Apple misses iTunes Match’s October launch deadline

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itunes-icloudApple has missed its promised “late October” deadline for the much-anticipated iTunes Match service, which will give users access to music from their iTunes library on mobile devices running iOS 5.

The iTunes Match feature will help complete Steve Jobs’ momentous vision for iCloud, which syncs media and files with most Apple devices and Windows PCs. For $25 a year, iTunes Match will scan your library and let you download music files to other Apple devices, even if the tracks are ripped from CDs or illegally downloaded.

Apple did not immediately return our request for comment about the missed launch date.

iTunes Match has been in a testing period with developers since August, and Apple revealed an on/off switch for iTunes Match in mid-October. We thought that meant a launch was imminent. But access to the iTunes Match has now expired for those developers and they can no longer use their cloud libraries and features they have already set up.

It’s a little unusual for Apple to miss such a big, self-imposed deadline, but perhaps the product wasn’t quite done and Apple figured it was better to wait rather than face complaints about bugs and missing features.