New iTunes in the Cloud & iTunes Match: Announced at WWDC 2011

We’ve been bringing you all the news from Apple’s WWDC 2011 which began today with the keynote speech from Steve Jobs. We’ve already reported on the new Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5 and how there was no new iPhone announcement. Also earlier we told readers about the new Apple iCloud service, which we reckoned was truly revolutionary. We then told you we’d bring you more news about iTunes in the Cloud and also iTunes Match, which were also announced today so we have more details on those for you now.

At one time many people expected iCloud to be all about music storage but in fact it’s for so much more than that as we detailed earlier (linked to above). The music side of it comes under the tag of iTunes in the Cloud and rather than a streaming music service, iTunes in the Cloud will enable users to download purchased music to all their devices at no extra cost. Therefore when you purchase a piece of music it can be automatically downloaded and then distributed to up to 10 other devices. We’ve already told how the new iCloud service, coming in the fall, will be completely free and iTunes in the Cloud will also be free, according to Donald Melanson over on Engadget, sourced from Apple.

There’s even better news as if you’re in the U.S. you’re lucky enough to be able to use the beta version of iTunes in the Cloud from today. On to iTunes Match and this complementary service will allow you to put your existing ripped CD music in the cloud. Instead of having to upload everything the iTunes Match service can scan your collection to match songs, which will be much quicker. Only if the service cannot find a match will it upload music. iTunes Match will begin sometime in the fall and will cost you $24.99 yearly, which sounds pretty reasonable to us, for up to 25,000 songs.

If you want to know more about the iTunes in the Cloud experience then check out an article over on Ars Technica where they’ve already gone hands on with the beta version and noted that it’s working smoothly and is well designed. We’d like to hear your thoughts about iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match so let us have your comments.