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How to Use iTunes and iCloud Together on Your MacBook

iTunes is connected closely with the Apple iCloud service, allowing you to share music betwixt all your Macs and iOS devices. But how do you pull your audio and video out of that floating nimbus? Try this: Select your Music Library in the Source list, choose View→Show Music in the Cloud, and sign in with your Apple ID. Bam!

All the audio and video you’ve purchased from the iTunes Store appear in your Library. Note, however, that those items don’t exist on your local drive. Consider those entries placeholders for the stuff you can download, allowing you to see (and search for) what’s available through iCloud.

To download a local copy of any iCloud item, simply click the iCloud icon next to the item. After the local copy is saved to your drive, the iCloud icon disappears, and you’re ready to listen to or watch your purchase.

To hide the iCloud placeholder entries from your Library and display just the stuff on your Mac’s drive, choose View→Hide Music in the Cloud.

Apple’s iTunes Match subscription service builds on this same functionality. It allows you to store your music in iCloud (including the songs you’ve ripped from audio CDs and downloaded from other sources) and listen to it on any of your Macs or iOS devices. When you join iTunes Match, all the songs that aren’t available from the iTunes Store are automatically uploaded to iCloud.

The service is currently $25 per year and is limited to a maximum of 10 devices and 25,000 songs.

Purchases you make from the iTunes Store don’t count toward that 25,000 song limit.

To subscribe to iTunes Match or manage your Match storage, click the Match button at the top of the iTunes window.

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