iCloud & iTunes Match for iOS review
Apple’s upcoming iCloud and iTunes Match service is another option that’s arriving soon, and one that presents an interesting alternative to the music streaming services currently on offer.
At present, iTunes enables users to purchase digital music and video, and manage this on their desktop computers, as well as their iOS devices. iCloud is a raft of new online services that will enable you to store photos, files and contacts online. It also means that when you buy a new song on, for example, your desktop machine, it will appear on all your computers and iOS devices instantly. Any music you’ve bought in the past can be re-downloaded on to any device.
Where it gets really interesting is the iTunes Match service. This will enable you to match any music in your iTunes collection with the iTunes Store. This can then be downloaded for free on to any device – you’ll also get these songs at the full 256kbit/s bitrate for the highest quality, and they will include all the correct metadata, such as artwork and track info. All of the music will be free from Digital Rights Management (DRM), so you will be able to transfer and store it forever.
On the one hand, it will be a great way for you to sort out all that music you’ve acquired over the years – you’ll get legitimate versions of all those ripped tracks in high quality. You’ll also be able to download any track from your iTunes collection at will to any iOS device you own.
iTunes Match will allow you to download your iTunes collection remotely
On the other hand, you can’t stream tracks remotely either from the iTunes Store or your own collection; so it’s not really comparable to services like Spotify or we7. And you are paying yearly to wirelessly sync tracks you already own in your iTunes collection.
iTunes Match will cost $25 per year in the US. UK pricing and availability is yet to be announced, and because of this we’re holding off giving it a star rating for now. If, however, it works as advertised, we’ll be getting it as soon as it arrives in the UK.