iOS 6 Hands-On: iTunes Match Now Streams Music

One of the new additions to iCloud and iTunes was iTunes Match, which is a service that lets you store your iTunes library in iCloud. It costs $24.99/year, and the system works by matching any of your music with the iTunes Store, and any unmatched songs are uploaded. The service is meant for those that have a lot of music not purchased in iTunes. There was a debate whether it counted as streaming or not, but in all reality it was just a download on the go service.

When you’re on a Mac, you can stream music without any files being stored on your device. On your iOS device, if you tapped to play a song, the song plays automatically, but downloads too. In iOS 6, that’s changed, at least in the first beta. Now when you tap to play a song, it begins playing, and you still have the option to download it. With iOS 6, you can choose to just listen right now with an online connection, or download for offline listening. iTunes Match has become a streaming service in the beta. We confirmed it, by playing a few songs, then turning off iTunes Match, and seeing that the music folder then had no music. In iOS 5, the few tracks you listened to are stored. The various playlists, artists, and songs also drop the cloud icon next to them, and those are reserved for the album view, and a little bit off to the side.

It’s a great change, and may be a part of Apple potentially working out a new licensing agreement with music studios. Also related to music in iOS 6, is a new music app that more resembles the silver UI iPad version.

115 Comments on "iOS 6 Hands-On: iTunes Match Now Streams Music"

  1. makjae June 12, 2012 at 12:47 PM -

    wonder if that same feature is coming to videos?

    • Trevor Sheridan June 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM -

      We can hope, though it doesn’t look like it at this point.

  2. Jon June 12, 2012 at 1:13 PM -

    Great news! Any changes to the IPad Music app, which has a lot of confusing UX issues, like the active state of the shuffle icon?

    • Trevor Sheridan June 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM -

      The iPhone music app has really adopted the look and feel of the iPad music app. The iPad music app is just the same as it is in iOS 5 in our early testing.

  3. Ruben June 13, 2012 at 7:47 AM -

    Good for the iTunes Match issues…

    but the app? Horrible! I absolutely hate the ios 5 iPad music app. It looks like its UX was designed by Microsoft (with they knowing it was for Apple). Don’t tell me they removed lyrics from the iPhone version too 🙁

  4. taxpin June 14, 2012 at 2:48 AM -

    This is not true. I just tried it myself on my iOS 6 iPad and it is still downloading and storing the songs. Only difference is, it deletes them when you turn off iTunes Match. So you are not streaming, you are playing while downloading, as before. The only difference is the deletion on removal of iTunes Match.

    • Trevor Sheridan June 14, 2012 at 10:08 AM -

      It’s actually a local cache. They’re not downloaded, which you can see since the download icon is still available even after listening to the song, and listening to other songs.

      • Taxpin June 14, 2012 at 6:28 PM -

        Actually, that’s not what happens at all on my iPad. The cloud icon goes away after a bit and in settings, my song count increases. So on mine it is downloading the songs, even though I do not click on the cloud icon.