iTunes Match brings your whole music collection to the cloud

iTunes Match - taking your music beyond the PC
iTunes Match - taking your music beyond the PC

Apple has announced a new deal to bring your entire music library to the cloud and make it available on any iOS device you have synced.

The new service will scan your music library and 'tag' any songs you own on the Apple server - the huge base we saw being built last year in North Carolina.

The music will then be offered in 256Kbps AAC files - which is a real bonus if you've got 32Kbps versions of songs kicking around from the late '90s as these will get an iMakeover.

But is it better than Spotify?

The songs Apple has confirmed you own will be available to download on any device running iOS 5 that you've signed into your personal account, meaning huge swathes of music available from anywhere you have a decent connection.

Any music Apple cannot match (basically the downloaded stuff with no ID3 tags or slightly sketchy versions of the song) will be uploaded to your iCloud account, although we've yet to work out how exactly Jobs' Lot will work out the identity of each tune.

However, there could be a spanner in the ointment: the service only appears to be available in the US for now, costing $24.99 per year - which would be around £15 in the UK. If it ever does land on our shores expect it to be a lot more than that - we reckon around £25 a year to keep the numbers in check.

A number of other music platforms were planning on doing the same thing, according to recent rumours, so we'll have to see if Apple has stolen a march and managed to nab another slice of future music pie.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.