The developer beta of iTunes Match, Apple’s new iCloud-based music sharing service, went live tonight and IGM has confirmed that Match will not only support downloading but stream content directly to your Mac or iOS device as well. Here’s how it works.
iTunes Match first scans your library and compiles a list of songs from what it finds—doesn’t matter if it’s a song you’ve bought through iTunes, one you’ve ripped from a CD, torrented, or even made yourself—all of them will be available on the cloud. Songs that iTunes recognizes are streamed from Apple’s master recording at 256kbps. Ones that it doesn’t recognize are uploaded to the iCloud from your local copy. You’ll then be able to access the entire library from any Mac (limit five separate computers) or iOS device with an Internet connection.