As the battle for the cloud rages on, Apple (AAPL) has finally made its own foray with its iTunes Match service that does things a little differently from the competition. Wall Street Journal Personal Technology Columnist Walt Mossberg gave his thoughts on the new service in his weekly All Things Digital segment on FOX Business.
A lot of things are moving to the cloud recently, including music with this concept of digital music lockers (read our coverage of music lockers), Mossberg said. These lockers will store your music on remote servers (the "cloud") that you can access from any of your devices to stream or download from anywhere you have an Internet connection.
The problem with this technology, he said, is that it can take days to upload your music from your computer to the locker because typical upload speeds in homes are very slow.
Here's where Apple takes a different approach. Instead of having users upload their music files to the Internet, iTunes Match, well, matches them.
Mossberg on iTunes Match:
- Music collection is now identical on all computers, iOS devices
- Nice feature of iCloud, reasonably priced
- 25,000 song limit
- $25 a year
Apple's iTunes Match, regardless of the song's origin (bought from another store, ripped from a CD, or even downloaded illegally), will put it in the cloud without the user having to upload them for $25 a year. iTunes scans the music in your library and matches the files to the 20 million songs Apple already has the rights to (from iTunes), populating a locker with music you own, he said.
Gone are the days of having to plug your iPhone into your laptop with that pesky USB cable; iTunes match lets you access any of your music from your iOS device to download over Wi-Fi. Have a new MacBook Air, but worried about the limited storage on that solid state drive? Delete the music you rarely listen to and save space; iTunes Match will keep a copy of it in the cloud.
Mossberg noticed some bugs, but said they were "reasonably minor and Apple says it has fixes in the works." For example, it incorrectly listed the alphabetical order of songs on his iPhone and iPad. It also had an issue displaying album art on some songs until they were almost done playing.
But minor bugs aside, Mossberg said, "I really like iTunes Match," as it really overcomes the cumbersome process of uploading the music you own to the cloud that other services suffer from.