Apple has introduced a ‘music locker’ service which does away with the need to upload most of your music. I have tried it out in addition to Amazon and Google’s competing services and I like it, especially the part about not having to upload my collection. Google’s uploader is particularly annoying and CPU intensive, so this is a great boon for people like me that have tens of thousands of songs. In the video below, the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg reviews iTunes Match.
What I would add to Mossberg’s commentary are two things. First, iTunes Match is only good for people with iPhones. My wife uses an iPhone and I use two Android mobiles and an Android tablet. So iTunes Match does nothing for me because it specifically designed to work only with Apple products. In fact, you cannot download music from the cloud onto your desktop computer even if you are signed in with iTunes. So this product is all about Apple.
Second, Apple makes it pretty difficult for anyone wishing to ‘upgrade their collection’ to do so. One of the appeals of iTunes Match is that it converts your collection into iTunes songs in the cloud if those songs are available. And that means any crappy or low bitrate songs you own are instantly upgraded. Try getting those songs out of the cloud and onto your computer, though. You’ll need some pretty good computer skills.
UPDATE 3 Dec 2011 – Reader Andy writes: “It’s extremely easy for my to upgrade the music. I delete the low bit rate song from iTunes (it gives the option to delete from iCloud too- which I don’t), then I redownload it. 2 Steps- delete, then click the download arrow. Thats it.” I have tried this on a PC and it works! Thanks, Andy. This is really useful. iTunes Match is even better than I thought.