Apple offers preview of iCloud music feature

With iTunes 10.3 beta and iOS 4.3.3, users can download purchased tracks to multiple devices

Apple is letting customers try out one feature of its upcoming iCloud months before the service is set to debut.

Late Monday, Apple made a beta of iTunes 10.3 available for downloading, and switched on "iTunes in the Cloud" for that application as well as for the iTunes apps bundled with iOS 4.3.3, the current version that powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

iTunes in the Cloud is Apple's name for the iCloud feature that lets users download tracks and albums purchased through the iTunes store to as many as 10 different devices, including Macs and Windows PCs running iTunes 10.3, iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches.

Once downloaded to a device, any of those tunes can be played.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled iCloud Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote, and said that the full service would be available this fall, at the same time that iOS 5 launches.

In iTunes 10.3, users must set a new preference option to automatically receive music purchased on other devices linked to the same iTunes account. That setting is under "Store" in the iTunes Preferences window; checking '"Music" under the "Automatic Downloads" section, for example, auto-downloads tracks bought on, say, an iPhone, to the Mac or PC running iTunes 10.3.

On an iPhone, the same option is under "Store" in the "Settings" app.

Alternately, users can manually request downloads to each device.

On an iTunes 10.3-equipped Mac, for instance, users can select tracks to download from the Purchased section of their library, clicking on the cloud-style icon to begin the download.

The process is similar on an iOS device.

Apps and books purchased through Apple's iBook app or via iTunes can also be downloaded to multiple devices.

The for-a-fee "iTunes Match" is not yet available, however. That $25-per-year service will scan a customer's iTunes collection, match those tunes that were not bought through Apple's store against the 18 million tracks in Apple's library, then make the matches available for instant downloading to the maximum 10 devices.

The beta of iTunes 10.3 can be downloaded from Apple's Web site.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com .

Read more about web 2.0 and web apps in Computerworld's Web 2.0 and Web Apps Topic Center.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags AppleMac OSMobile Apps and ServicesWeb 2.0 and Web Appssoftwareoperating systems

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?