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Store Music Online with Mac's iTunes Match

iTunes Match allows you to store all your music in one place online, in iCloud. iTunes Match helps you collect all your music in one place, whether it comes from iTunes or it's been purchased from another online service or ripped from CDs.

iTunes Match is a premium iCloud service. Once you use iTunes Match to gather your music onto the cloud, it becomes accessible on up to ten devices and computers, including of course any of the Macs you own with iCloud access — that is, as long as they are running Lion or a later version of OS X.

What's more, matched songs that are available in the iTunes Store are made available at what is considered iTunes Plus quality, or in techie terms, 256 kilobits per second. If the song is not available in the iTunes Store, and you'd be hard pressed to find at least mainstream material that isn't, you'll be able to listen in its original audio quality.

Apple charges $24.99 a year for iTunes Match, but if you're a big fan of music and boast a sizable music collection, it's well worth it. iTunes Match is not available in all countries.

To turn on iTunes Match on your Mac, choose Store→Turn on iTunes Match and click Add This Computer.

Don't forget to sign in with an Apple ID that is identical to the credentials you used on the first computer you used to set up iTunes Match.

A small cloud icon appears next to any music that is stored on the cloud as opposed to on your computer. Click the song to download it onto your computer so that you can play it when you're offline. But with the arrival of iTunes 11, you can also now stream that song without having to download it, provided, of course, that you have Internet connectivity.

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