Apple delivers much-needed clarity regarding iTunes Match

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         People have heard a lot about iTunes Match(s aapl), but few fully grasp what it does, which is why it’s great that Apple introduced a dedicated page detailing exactly what it provides and how it works over the holiday weekend. If, like me, you’ve been fielding a lot of calls about what Match even is, this should prove a very handy resource.

The new iTunes Match page not only includes a couple of paragraphs describing the service, as did the brief blurb on the iCloud page that used to cover the topic; it also includes a simple four-step procedure for getting started matching your library and a 10-question FAQ featuring most of the things I’ve been asked by confused family and friends about the service. This includes whether or not iTunes Match streams or downloads a track (it can do either on a computer running iTunes; it does both simultaneously on an iOS device; it only streams on Apple TV) and what happens if you don’t renew your subscription. (Downloaded songs on any devices remain yours, cloud access is gone.)

Also included is an iTunes Match walkthrough video, which provides exact instructions for how to find and subscribe to iTunes Match on your Mac, as well as how to turn it on your iOS 5 device and Apple TV. It’s about as straightforward as a screencast gets, and the whole thing is just over a minute long. If relatives are calling about getting iTunes Match set up on their new iPad, this is definitely the direction to point them in.