The iCloud is coming. We know how much it will cost you. And now we're starting to get an idea of how awesome or not the Apple service that allows you to share music, e-books, and movies via multiple devices will be. With last night's launch of the beta version of iTunes Match, Apple's cloud based music service, which allows subscribers to replicate their iTunes library on the iCloud for $24.99, it looks like the Cupertino company will once again please its masses.
iTunes Match isn't the first cloud music out there, but it has some nice features that will keep Apple's already popular music service on top.
Syncing. The trademark of the service is the way it creates a cloud-based music library by scanning your already preened iTunes library, which makes it better than similar cloud-based services from Amazon and Google, explains Ars Technica's Chris Forseman.
As rumored, Apple's efforts to strike licensing deals with record labels gives its music-in-the-cloud service one major feature over recently announced competing services from Amazon and Google. That feature is the namesake of iTunes Match--using the song match technology acquired from Lala, it scans your iTunes library to find matches among the 18 million tracks in the iTunes Store.
Instead of searching for and downloading all of your favorite songs again, Match scans your iTunes library and if it finds the track it will automatically and immediately added to your iCloud--even if you didn't buy it from iTunes, continues Foresman. "Any songs from anywhere This includes tracks ripped from CDs or downloaded from the Internet, even those you may have obtained in a less-than-legal manner." That leaves little work for you, which TechCrunch's MG Siegler really likes. "Compared to Google Music Beta and Amazon Web Player, there’s now little question that iTunes in the Cloud is superior. Not only can you stream any song in your library, you won’t have to upload most of them--iTunes will match them with their files already in the cloud."