WWDC 2011: iTunes Match, Apple's no-upload, cloud-based music locker (updated 3x)

WWDC 2011: iTunes Match, Apple's no-upload, cloud-based music locker (updated 3x)

Summary: Apple used today's WWDC keynote address to announce a brand new service called iTunes Match - which was also referred to as "iTunes on the cloud."

SHARE:
19

Apple used today's WWDC keynote address to announce a brand new service called iTunes Match - which was also referred to as "iTunes on the cloud."

iTunes Match will scan your iTunes Library and match songs to an upgraded, 256kbps AAC DRM-free file on Apple's iCloud server. The service will cost $24.99 per year but it remains to be seen what will happen if you stop paying the annual subscription fee.

Apple touted 'Match as a huge advantage over competing services from Google and Amazon, because while they can take "weeks" to upload your library, iTunes Match takes "just minutes."

Apple also touted the service as having the "same benefits as music purchased from iTunes." Presumably this means that you'll be able to re-download tracks and see your music history on all of your devices.

Update: Apple has updated its iTunes Terms and Conditions -- presumably to address all the new cloud features.

Update2: Apple has posted it's iCloud features page.

Update3: Sadly, iTunes in the Cloud doesn't allow streaming of music to your devices, like Google and Amazon do. Deal breaker?

So, are you buying?

Photos: thisismynext.com

More WWDC Coverage:

ZDNet:

CNet News:

Galleries Mac OS X Lion roarsA look at iOS 5 Gallery: Apple’s WWDC 2011

TechRepublic: Apple’s next frontier: Your data

BNET: WWDC: Apple Blows an Opportunity To Change the World

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Cloud, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

19 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Huh?

    Can somebody explain what if any benefits there are to the end-user? It makes a copy of my iTunes library in the cloud? Including the songs I ripped myself (99.9 percent of them)?
    terry flores
    • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

      @terry flores Basically it's saying it goes and finds all your music, then finds the same song on their servers so you don't have to upload it. Though I find it amusing that they overestimate file uploads to weeks at a time.
      Aerowind
      • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

        @Aerowind
        I agree, are they using dial up? I uploaded my entire collection to Amazon in one evening.
        30otnix
      • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

        @Aerowind But Why? I dont get it either. I have all my music on my device. Why do I want to stream it to my device from the cloud?
        nanderto
      • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

        @nanderto
        It makes lots of sense if you have multiple devices and don't want to sync. It all depends on what your individual setup is.
        30otnix
      • It took me 4 days on music Beta

        @Aerowind

        That was with a cable modem.
        Bruizer
    • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

      According to the iCloud like above (which was probably added after you posted) that sounds correct. iTunes Match analyzes the music in your iTunes library, probably using some sort of fingerprint similar to the Gracenotes CDDB to see what music is already available. You then upload anything that is not available.

      <br>I can see the benefit for Apple, not having to have 500million copies of slightly different versions of the same Lady Gagme song. I have to wonder if wonder if Amazon or Google do something similar on the back end, hidden from the customer, to save space. It was one of the first things I thought of when Amazon first announced their service.
      swattz101
      • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

        @swattz101
        From what I've been reading they don't, at least not legally. Serving a stream from a central file would constitute a public presentation as far as copyrights are concerned.
        Since neither Google or Amazon seem to have signed deals with the labels, I'm assuming that they're keeping the user to file relationships in tact in order to stay legal.
        Caffeinated85
  • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

    The chart is comparing apples to oranges.
    The Amazon and Google offerings are streaming AND download/sync services, Apple is download/sync.

    The chart acts like having a web player is detriment, but I can access the Amazon cloud from ANY web enabled device, not just my Apple hardware.

    Finally, you get 20 gigs of space for free from Amazon (with the purchase of one album) and none of the purchases you make with them count against that total.
    30otnix
    • Cloud player and music Beta are still weaker services

      @30otnix

      Does not mater how you spin it.
      Bruizer
      • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

        @Bruizer
        Care to expand on that?
        30otnix
      • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

        @30otnix
        Probably not in a way that makes sense.
        hoaxoner
  • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

    What I will see happening, especially if this catches on in a big way is Apple running out of server space very quickly. Amazon and Google have been expanding their servers for nearly a decade and still have problems sometimes.
    hoaxoner
    • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

      @hoaxoner Apple has been expanding for nearly a decade and they are not going to store multiple copies of the same song!
      reidc4
    • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

      @hoaxoner Amazon is selling it's excess space and computing cycles, and apple just brought the largest data center in the world online. I am pretty sure they will be able to keep up with demand.
      jhuddle
  • What Is Apple Thinking, I Will Use mSpot

    As a Mobile Me subscriber, I would be getting less instead of more. Apple is discontinuing iWeb support, which is how I publish my website. I would take the loss of iWeb support if iCloud supported streaming, but it does not. So that leaves me and others with a 32GB iPhone and huge music library on my Mac; but no way to store all of my music on my phone. I have decided to use mSpot to store my music and I can access it from anywhere. So that means when my AT&T contract is up, I can buy a cheaper iPhone with much less storage or an Android or Windows Phone 7 and save some more money. I just cannot see what Apple was thinking about with iCloud. They are going to antagonize lots of their current customers who were either looking for a convenient way to have access to their entire music library on their iPhone and waited a prolonged time to see what iCloud was all about, or the many of us Apple customers who publish their websites on their Mac through iWeb and Mobile Me.
    MichaelWells
  • One Last Thing

    If anyone has the same storage problem I have, try mSpot. I just downloaded it and am currently uploading my library to their cloud. You have many options. You can upload your entire library or only selected parts. You can also have mSpot keep some of your music on your phone (you pick what amount of storage you want to use on your phone), or you can choose stream only and not have any music stored on your phone at all and still play it from the cloud. Lastly you still keep your iTunes account and purchase music from there; mSpot is only a storage and music player service. The music player actually has option to change the color of themes of the player, something you can't do on the iPod function on your iPhone.
    MichaelWells
  • Google, Amazon... Microsoft?

    I find it weird how "Zune Pass" isn't getting mentioned anywhere in comparison to the new Apple services. Amazon and Google get mentioned, but ZP is a closer match in that you don't have to upload your library and can start listening instantly -- it's basically iMatch + iCloud with a different subscription model. The prices are pretty similar for anyone who purchases 10 or more tracks per month on iTunes. Thoughts? Is anyone actually choosing Amazon or Google now that ZP and iMatch basically give you instant access to all the music you own AND the music you don't?
    scH4MMER
  • RE: Apple announces iTunes Match, no-upload cloud-based music locker

    Great!!! thanks for sharing this information to us!
    <a href="http://www.yuregininsesi.com" title="seslichat">sesli chat</a> <a href="http://www.yuregininsesi.com" title="seslisohbet">sesli sohbet</a>
    birumut