New in iOS 6: iTunes Match now lets you either stream or download songs

By , Jun 13, 2012

One of the markedly little improvements in iOS 6 that many people originally missed is the ability to stream songs stored in your music locker in the cloud. When Apple introduced iTunes Match last August, much of the debate centered around the question whether or not it streams songs.

Though it appeared as if it did, Apple denied iTunes Match streaming. Semantics aside, iTunes Match in iOS 5 used to exclusively download and store songs on your device. With iOS 6, you can now choose to either stream a song as many times as you’d like or download it for offline listening…

As noted by Apple’N'Apps, tapping a song in the Music app now defaults to streaming. To be perfectly clear here, streamed songs do get cached so you can listen to them later without a network connection.

However, any song you streamed gets wiped out from the cache when iTunes Match is turned off. Of course, you can still download songs to your device permanently by specifically taping on the iCloud icon.

iTunes Match has become a streaming service in the beta. We confirmed it, by playing a few songs, then turning off iTunes Match, and seeing that the music folder then had no music.

In iOS 5, the few tracks you listened to are stored. The various playlists, artists, and songs also drop the cloud icon next to them, and those are reserved for the album view, and a little bit off to the side.

Contrast this to iOS 5 which exclusively downloads songs. As a result of this behavior, any songs you’ve already downloaded to your device from iCloud stay there even after you disable iTunes Match. Plus, they’ll still be there when you re-enable it, too.

This behavior is also true in iOS 6, but only if you specifically tapped the iCloud icon next to the album name. As mentioned before, tapping a song name now defaults to streaming and streamed songs get wiped out after you disable iTunes Match and are no longer available when you re-enable it.

iOS 6 has also brought a change to the stock Music app which now resembles its iPad counterpart while adopting a silver-themed appearance. You can also set any song from your music library as your alarm.

Apple also yesterday approved Amazon’s cloud-based music app which enables you to either stream or download songs in your cloud music locker.

And this just in, CNET reports that Amazon will announce cloud-music rights that will match Apple’s iCloud within weeks.

Could this slight tweak mean that Apple is readying a subscription-based streaming music service?

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  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck willie

    So sad my country doesn’t have iTunes store, I can’t buy music

    • http://twitter.com/TheA1One Anas Barak

      You can buy from iTunes , just switch to the US store

      • House Lannister

        How do you do that?

      • http://twitter.com/franklylife Frank Anthony

        Just register your account using any U.S address… Just any address that u see and put any number as phone number. But to avoid asking for credit card. Go to AppStore try to download an app and a username and password will pop out, choose register” and create account. After filling ur name etc. On the stage of credit card choose “None” then continue and verify your account. This will enable u to use Apple Gift card instead of credit card. Hope this help. Incase u need Apple gift card, go to google and search. There’re many marchant that sell Apple Gift Card using your country credit card or wire transfer. Goodluck!

  • http://twitter.com/AlecAllsop Alec Allsop

    I don’t have the icloud button next to my songs. i thought it was a bug to be honest,

    • http://www.facebook.com/heilweil Nicholas Heilweil

      I don’t have that little Cloud icon either. The streaming works great but how are we supposed to download a song?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Sutton/521272151 Andy Sutton

    Thank GOD!

  • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

    YES!!!

  • http://twitter.com/EternitySnow EternitySnow

    if anybody interested to get their UDID registered for a year to play with ios 6 now! email me at ios6udid12 at gmail dot com

  • http://www.facebook.com/Fercho.Vallese Fercho Vallese

    How do you download individual songs?

    • http://twitter.com/rmeaux Ryan Meaux

      Can’t but can – Workaround options:

      Option 1 = Hit iCloud download button for album and quickly hit the circle next to each song to cancel the download before it starts. Skipping the track you want. Be quick because as soon as you cancel one the next starts.

      Option 2 = Make a playlist titled “Single” or whatever you like. Add the individual track to it and then download playlist.

  • techfreak243

    nice Beatles songs

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1412117386 Linda Richardson Rose

    You can’t download individual songs and you can’t delete. Worst ‘improvement’ possible. This is a step backwards. If I can ever get all my music off the cloud and onto my computer I plan to canceling this subscription and going back to manually managing my music.

    • http://twitter.com/rmeaux Ryan Meaux

      Can’t but can – Workaround options:
      Deleting Individual tracks:
      Turn Off iTM for a moment and swipe to delete the tracks you want gone and return iTM to “ON”.
      Downloading Individual tracks:
      Option 1 = Hit iCloud download button for album and quickly hit the circle next to each song to cancel the download before it starts. Skipping the track you want. Be quick because as soon as you cancel one the next starts.
      Option 2 = Make a playlist titled “Single” or whatever you like. Add the individual track to it and then download playlist.

      I’m sure this will be improved (fixed) in an update soon. This isn’t the only board with these questions.