All new Apple devices now come ready for iCloud. Set up is easy and you automatically get 5GB of free storage when you sign up for it. With the iTunes Match service, all the songs in your music collection with a match in the iTunes Store are automatically added to iCloud.
All you are left to upload (if any) are the songs that iTunes wasn’t able to match (rather unlikely considering how huge the library is at the iTunes Store). So now what you effectively have is a copy of your music library up there in the clouds, ready to be accessed by all your other Apple devices.
Following are some tips to help you decide whether it’s for you or not
Actually, it may sound more like a pros-n-cons picture for you to contemplate on, some bits and pieces of information you might find useful.
This service costs only $25 for an entire year! This is especially cool if you are strictly an “Apple-only” person because iTunes Match will keep your music in sync across all your devices.
Aside from getting an online backup of your music collection which you can access wherever you are, you get better quality (256-Kbps AAC DRM-free) playback from iCloud even if yours were originally of lower quality. This will make a difference to you if you have lots and lots of songs ripped (legally of course) from old and badly scratched CDs.
All matched songs won’t need to be uploaded, but they also won’t get deleted automatically. You have to get rid of them manually and just “re-download” the higher-quality version.
If iTunes Match cannot reconcile any of your songs with its track catalog, it will upload your song to its server, as is.
There was some initial controversy over whether your songs will stream or download when you want them. Some have argued that if you have to download your songs to your device when you want to listen to them, you didn’t need the service in the first place. Remember though that iCloud’s job is to provide storage and backup for your music library and iTunes Match is there to make sure all your songs are matched, and those that aren’t – are uploaded to iCloud. Whether or not you have to download your songs depends on which device you are using.
If you’re on your Mac, then streaming takes precedence. If you prefer to download, use the iCloud DOWNLOAD button. If you’re on any of your iPod, then you have to download the track. This makes sense, too because chances are, you’re on the move. If you lose network connection say, when you enter the elevator, you don’t lose your song as well. Besides, even during DOWNLOAD mode, your song begins to play so there’s no painful waiting involved here. If you’re on Apple TV , then streaming is the only way to go since you don’t have any storage on the device.
There are many more “tips” we can discuss about the iCLoud – iTunes Match duo, but these we feel should answer the most common initial questions consumers may have.
If you want to read more, give us a holler and we’ll see how deep we can drill down.