Wednesday, 7 December 2011

What Is Apple’s iTunes Match and How Will It Change Online Music?

Guest post written by Frank Anderson

After much anticipation from music lovers who think they’ve seen it all – or in this case, heard it all – iTunes Match may be unlike anything you’re used to. This cloud storage device for your music library allows you access to your music collection on any computer that has iTunes installed on it.

iTunes Match is actually a part of the iCloud storage service from Apple. This service is the one that backs up all of the music that is stored in your iTunes library. Match can offer a great solution that is built into the iTunes app on both PCs and Macs, as well as on iOS devices.

Apple’s iTunes Match also actually gives you the benefits of iTunes in the Cloud for music that you haven’t even purchased from iTunes. With this new system, music that is already in your collection and is also available in the iTunes store is automatically added to iCloud. Now the only thing you need to upload are the songs that iTunes isn’t able to match.

How Does It Work?

The initial set up phase for iTunes Match is a three step process. Prior to set up, you will need to be sure that you have the correct iTunes version and then confirm the charge. After that, setting up via iTunes only entails:

  • Collecting the information available regarding your personal iTunes music library
  • Going through the iTunes store and matching up your music
  • Uploading any remaining songs, as well as album art (if applicable)

The time of uploading will depend on a couple of factors, including your internet connection as well as the length and bit rate of the songs that you have stored. Once complete, iTunes will give you the number of songs that matched up from iTunes and your collection.

With Apple’s iTunes Match, all you will ever need to upload now are the songs that iTunes is unable to match. This alone can save lots of time. The rest is already done for you. And, with iCloud, new purchases can automatically be downloaded to any of your devices via 3G or Wi-Fi.

In fact, using iTunes Match, even songs that you’ve imported from CDs or purchased from somewhere else may be stored in iCloud – allowing you to listen on any iPod touch, iPad, iPhone, Mac, or PC – regardless of where you are, without the need to sync. On top of that, the newly downloaded songs from other sources may even be added at a better quality than you previously had.

Changing the Way You’re Entertained

In addition to the iTunes Match music capabilities, you can also download TV shows that you’ve already purchased to all of your devices as well. And, because you already own both the music and TV shows in your purchase history, you will also have the ability to download these to a variety of devices too!

With over 20 million songs available in the iTunes store, chances are that the songs you like – and have – are also already in the Cloud. And at only $24.99 per year, you now have access to unlimited playback and storage. This should keep you singing for a while!

Frank Anderson writes about all things technology and Internet. He also helps maintain the web presence of web hosting.

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