Apple has turned on its iTunes Match service – although it’s 2 weeks late. The iTunes Match services is available for $25 a year subscription which permits its users to add music not purchased from iTunes, such as songs imported from a CD or downloaded from other sources (to be frank, pirated stuff ;)), to his or her iCloud music collection. Music can then be played on any iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac or PC whenever you want and wherever you are, without syncing.
How iTunes Match Works
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.
For making iTunes Match service successful, Apple has entered into big contracts with major record labels, agreeing to give them a share of the revenue from iTunes Match subscriptions. If iTunes Match users let their subscriptions run out and don’t pay to renew it, their iCloud libraries would revert to just the songs they have bought from iTunes, which is kind of a let down since you’ll be spending $25 every year just to maintain the iCloud library even if you do or do not add any news songs. A useful service nonetheless 🙂