Apple iTunes is long established, but it doesn’t do everything a music-streaming fan might demand. It can be used to purchase digital music and videos as well as manage music on your PC or Mac, as well as any iOS devices - iPhones, iPads and iPods. Apple iCloud takes a different approach to music consumption. As its name implies, its online-focused: web users can store their music, photos, files and contacts online, and then wirelessly access then from a number of different devices.
The service, which can be accessed from all iOS and Mac OS devices as well as Windows PCs, will see music files purchased from iTunes stored in the cloud and accessed by any iOS compatible devices, as long as they have an internet connection.
However, music ripped from CDs will not be supported. Instead, you can match such tracks to songs in the iTunes store, however, in a process called iTunes Match that Apple claims takes minutes, and offers the same 'rights' to those music files as songs purchased from iTunes. iTunes Match will cost $25 a year in the US. UK pricing and availability has yet to be announced.
The service offers users 5GB of online space for free, where they can store their mail, documents and apps. However Photo Stream does not count towards this allowance. Extra storage space will also be available to purchase once the service has launched, which is slated for sometime this autumn.
Great for Apple iPod and other iOS device users who have purchased most of their music from iTunes, but having to pay $25 to access music you've already paid for isn't ideal.