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Apple’s iTunes Match Now Live

November 14, 2011

Apple on Monday launched its iTunes Match service, which allows for cloud-based access to your music library.

Due to "overwhelming demand," however, Apple reported that new signups were not available and asked users to check back in an hour.

The service allows users to store their entire music library in the cloud, or iCloud, for on-the-go access to music from any iOS device or computer—for $24.99 per year.

To access, users will have to update iTunes to the latest version—10.5.1. When that's installed, click on the iTunes Store tab on the right and an "iTunes Match" link should appear on the right-hand side under "Quick Links." It is also accessible via Store>Turn on iTunes Match up top.

According to Apple, iTunes will figure out which songs in your music collection are available in the iTunes Store. If there are any matches, Apple will automatically add it to iCloud, where it can be acessed at any time, on any device.

iTunes Match

"Since there are more than 20 million songs in the iTunes Store, chances are, your music is already in iCloud," Apple said. "And for the few songs that aren't, iTunes has to upload only what it can't match. Which is much faster than starting from scratch."

All the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality, Apple said, even if the original was of lower quality.

A portion of iTunes in the Cloud went live in June during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), while a developer version of iTunes Match was released in late August. A final version was expected to go live by the end of October, but Apple missed that deadline.

On Friday, however, Apple warned developers that it would erase their libraries in iTunes Match beta on Saturday, rekindling speculation that the launch of iTunes Match was imminent.



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