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.
Source: Apple ‘N’ Apps