Music locker is a cloud-computing service offered by several providers like Google, Amazon and Apple, where one can store their music collection on a?remote server and access them from any device.
The locker service offered by Google and Amazon requires the user to upload all their music to their locker first. With slow internet connections the?uploading can take days.
Apple has launched a locker service called ‘iTunes Match’ which overcomes this obstacle.
iTunes Match scans the iTunes library on your Macs or Windows PCs, then matches the titles you have with the 20 million songs Apple has the right to?distribute via its iTunes store. If your songs are included in that 20 million, Apple simply places them in your online locker. Since most of your music is probably already in iCloud, all you have to upload is what iTunes can?t match. So, there is no need for you to upload any of your music collections to Apples’s servers.
Once the songs are in the cloud, it can be streamed of downloaded to any Apple devices like iPad or iPhone. Upto 10 devices are allowed in iTunes Match, per user.
iTunes Match service subscription costs US$25 a year for up to 25,000 songs. These songs could be purchased from non-Apple music services or imported from CDs, or even those that were downloaded illegally.
Another important feature of iTunes Match is, before any songs are stored in your Match locker, Apple converts it into high quality 256Kbps AAC encoded format. So, all your songs in iTunes Match is saved in high quality format for streaming and downloading.
Walter S. Mossberg at Wall Street Journal says: “Because of Match, my music collection is now complete and essentially identical on all my computers and on my iPad and iPhone, allowing me to access any of my songs from any of these devices, without manual synchronization via a cable, or paying more than once for the same song. My Match locker is even accessible from my Apple TV device.”
Match is an optional addition to an existing free service called iTunes in the Cloud, which covers only songs you bought from Apple’s iTunes store, or?which you buy there in the future. Songs bought from the iTunes store don’t count against the 25,000 songs limit in iTunes Match.
Google’s music locker is currently free, but limited to 20,000 songs while Amazon is now offering unlimited music storage for $20 a year.
Sources: Apple, WallStreet Journal