Apple's iTunes Match beta supports streaming music playback

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
The developer preview of Apple's forthcoming iTunes Match service for iCloud contains early support for streaming music, according to people familiar with the matter.



Apple seeded a new iTunes 6.1 beta with iTunes Match functionality to developers late Monday evening.



A source testing out the service has told AppleInsider that, though the service is "still really buggy," he is able to play some iCloud-based iTunes Match songs over Wi-Fi on an iPad 2. The feature appears to be in its early stages, as some songs on the tipster's device remain "greyed out."



After iTunes Match has been activated, an iCloud column appears to the right of the song name in the browser pane of iTunes. The music player will automatically default to streaming songs, but by clicking a download icon, users can store the music locally on their computer.



Insanely Great Mac has posted a pair of video demonstrations of the iTunes Match streaming feature on a Mac and an iPhone.











Developers testing iTunes Match have been warned by Apple to keep a backup of their music libraries before signing up for the service, as any content copied to its servers during the beta may be erased.



iTunes Match cost $24.99 a year and supports up to 25,000 songs from a user's library that Apple will "scan and match" with offerings from the iTunes Music Store. Songs not found in the iTunes system will be automatically uploaded to iCloud. The service works with up to 10 iTunes PCs and iOS devices, but only five of the devices can be computers.



The company boasts that the service will take just minutes to run, as opposed to "weeks" spent uploading songs to rival services from Amazon and Google. Apple unveiled iTunes Match this June during the Worldwide Developers Conference. The service is scheduled to arrive this fall alongside iCloud and iOS 5.







Prior to Apple's announcement of iCloud and iTunes Match, reports suggested that the company was renegotiating streaming licenses for music.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    The streaming is a pretty big deal. I am definitely going for the 16GB iPad next time (rather than 32GB), since now I can keep just the few songs I listen to ALL the time, and just stream the occasional song from my rarely played list.



    Good stuff!
  • Reply 2 of 33
    It should be noted that it is for developers in the united states only at the moment, so us european developers have to wait with testing this. (did not see that mentioned in the article)
  • Reply 3 of 33
    kingkueikingkuei Posts: 137member
    Does anyone know if iTunes Matched songs will persist if a user chooses NOT to renew in the 2nd year? Some reports claim that matched songs will remain available as "Previously Purchased" songs in one's library, thereby allowing for a re-download even after the subscription has ended. However, Apple's site doesn't seem to provide any explicit indication of this.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Conscript View Post


    The streaming is a pretty big deal.



    It definitely is a big deal.



    A lot of people, including myself, were disappointed when iTunes Match was first introduced, since there was no mention of streaming and everybody was saying that it was download only.



    Streaming changes everything, and having access to your entire song library on every single device that you own is great. I wasn't going to get iTunes Match, but now I definitely will, since it's streaming.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post


    Does anyone know if iTunes Matched songs will persist if a user chooses NOT to renew in the 2nd year? Some reports claim that matched songs will remain available as "Previously Purchased" songs in one's library, thereby allowing for a re-download even after the subscription has ended. However, Apple's site doesn't seem to provide any explicit indication of this.



    Are you currently able to re-download "previously purchased" songs?



    It seems I have access to that functionality for applications but not songs.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    Are you currently able to re-download "previously purchased" songs?



    It seems I have access to that functionality for applications but not songs.



    You can do that now... Open iTunes, go to iTunes Store, look for the "Purchased" link on the right hand side. It should open up a screen where you can re-download all your Music, Music Videos, TV Shows (not Movies though), Apps and Books.



    It doesn't work on the latest iTunes on my PC but on the Mac and iOS it's fine.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post


    Does anyone know if iTunes Matched songs will persist if a user chooses NOT to renew in the 2nd year? Some reports claim that matched songs will remain available as "Previously Purchased" songs in one's library, thereby allowing for a re-download even after the subscription has ended. However, Apple's site doesn't seem to provide any explicit indication of this.



    I'd love to know that too. I'm guessing you would not be able to play f you didn't renew. Otherwise it would be a one time fee to legitimize 25,000 songs from Napster for many. I don't see the music industry being that generous some how.



    On the other hand It would be great for all my own CDs I ripped at lower bit rates to be upgraded for a one time fee. If they are literally downloaded they would have to have some form of DRM to cease after a year. If they are only streamed that's an easier fix for Apple to cut you off after a year if you don't renew.



    BTW ... Reading this article it amazes me is how lightly some developers take their NDA with Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    kingkueikingkuei Posts: 137member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    If they are literally downloaded they would have to have some form of DRM to cease after a year. If they are only streamed that's an easier fix for Apple to cut you off after a year if you don't renew.



    Thinking about this and researching a little more, I realized that Apple has made it a point to eliminate FairPlay DRM from the iTunes store. Then I found this article from arstechnica:



    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...s-answered.ars



    As they point out, there doesn't appear to be any mechanism for Apple to determine if a track in your library was pirated or ripped from your own CD. If that's the case, and you are allowed to download tracks to your computer and physically store them on the hard drive, then it does indeed seem like "amnesty for pirates of 25,000 songs".



    Now that I think about it, perhaps Apple convinced the labels that those pirates would never and will never pay for those songs, but the opportunity to swap them for DRM-free, high quality, non-virus-laden files, could be enough of a draw to get them to pony up $25. At least the labels would recoup some small amount from pirated music. At worst, they will reclaim one one-thousandth of a dollar for each song. Using Apple's claim that 16B songs have been sold on the iTunes store, if we assume that an equal number have been pirated, that's $16 million in revenue that Apple and the record labels would otherwise never have seen. These numbers improve greatly as the number of pirated songs increases and/or the average number of matched songs per user decreases. For example, in January, a service called TidySongs revealed that their average user library was just 7,160 songs. (http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/...160-songs.html) Based on that average, I calculated nearly $56 million in revenue, and that's only assuming that iTunes sales were equal to pirated downloads. The $$$ become even more favorable as pirated downloads increase.



    I agree that the labels are not acting out of generosity, but in this case, I believe the labels see it as a way to monetize some of that pirated music.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    Matched & converted tracks are coming back with the new type "Matched AAC audio file" and will contain your Name and Apple ID even if you bought (sort of ) them elsewhere.



    Looking at my 11000+ Song library I'd say that about 80% is greyed out which probably means that there's no match found on iTunes for them and I'd have to upload them. Uploading seems to be disabled at the moment, so there's no way playing the greyed out tracks - not even on the Mac where the physical files remain. This seems a bit strange as there's no reason streaming the same file from a server if it's already on the disk. Not complaining here (yeah, I know it's beta), just wondering.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    What about those of us with 50,000 tracks in our library? Who determines which 25,000 are eligible for the Match service?
  • Reply 11 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    What about those of us with 50,000 tracks in our library? Who determines which 25,000 are eligible for the Match service?



    My question as well (sorry, only 32K songs. :-) Plus, since a large number of songs are old LP imports, local music, obscure stuff - that's a lot of potential uploading. Curious if such uploaded songs would count towards your 'cloud quota'. (or if you could disable uploading and do match only)
  • Reply 12 of 33
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post


    Does anyone know if iTunes Matched songs will persist if a user chooses NOT to renew in the 2nd year? Some reports claim that matched songs will remain available as "Previously Purchased" songs in one's library, thereby allowing for a re-download even after the subscription has ended. However, Apple's site doesn't seem to provide any explicit indication of this.



    You have access to the tracks that are not stored within iCloud. Meaning, if you have a a copy of all of your matched music on your computer and your iCloud service ends, you will not lose your ability to listen to those tracks BUT you lose the ability to redownload the matched tracks from your iCloud account (whether it be to a computer or your iOS device) and no more of your tracks will be matched. It seems as tho you lose your ability to stream, as well.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    I am not knocking it at all, but how can people possibly hoard that much music? 32,000 songs? 50,000? 100,000? (maybe not, but you never know) Unless you're a DJ or employed in the music industry, why is that even needed? I have a measly 4,000 songs in my library, and I'm pretty sure over half of those I haven't listened to in years.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    esummersesummers Posts: 880member
    I don't get where this "legalizes your music" is coming from. You still need to own the CDs or it isn't legal. The RIAA can still sue you if they can prove that you didn't buy the music in the first place. The only thing you are buying is extra provisions for use of the music that technically probably should be allowed under the copyright but is kinda grey area.



    Although probably not the case, it would be great if this would be a way to consolidate music bought with other personal iTunes accounts under one.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post


    I am not knocking it at all, but how can people possibly hoard that much music? 32,000 songs? 50,000? 100,000? (maybe not, but you never know) Unless you're a DJ or employed in the music industry, why is that even needed? I have a measly 4,000 songs in my library, and I'm pretty sure over half of those I haven't listened to in years.



    I just enjoy music. Had over 3,000 CDs at home at one point in time. Loved going to the used CD store and buy albums for 50 cents or $1. Found a lot of great music that way. Got a lot of cheap mp3 music form mp3.come and later amie street (sigh - both gone now). Even now, places like magnatune can give you a lot of mp3 music for your money. (after listening to their podcast I ended up downloading 200 tracks that night).



    So for we audiophiles, it's very easy to start racking up the tracks. Kind of nice to have so many songs to shuffle... :-)
  • Reply 16 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post


    You have access to the tracks that are not stored within iCloud. Meaning, if you have a a copy of all of your matched music on your computer and your iCloud service ends, you will not lose your ability to listen to those tracks BUT you lose the ability to redownload the matched tracks from your iCloud account (whether it be to a computer or your iOS device) and no more of your tracks will be matched. It seems as tho you lose your ability to stream, as well.



    I'd certainly accept those limitations and consider them fair. I'd love to download my own CDs if upgraded. It remains to be seen how many are of course and as I emigrated from the UK 21 years ago most of my collection is UK based CDs and may hit a brick wall on the US iTunes system. Of course I can re digitize them all over again at higher bit rates if I ever get a quiet month with nothing to do! I wonder though if some of the Apple versions maybe remastered hence even better, any word on that I may have missed?
  • Reply 17 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by esummers View Post


    I don't get where this "legalizes your music" is coming from. You still need to own the CDs or it isn't legal. The RIAA can still sue you if they can prove that you didn't buy the music in the first place. The only thing you are buying is extra provisions for use of the music that technically probably should be allowed under the copyright but is kinda grey area.



    Although probably not the case, it would be great if this would be a way to consolidate music bought with other personal iTunes accounts under one.



    Reading the last sentence ... in this extract (http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...s-answered.ars provided by KingKuei) it seems the industry is willing to bend the definition of legal for some more money they would otherwise never have seen.



    "iTunes Match will let you mirror up to 25,000 tracks in your iCloud, and those songs can be pulled down to any iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, as well as synced with Macs or PCs running iTunes. This includes tracks ripped from CDs or downloaded from the Internet, even those you may have obtained in a less-than-legal manner."
  • Reply 18 of 33
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post


    I am not knocking it at all, but how can people possibly hoard that much music? 32,000 songs? 50,000? 100,000? (maybe not, but you never know) Unless you're a DJ or employed in the music industry, why is that even needed? I have a measly 4,000 songs in my library, and I'm pretty sure over half of those I haven't listened to in years.



    Even with 4,000 songs the advantage of a streaming service is now you have easy access to all of them. Especially when combined with Genius Playlist you can be out and about listening to music on your iPhone and be reintroduced to songs you haven't heard in years. No more having to manually manage the music on your iPhone.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post


    Even with 4,000 songs the advantage of a streaming service is now you have easy access to all of them. Especially when combined with Genius Playlist you can be out and about listening to music on your iPhone and be reintroduced to songs you haven't heard in years. No more having to manually manage the music on your iPhone.



    Agreed nor anymore having to make sure the 'master Mac' with the several gigs of storage is turned on for sharing its iTunes library in the house. I hope that feature isn't removed though ... I do have a movie collection on there too and not everything is available from iTunes and NetFlix not to mention my own home made movies. I admit I must have missed it if there was mention of this service including movies in your iTunes library.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnmcboston View Post


    I just enjoy music. Had over 3,000 CDs at home at one point in time. Loved going to the used CD store and buy albums for 50 cents or $1. Found a lot of great music that way. Got a lot of cheap mp3 music form mp3.come and later amie street (sigh - both gone now). Even now, places like magnatune can give you a lot of mp3 music for your money. (after listening to their podcast I ended up downloading 200 tracks that night).



    So for we audiophiles, it's very easy to start racking up the tracks. Kind of nice to have so many songs to shuffle... :-)



    What we need now though is a 3D virtual world like Second Life where we can browse the shelves, interact with others and re live those fun times in a music store
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