When Apple announced iTunes Match back in June, many of you (ourselves included) bristled at the $24.99 annual fee for a download-only version of the iTunes in the Cloud music service. That deal looks a little sweeter this evening with the beta release of iTunes Match for developers. In addition to downloading your tracks, Insanely Great Mac is demonstrating the ability to stream songs stored in iCloud over WiFi or 3G connections.
Instead of uploading your entire iTunes library, Apple’s iTunes Match service will automatically build your local iTunes library in iCloud by matching it against Apple’s 18 million song library of 256kbps master tracks, even if your original copy was recorded at a lower quality — you only have to upload what Apple can’t match. That could save you days of upload time compared to similar services offered by Amazon and Google. Now, in addition to the ability to download your tracks to up to 10 devices, you can also choose to stream the audio thereby quickening your path to music consumption and conserving the limited local storage on iOS devices. Check the video demonstrations of the download and streaming features after the break while we wait for the service to be released sometime in the fall.