For $35 I have installed iTunes match as a component of iCloud on my home computer. On this computer I have previously installed several hundred classical and popular music CDs – 3,500 ‘songs’ in total in iTunes. ‘Match’ searches through these and locates which are held on the iTunes server that stores around 20 million ‘songs’ and records these as being in my collection. Around 1,400 tunes that I hold are apparently not included in this collection – all were copied from CDs I own – and these are uploaded onto the same server. The whole collection can then be streamed onto up to 10 Mac devices I own – computers, IPods and IPhones – stuff from the iTunes library and stuff not in the library alike.
It seems a pretty good idea since you end up with pristine copies of the lot everywhere you might want to use them – a not inconsiderable benefit. The uploading process for the non-itunes listed songs takes a lot of time – over a day – but once I have done it I can utilise my music anywhere provided I can access the web.
I am fascinated by the way the Cloud is intruding into our life. I save my music on a server in the US and can listen to it almost anywhere.
Update: a few days later I have matched my home computer music files onto an office IMac, a MacBook and an IPad. Once you switch to iTunes match on your home computer – that took several days to store all the information for music not held in the ITunes library, the vest is very quick – 5 minutes per machine or so. Some music got a bit jumbled about – I had my own categorisations but no serious damage that I can see.