The cloud-based service costs $24.99 a year and Apple will match users’ iTunes library with its server and let them stream it from any PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It allows storage of up to 25,000 songs not purchased on iTunes in the cloud. The service debuted 11/14 alongside the release of iTunes 10.5.1, which fixed a security vulnerability that could let attackers push fake software updates to Windows and Mac users.
iTunes Match lets tracks users have ripped tunes from a purchased CD or acquired through other means to listen to their music from multiple devices, not only the Windows PC, Mac, iDevice where the digital files are stored. These tracks are automatically uploaded to iCloud, Apple’s free syncing service.
iTunes Match doesn’t require users to actually upload their music library, but instead the service scans a customer’s collection, matches it against the 18 million tracks in Apple’s music store, then makes the matches available for instant downloading to a maximum of 10 devices or computers from iCloud.
The matched tracks on Apple’s servers are 256 kbps copies.
Up to 25,000 tracks not purchased via iTunes can be stored on iCloud using iTunes Match; iTunes-bought tunes do not count toward the maximum.
Almost immediately after launching iTunes Match, Apple’s website claimed that “Due to overwhelming demand, iTunes Match is not accepting new subscriptions at this time.”
However, Computerworld reported that is ignored the message, and was able to subscribe to the service and process a medium-sized music collection housed on an iMac.