iTunes Match: Is streaming music finally here?
(CBS) - When Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the coming of iTunes Match at June's Worldwide Developers Conference, there wasn't a single word about a long-awaited streaming-music feature.
For over a year, music industry sources told CNET News that Apple had sought licenses from the four major labels to build a cloud music service that would allow the company to scan a user's hard drive, and then stream their entire music library from Apple's servers back to the user via any web-connected device.
Does this mean what we think it should?
On Monday, we thought the streaming feature finally surfaced when Apple launched the iTunes Match developer beta. But as it turns out, what's really happening is that the iTunes streaming music service has two functions: downloading and listening occurring at the same time, CNET points out.
"Apple developers thought they had found a streaming-music feature when Apple launched the iTunes Match developer beta earlier in the day... Apple described it this way: 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," reports CNET.
The plot thickens... AllThingsD called Apple and learned that, "Any music you want to access from your cloud-based 'locker' will still need to be stored on your iPad, or iPhone, or whatever device you're using to listen to the song." Doh!
So no, Apple's Cloud still isn't streaming.
Cloud music is supposed to save valuable storage space on users' mobile devices as well as give them ubiquitous access to their music libraries. iTunes Match will cost $25 a year (and scan and match up to 25,000 songs). It is expected to be available to the public later this year.
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