Using iTunes and iCloud Together on Your iMac

By Mark L. Chambers

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: Choose iTunes–>Preferences, click the Store tab, click the Show iTunes in the Cloud Purchases check box to enable it, and click OK. Now sign in with your Apple ID for a surprise. Bam — all the audio and video you’ve purchased from the iTunes Store appears 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 has been saved to your Mac’s drive, the iCloud icon disappears, and you’re ready to listen or watch your purchase.

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

Apple’s iTunes Match subscription service builds on this same functionality, allowing you to store all 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, PCs, or iOS devices! When you join iTunes Match, all the songs that aren’t available from the iTunes Store are automatically uploaded to iCloud.

Currently, the service is $25 a year and is limited to a maximum of 10 devices and 25,000 songs. (Note that 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.