There are a few options by which to stream music directly from HomePod, the main contender being Apple's monthly subscription service Apple Music. But if you, like many others, have built up an extensive iTunes library over the years, iTunes Match offers the biggest bang for your buck.
Users looking to consolidate all of their legacy music purchases in a single cloud-based service will have one less option come mid-January, as Amazon has announced it will discontinue its song matching and uploading capability.
The newly released watchOS 4.1 developer beta includes expansions to the Apple Watch's built-in Music app, including the ability to stream songs from Apple Music and iTunes Match via an LTE connection on the new Series 3 hardware.
Changes are being made behind the scenes to iTunes Music's library matching and streaming algorithms, allowing for more accurate determination of what songs the user owns, and preventing inadvertent destruction of music libraries.
With its forthcoming iOS 9.3 update, Apple plans to allow third-party apps to add songs to a user's iCloud Music Library, eliminating the need to use iTunes on a Mac or PC to upload songs to the cloud or add them to the iOS Music app.
Some users are again claiming that Apple has raised the song upload/matching limit for iTunes Match and Apple Music libraries over 25,000, as promised in June by SVP for Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue.
As Apple Music prepares to launch later on Tuesday, many people are experiencing problems with iTunes Match that are causing havoc with their music libraries, according to complaints received by AppleInsider and on Apple's support forums.
Google Play Music on Wednesday was updated to store up to 50,000 songs in the cloud for free, more than doubling its previous limit of 20,000 songs, and also blowing past the 25,000-song cap of Apple's subscription iTunes Match service.
While Beats may be best known for its headphones, Apple made it clear in announcing its $3 billion acquisition of the company on Wednesday that its real interest lies in the subscription Beats Music streaming service, which will complement Apple's existing iTunes offerings.
After a nearly two-and-a-half year wait, Apple's iTunes Match has hit the shores of Japan, bringing cloud-based library matching to one of the few countries where users can purchase music through iTunes but not sign up for the service.
Facing significant declines in digital music sales, Apple is reportedly plotting a potential overhaul of its iTunes Music Store, in addition to considering new revenue opportunities through on-demand streaming and even allegedly an iTunes for Android.