iTunes Match now available

Apple has today pushed out a new version of iTunes, taking it to version 10.5.1. Just as we reported a couple of days ago, bundled in with this update is the long-awaited iTunes Match, which finally arrives after first being announced in June. The service was due to arrive last month but was delayed for as-yet unexplained reasons.

The Next Web speculated a couple of weeks ago that this may have been due to issues with finalizing music licensing agreements, or even a result of Apple needing to fine-tune its network management to deal with server strain caused by higher than expected usage of Siri, but for now, your guess for the reason behind the delay is as good as theirs.

But what is all this iTunes Match stuff about anyway? Simply put, iTunes can now scan your entire music collection – including songs that you’ve ripped from CDs, bought on other digital music stores, or acquired... by other means. It then matches those songs up to the database of over 20 million tracks on iTunes, and the software will automatically add it to your iTunes collection on iCloud in DRM-free 256Kbps quality, so that it can be streamed or downloaded to any supported devices.

If there are any obscure tracks in your collection that can’t be matched on iTunes, you’ll have to upload those manually to iCloud, but the iTunes library is pretty comprehensive, so the list of songs you’ll have to upload will probably be fairly short.

Just as Apple promised, the cost of this service is $24.99 a year, and at the moment, it appears to be restricted to the US only, which sucks for those of who don't live Stateside. There’s also a limit of 25,000 songs that can be matched with the service, but given that your existing iTunes purchases don’t count towards that limit, most users probably won’t come close to exceeding that amount.

If you’re in the US, iTunes Match is available in the iTunes 10.5.1 release, available now from Apple.com

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in addition to my ipod touch i also sync my itunes library to my droid so i f my battery dies i still have my music, i use doubletwist on my mac to do this. If i opt for itunes match will i still be able to sync with droid using doubletwist?

Or give up Apple, Sync your music on SkyDrive, and play your songs for free from the cloud.

Or subscribe to Zune Pass, $9.95 a month, and never have to worry about buying the song, and you can download or just stream it at any time from virtually any device. And with the new changes, on your PC or XBox (with new dashboard), WP7 (Coming Soon) - not only can you stream your songs and playlist, you can flip the switch and if the video is available, it plays the video for all your songs as well.

(I know this is a bit trollish, but why pay for a feature you can already do for free, and if you are going to pay, why not get a better option of more music and access to the Music Videos for the songs too.)

thenetavenger said,
Or give up Apple, Sync your music on SkyDrive, and play your songs for free from the cloud.

Or subscribe to Zune Pass, $9.95 a month, and never have to worry about buying the song, and you can download or just stream it at any time from virtually any device. And with the new changes, on your PC or XBox (with new dashboard), WP7 (Coming Soon) - not only can you stream your songs and playlist, you can flip the switch and if the video is available, it plays the video for all your songs as well.

(I know this is a bit trollish, but why pay for a feature you can already do for free, and if you are going to pay, why not get a better option of more music and access to the Music Videos for the songs too.)

Zune Pass isn't available for iOS...

Can iTunes "match" your song if it's not in their library (like an upload feature)? Like what if I had 200 songs of Steve Ballmer screaming, and I wanted to have cloud access to them.

Enron said,
Can iTunes "match" your song if it's not in their library (like an upload feature)? Like what if I had 200 songs of Steve Ballmer screaming, and I wanted to have cloud access to them.

It'll upload files that arn't matched, it only matchd like 300 of 4500 songs in my library my stuff is correctly tagged compared to the itunes store so I don't even know whats going on there.

Timan said,

It'll upload files that arn't matched, it only matchd like 300 of 4500 songs in my library my stuff is correctly tagged compared to the itunes store so I don't even know whats going on there.


Wow thats missing a few I wonder if it CRC Checks the file or some form of back checking?

I have several iOS devices and computers, so a service like this works out quite nicely for me. Especially since my music library is larger then the space offered on my devices.

It might be me, but I don't see how a service like this is worth a $ 24.99 annual fee... :?

I mean, it's nice and all, but I just can't imagine paying for it.

M_Lyons10 said,
It might be me, but I don't see how a service like this is worth a $ 24.99 annual fee... :?

I mean, it's nice and all, but I just can't imagine paying for it.

I'd get it once, and update my library...no need to ever renew it.

M_Lyons10 said,
It might be me, but I don't see how a service like this is worth a $ 24.99 annual fee... :?

I mean, it's nice and all, but I just can't imagine paying for it.

$25 for 25000 songs isnt bad...

Chris Zhang said,

$25 for 25000 songs isnt bad...


That you already own.

But yea.

Oh and: iTunes purchases don't count against that limit.

Imho it's interesting to those like me who have TONS of music, but don't want to 100% fill their iPhones with music only... Leaving you with the ability to quickly get that one song/album you just need without having to purchase it.

GS:mac

M_Lyons10 said,
It might be me, but I don't see how a service like this is worth a $ 24.99 annual fee... :?

$24.99 to launder pirated music.

KeR said,

I'd get it once, and update my library...no need to ever renew it.

Doesn't exactly work like people think. It doesn't magically update your library. It only downloads new stuff if you're on another device and don't have the files.

Timan said,

Doesn't exactly work like people think. It doesn't magically update your library. It only downloads new stuff if you're on another device and don't have the files.

I thought that it did magically update my library....? So iTunes won't give me the option to download the 256kbps version of the 60kbps file that iTunes Match identified? What if I match it, and then delete it from my iTunes Library? Can I redownload it from the service at the higher bit rate?

Shadrack said,

I thought that it did magically update my library....? So iTunes won't give me the option to download the 256kbps version of the 60kbps file that iTunes Match identified? What if I match it, and then delete it from my iTunes Library? Can I redownload it from the service at the higher bit rate?

If you delete it from your library it will be deleted from the cloud. If you've bought it on iTunes then it's forever in the cloud because iTunes knows what you have purchased and you can redownload them anyway (without iTunes match).

What iTunes match is useful for is when you have iPads/iPhones/Apple TV's and you don't want to carry around your entire music library.

From Apple

Even better, all the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality

...blha, Neowin ate my original comment. Anyway, does that mean that if I play a low quality audio file in iTunes it will stream the higher quality audio file from iCloud? Are there no download options in iTunes from iCloud? What if I connect to iCloud from iTunes on another computer?

ady199 said,
Typical, US only...................

This, I find it mind boggling how US contracts between companies and labels always get talked over way quicker than on international level...
Do they somehow speak faster? WTF!

Especially as this is not born out of dust and dawn just yesterday!

GS:mac

protocol7 said,
Can you sign up to iTunes Match using store credit? I have a US account, but not a US credit card.

Apple doesn't allow paypal transactions? Maybe you could trick it that way.

protocol7 said,
Can you sign up to iTunes Match using store credit? I have a US account, but not a US credit card.

AFAIK no.

You need a US Credit card...
You could get a throw away one, though.

Not sure how much of a favor you do yourself if you activate it outside your country though.
Hold back some more, saves you some trouble in the end maybe!

GS:mac

Quick Shot said,

Apple doesn't allow paypal transactions? Maybe you could trick it that way.

Nope. It requires a US credit card even with Paypal.

No Match for me so.

protocol7 said,
Can you sign up to iTunes Match using store credit? I have a US account, but not a US credit card.

I had store credit which was used when I signed up. However, dont know if this answers your question because I also have a CC on file.