There's been a lot of buzz about Apple's upcoming iTunes Match, its music cloud service. The music cloud locker market is anything except not catered to, there are plenty of competitors, big and small.
Both Amazon and Google have cloud music services, but Apple's selling point, initially, was that it struck a deal with the music labels, while the others didn't.
This allowed its service to be a lot more efficient and user friendly, since, for one, it didn't require the users to upload any music files at all, except in rare circumstances, their libraries would simply be 'synced' to the cloud.
While details of iTunes Match have been available for months, the service is only now entering beta. It is still not available to all.
From the details available initially, Apple's cloud music service had one big weakness, compared to the other big guys, it didn't do streaming. iTunes Match holds your music in the cloud, but if you want to listen to it, you have to download it to your device.
Both Google's and Amazon's services, on the other hand, enabled users to stream their music on any device with a browser.
Imagine everyone's surprise when it became apparent that iTunes Match does indeed have streaming along with a download option. Instantly, the service seemed to leapfrog Google's Music Beta and Amazon's Cloud Player.
But it seems everyone just jumped to conclusions, iTunes Match will not feature streaming, at least not in the sense of what Google or Amazon offer.
As All Things D points out, all of the music still has to be downloaded to your device if you want to listen to it.
However, there is the option of starting to listen to your music before it finishes, which is what made people assume that there was a streaming option.
Turns out, there is not. Interestingly enough, Apple actually has a license from the music labels to stream music, which neither Google nor Amazon have, yet it chose not to build the feature, for now.
The reason why can only be speculated, but it apparently has to do with Apple's desire for a perfect experience, which it can't guarantee for streaming since it relies on the internet connection, and its focus on devices rather than platforms.