One of iCloud’s most anticipated features, iTunes Match, is finally live. This for-pay service backs up all the music in a user's iTunes library online.
[click to view image]This includes all tracks bought from the iTunes Store (before and after DRM), music taken from CDs, or music acquired from another online source.
Checking the user's music against Apple’s library, which consists of over 20 million tunes, iMatch will search for matches. If the service detects a song match, then there is no need to upload the file from your computer, as Apple will store its own version. This also means that users could possibly get a better version of their favorite song if Apple offers it a higher fidelity, which may be the case as Apple stores music as 256-kbps AAC files, better known at iTunes Plus.
The service costs an annual fee of $25 and allows users to upload a maximum of 25,000 songs. Apple permits users to connect the service to ten devices, allowing computers running iTunes, as well as iOS –based gadgets.
Though iOS users beware: the “only from one library” limitation that takes effect, as you’ll lose any music on your device that you didn’t have on your iTunes library that you Matched. So be sure to sync all of your devices to one account before you get started!
Apple previously pegged the song matching service for a late October launch, but missed that deadline by a few weeks. Still, it is available now on this company's website.