There it was – that magic phrase. “One more thing,” Steve Jobs said at WWDC 2011 as he discussed the iTunes Match service. More often than not, his audience knows exactly what he’s going to reveal when he says it, thanks to the never-ending rumors that continuously spread online.
This time, for real, there’s a “one more thing” relating to the iTunes Match service that’s surely worth evoking the famed Jobs’ phrase — you can stream your music library directly from the cloud. The welcoming feature was first discovered by developers who were given a chance to take the service for a spin in iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1.
As the largest music retailer in the U.S., this means a lot. iTunes in the cloud is not just a dull storage + web player solution like Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Music Beta. It’s a giant music store with 18 million songs of 256-Kbps “iTunes Plus quality.”
For $25 a year, you can stream directly from that library with one small caveat: the song you want to stream must already be in your iTunes library. The service will then access the file from the “locker in the sky” and stream it for you. Even better — it doesn’t matter where you purchased it — it could be from iTunes or Amazon, ripped it from a CD or even converted from a YouTube video. The scan-and-match service takes just seconds to stream the song – legally and at very high-quality, all for a very attractive price. Instead of taking weeks to upload all your ripped music, you can let iTunes match your music and stream it.
On the downside, as of now, there is no sign of a web-based iTunes and there is no way to access your music online on a machine without iTunes installed or a non-iOS mobile device.