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Apple’s anticipated iTunes Match service, which will give iCloud users access on one device to songs they have on their other devices, has gone live after missing the company’s self-imposed October deadline.
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.
iTunes Match is only available in the U.S. due to agreements with music companies, and is launching as a “beta” to give Apple a little more leeway if there are bugs. To get access to iTunes Match, you must download the latest version of iTunes directly from Apple.
Apple’s official description of the service is as follows:
iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to iCloud for you to listen to anytime, on any device. Since there are more than 20 million songs in the iTunes Store, chances are, your music is already in iCloud. 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. Once your music is in iCloud, you can stream and store it to any of your devices. Even better, all the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality.
Will you be signing up for iTunes Match?