Will Apple ever enter the world of streaming music?
Perhaps, but for now, it will continue with its pay-per-song approach. According to a report from All Things Digital, an Apple spokesperson said iTunes match is not going to include a streaming function that would send music from Apple's servers to a person's device (ala Spotify, Grooveshark). A video had been making the rounds that supposedly showed iTunes Match, which is available in beta for developers, doing just that.
However, an Apple spokesperson said this was just an example of a simultaneous listen and download. iTunes Match, which was introduced this past year at the Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC), is just downloaded songs only.
iTunes Match allows users of the iCloud to bring their entire iTunes library to every device. Following this initial syncing, any time you buy an iTunes track on any device, it will be uploaded to all of the other devices. The cost of iTunes Match will be $24.99 for a 12-month subscription with three additional months free.
While Apple has confidence in its iCloud, the company did tell people to keep a backup of their iTunes library. Apple said it would reset the iCloud library during the beta and that it was critical that for users to constantly backup their data.
Other than that, Apple hasn't given much information out on the service. It will be available to everyone at some point in the fall. The company made the iTunes Match available in beta for developers as of Monday night.
Apple's entry into the music cloud will pit it against several industry competitors such as Amazon's Cloud Player. Amazon has given away 5 GB of free storage, which can go up to 20 GB with the purchase of one mp3 album. Beyond that, you can buy 50GB, 100GB, 200GB, 500GB, and 1,000GB for $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1000 respectively.