iOS 8.4 launching at 8am Tuesday, iTunes Match song limit increasing to 100,000 with iOS 9

Apple Music teaser 001

Former Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers wrote in a blog post yesterday that iOS 8.4 with Apple Music will release for public consumption on Tuesday, June 30, at 8am Pacific / 11am Eastern. A few hours later, however, Rogers has updated his post removing mention of the specific timing.

“Tuesday morning we’ll be unveiling the next chapter,” reads the post. “Please make a note to upgrade to iOS 8.4 Tuesday, June 30 and listen to our first day of broadcasting.”

Rogers is now a Senior Director of Apple Music.

An hour later, Beats 1 radio will start broadcasting to everyone at 9am Pacific.

The service will feature celebrity DJs Zane Lowe in Los Angeles, Ebro Darden in New York and Julie Adenuga in London who are paid by Apple to curate and edit live programming.

Eminem should be the first guest interviewed on the 24/7 Internet radio service, with musicians Elton John, Dr. Dre, Pharrell Drake and others hosting their own programming blocks.

Folks who are on a second beta of iOS 9 needn’t worry as there’s a new seed in the works that will support Apple Music, according to a tweet by Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services. Though he did not explicitly say it, it’s reasonable to infer from his tweet that iOS 9 beta 3 will launch on Tuesday, June 30.

Cue has also said that iTunes Match, Apple’s $24.99 per year scan-and-match service for songs, is included in Apple Music with the same 25,000 song limit. Thankfully, when iOS 9 releases this fall, that ceiling will be raised to 100,000 songs so you’ll be at last able to upload all those bootlegs you’ve accumulated since your childhood.

With iTunes Match part of Apple Music, Apple Music subscribers can upload tracks in their music library that the iTunes Store does not have. It wasn’t immediately clear at post time whether iTunes Match will automatically stop charging users who sign up for Apple Music or if they will need to manually stop their iTunes Match subscription.

I think it’s confusing that iTunes Match still exists as a standalone product.

For what it’s worth, Apple’s website states that Apple Music and iTunes Match “are independent but complementary.” Keep in mind that iTunes Match as a standalone service doesn’t stream uploaded tracks,  except those that are matched by the service, meaning Apple has them available for purchase on iTunes.

I also don’t think Apple Music will allow us to download matched songs to our computer even though iTunes Match as a standalone service supports this tremendously useful feature.

Say you’re subscribed to iTunes Match for $24.99 per year.

Any low-quality MP3 files in your library that are matched can be immediately downloaded to your device in iTunes’ high-quality 256kbps AAC format. And if you turn off iTunes Match or your subscription ends, those higher-quality song files are yours forever to keep.

Still confused?

All you need to know is this: should iTunes find tracks in your library that Apple Music doesn’t have in its catalog, they’ll be uploaded as part of iTunes Match with the 25,000 song limit and you should be able to stream them as long as you’re an Apple Music subscriber.

Even though Apple Music supports offline playback, those cached files won’t play when your Apple Music subscription expires. Perhaps this is the reason iTunes Match exists alongside Apple Music?

Lastly, Cue’s confirmed that there’s going to be a Beats app update to help customers migrate their Beats playlists to Apple Music. He stopped short of specifying whether Spotify users will be able to transfer their playlists to Apple Music as well.

Apple Music features

Apple Music costs $9.99 after a three-month free trial, or $14.99 for a family of six.

While listening to the Beats 1 radio station is free to all users who are signed in with an Apple ID, a subscription is required to listen to Apple Music radio stations as indicated by Apple’s table seen above.

Apple Music has several components.

For starters, it’s a true streaming-music service that supports unlimited listening from Apple’s library of more than 30 million tracks. You can save tracks for offline listening and add Apple Music content to your own music library.

As mentioned before, Apple Music also includes a Beats 1 component.

Other perks include a Connect feature to view and follow an artist’s feed, play and save Connect content and like Connect content or radio songs, to mention a few.

Apple Music requires iOS 8.4 and/or desktop iTunes and works across iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac and Windows PC devices. Come this fall, Apple Music will pick up support for Android devices and the Apple TV.

However, Apple has said that Apple Music features for Android will be limited to paid members only.

Source: Ian Rogers