You Can Finally Stream Your Tracks Using iTunes Match In iOS 6

You Can Finally Stream Your Tracks Using iTunes Match In iOS 6

We’re not quite sure how we missed this, but we did: in iOS 6’s first beta, iTunes Match has gone from a download-only service to a true streaming music service. It’s about time.

As you might recall, when iTunes Match first came out last year, while you could download songs individually to your device, it wasn’t streaming because the entire track needed to download to local storage first, where it would then take up space.

With iOS 6, though, that’s all changed. Now when you tap to play a song, it immediately begins playing, and you only download the song to your device if you specifically want to. In other words, you can choose between listening to a track right now with an online connection, or downloading it for offline listening.

This is a huge step in the right direction for iTunes Match. Most of the time, if I’m listening to something on my iTunes library, I don’t want to download it for offline listening… I just want to stream it.

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  • MacHead84

    This doesnt necessarily mean Apple will keep the streaming function for the final GM iOS6 right

  • Jay Yanesh

    Its does ask to use your cellular data in the music app settings tho. Thats a sign.

    This doesnt necessarily mean Apple will keep the streaming function for the final GM iOS6 right

  • Jay Yanesh

    I’m using iTunes Match and its streaming or if you go to the artist you can download it from the cloud. I do have a album art issues. They are not showing up using iTunes Match.

  • davidgoscinny

    I could already stream on iOS 5 & iTunes Match. Once I tapped on a song it would start to play quite quickly (even though the songs was not on the device).

    What made me realize that it was streaming was that at one point, I lost the WiFi signal at which point the song stopped playing & it only resumed once I got back within reach of the WiFi signal.
    Even Apple advertises iTunes Match as a streaming service: http://www.apple.com/itunes/itunes-match/
    Once your music is in iCloud, you can stream it to any of your devices. Just browse the complete list of all your music stored in the cloud. To listen to a song, tap the iCloud icon next to it and your song starts playing.”

    So to me, unless I’m missing something, it was already possible to stream on iOS5.
  • Ivey West

    Its does ask to use your cellular data in the music app settings tho. Thats a sign.

    This doesnt necessarily mean Apple will keep the streaming function for the final GM iOS6 right

    It’s always had the toggle for celluar data.

  • Tim Jensen

    It’s an idiotic move for the iPod side of things; You can’t have Wi-Fi everywhere, and you can’t choose to download a song without playing it first! How am I supposed to download albums?

  • bfred_it

    I got rid of Match when I realized that:

    • there was no easy way to automatically add new songs for offline use
    • new songs had to be added one by one or album by album, rather than letting me download an entire playlist
    • my monthly playlists weren’t syncing because they linked my “excluded” playlist
    • the iPhone became very slow, irresponsive and crashy, probably due to my 19000 songs library.
    If they don’t allow me to sync the music in iOS 6 I’m not going to renew next year.
  • ApplePr0n

    This doesnt necessarily mean Apple will keep the streaming function for the final GM iOS6 right

    I would assume so to be honest. 

    Also, does can anyone confirm that this is with a subscription to iTunes Match correct?
  • jkmca

    this just may be my fave ios 6 feature yet!  I love to shuffle all day at work (with no wifi) and now I can get the smallest iphone avail b/c I won’t need the storage space to store all my tracks….thanks Apple!

  • world_exposer

    I have dumped iTunes and any Apple music related thing for Spotify, works the way i want.

  • Solowalker

    I got rid of Match when I realized that:

    • there was no easy way to automatically add new songs for offline use
    • new songs had to be added one by one or album by album, rather than letting me download an entire playlist
    • my monthly playlists weren’t syncing because they linked my “excluded” playlist
    • the iPhone became very slow, irresponsive and crashy, probably due to my 19000 songs library.
    If they don’t allow me to sync the music in iOS 6 I’m not going to renew next year.

    Yeah, you can totally download a whole playlist. I do it all the time. Scroll to the bottom of the playlist, hit the Download All button. 

  • Rainer Schloenvoigt

    Okay, i don’t really need that on my phone because of the instable and slow mobile internet connections.

    BUUUUUT!!! I would really love this feature for my macbook and my apple tv!!!
    Not only would I save a lot of harddisk space, but SSD drives also seem more useful.
    Sometimes the Apple TV takes some seconds before playing the next song. So my guess is, it also downloads the whole song first -_-
  • lowtolerance

    It’s an idiotic move for the iPod side of things; You can’t have Wi-Fi everywhere, and you can’t choose to download a song without playing it first! How am I supposed to download albums?

    Have you even tried it yet? You can downloads albums or playlists without streaming them first.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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