A few days ago, Apple released a new beta version of iTunes 10.5 that included support for iTunes Match. Once developers had chance to activate the feature, it became apparent that this was unlike the iTunes Match feature mentioned by Steve Jobs as the company’s “one more thing” back in June, at WWDC. Namely, in iOS 5 beta 6 (with iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1), Apple fans could stream music to their iOS device using iTunes Match.
When the service, which costs users $24.99 per year, was announced, Apple made no mention of streaming. For this reason, when the exciting, unannounced feature was discovered, many assumed it had either been added post-keynote, or was a hidden surprise. Unfortunately, it would now appear that this mindset was rather a little too optimistic.
In the latest beta version of iOS 5 (beta 7, which Apple released last night), it is no longer possible to stream music to an iOS device via iTunes Match. Instead, the tracks are now downloaded from iCloud and saved to an iOS device.
It’s clear that Apple is still tweaking iTunes Match, meaning that the company could re-enable the streaming feature we’ve already seen. However, considering Apple hasn’t announced iTunes Match streaming (or even acknowledged that iTunes Match previously streamed tracks, as MacRumors notes), this is probably unlikely.
Regardless, we’ll keep you posted on the beta versions of Apple’s upcoming software. In the meantime, let us know if you’ve taken iTunes Match beta for a spin in the comments.