iTunes Match – What Works, and What Doesn’t

(NON-GAMING POST INCOMING)

Initial impressions on Apple’s new cloud-based music streaming service.

Back in June Apple announced its new service, iTunes Match, allowing users to stream their entire music library from the cloud to any iOS device they owned. The service was greatly aniticipated with the price being comparatively low to the competition ($24.99 a year versus Spotify’s $119 or $4.99/$9.99 for Napster depending on which devices you use), and knowing that Match would have the ability to automatically detect and “match” music in your library (including pirated songs). However, the service finally came out this week and the reactions are mixed.

Works:

-The Price. $24.99 for a year works out to be just over $2.00 a month, skip the soda once a month and you’re in there.

-The ability to stream across all devices. Anyone who owns an iOS device should be interested, from the Dad who just wants to stream to the new iPhone he got for Christmas, to the technology aficionado who wants to be able to listen to his library on his iPad, iPod touch, and laptop.

-Songs on the Cloud already are automatically found. With most of the other cloud based streaming services you are forced to buy storage and then manually upload the songs yourself. With iTunes Match this is not the case, as the service will find your songs on the cloud and give you permission to stream it. Sometimes even upping the quality of your version if you happen to have a bad rip of it (cough, pirates).

Flops:

-Many of the Songs aren’t matched. My own personal experience with the cloud was that about ¼ of my 12,500 song library was matched. Granted, I have a lot of foreign music on there but there were some weird omissions like the White Stripes. Really Apple?

-No music hoarders allowed. Anyone with more than 25,000 songs is not allowed to use the service and will be forced to create a miniature library just to check it out. With worry I checked to see if I fell in that category and was surprised to see that I was well below the limit. So this probably won’t be a problem for most of you, but it still is a setback.

-Match is slow. It may be because the servers are getting hammered at the moment but even matched songs take a while to upload with unmatched songs expectedly taking longer. It’s not a real problem for that initial major upload if you can plug in your device and live a few hours without it, but when wanting to add new songs on the go (like the new Drake album, eh eh?) it can be a setback.

So, is it worth it?

Unless none of the cons seem to affect you and you desperately want to stream, at this time I would say wait a little bit. Otherwise, go ahead. Just keep in mind that the service has only been out for less than a week so it is possible Apple may make some adjustments.

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~ by spruchy on November 17, 2011.

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