The iCloud announcement came and went, and with it rumors of an Apple streaming music service died.
However, last night an iTunes Match Developer Beta was released, and hidden inside was the ability to stream songs to the entire spectrum of iOS devices. Amazon and Google's services can't do that, and force their users to upload their entire library to the cloud track by track. Apple users can simply "Scan" their library and Apple will provide them the same song, found on Apple servers, for streaming or download. Until today, it was thought, the only way for iTunes Match users to listen to music was to download the matched music first, not stream.
iTunes Match stores your complete music library in iCloud, allowing you to enjoy your collection anywhere, anytime, on any iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or computer. Apple
It seems odd Apple waited this long to confirm, let alone mention, the iTunes Match streaming feature. They did after all spend a small fortune securing the rights to do so from the labels. Whatever their reason, for those of us willing to pay $25 a year, and who have an iTunes library worthy of an appearance on Hoarders, iTunes Match appears to be a pretty sweet deal.