Apple Releases Beta Version of Cloud Music Service to Developers

iTunes Match lets users stream libraries

iTunes users are one step closer to being able to access any song, anywhere. Last night, Apple released the beta version of iTunes Match—also known as “iTunes in the cloud”—to developers. Former CEO Steve Jobs first revealed Apple's plans for the service at WWDC in June.

For $25 a year, Apple will scan a user’s iTunes library and allow that user to access it from any iTunes-enabled Mac or iOS device. Instead of taking hours to upload every song to the cloud, songs that already exist in the iTunes music store will be streamed directly from Apple—even if the user’s copy wasn’t purchased through iTunes—while any other songs that Apple doesn’t already have will be uploaded.

Each user will be able to access up to 25,000 songs, and can either stream the songs or download them locally from the cloud.

The iTunes Match beta release means that Apple is inching towards the public launch of iCloud and iOS 5, both of which will likely launch along with the iPhone 5, according to Business Insider.