When Apple first launched iCloud and iTunes Match at WWDC, one feature was absent: the ability to stream tracks from the cloud rather than download them.
Now a video walkthrough posted by Insanely Great Mac shows that tracks can indeed be streamed. The video shows an iPod library on an iPhone with iTunes Match tracks listed either by artist, song, or album. The tracks are denoted as Match songs by the same cloud icon used to allow you to download apps directly to an iOS device when they’ve been purchased on another device. Tapping the cloud icon downloads a track to the device. But tapping the track plays it over the air, directly from Apple’s servers.
iTunes Match allows users, for $24.99/ year, to download tracks they’ve bought from the iTunes Store on one computer or iOS device to other computers and devices associated with their iTunes account. The problem with that is, of course, that on devices with limited storage capacity downloading is less than ideal, making the ability to stream music very useful.
iTunes Match is due to be launched in the US in the autumn. No UK launch date has been announced.