2 millimeters thin, automatically tracks a wide array of sleep data when placed under the user's sheets.

Save up to $750 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $750.

5 reasons your Macbook keeps restarting and how to fix the issue

It can be frustrating when your Apple MacBook keeps restarting, but this serious problem can be fixed! We'll go over the common causes for this issue, what you can do to fix them, and why it's okay to take your Mac to a pro!

Pick up a pair of Apple AirPods alternatives for less than $50

Apple AirPods are some of the most sought-after wireless earbuds, but they certainly aren't cheap. Luckily, Walmart and Amazon both have some great Apple AirPod alternatives for sale, and you can still get them before Christmas.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.