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Apple Activates iTunes Match Setting in iOS 5, Suggesting Imminent Launch

While Apple launched iOS 5 and iCloud last week, the company pushed back the debut of its paid iTunes Match service in the United States until the "end of October". While iTunes Match had been in beta testing with iTunes 10.5 developer releases, the feature was removed from the public release and instead folded into an iTunes 10.5.1 beta that will presumably debut alongside the service.

Apple appears to be moving closer to a launch of iTunes Match in the United States, as the Music section of the Settings app in iOS 5 has now gained a toggle for turning iTunes Match on and off. That toggle had been present for developers testing the service, but had disappeared in recent days for many developers. The toggle now appears to have returned for developers and is visible to the general public as well.


iOS 5 Music settings before (left) and after (right) addition of iTunes Match toggle

Non-developers turning on iTunes Match on their devices will not yet be able to sign up for the $24.99/year service, as iOS 5 pops up an alert instructing users to sign up through iTunes.


With iTunes 10.5.1 not yet available to the general public, signups for iTunes Match are similarly not yet functional. Apple is, however, advertising the service as "coming soon" on the front page of the iTunes Store. Interestingly, iTunes Match is reportedly only launching in the United States by the end of the month with other countries set to come later, but Apple is optimistic enough about the service's international timeline that the "coming soon" flag is showing for users in a number of other countries. So far today we have received reports of the "coming soon" flag from users in Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.


iTunes Match will allow users to have their music libraries matched to Apple's database of over 20 million tracks in the iTunes Store, making those songs available for use on any iCloud-enabled device associated with the user's accounts. Songs not available in the iTunes Store can be uploaded to Apple's servers and also made available across devices.

Top Rated Comments

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41 months ago
Hopefully it goes without saying, but please backup your music before enabling Match. That way if something goes south, you'll always have your original files.

This message was brought to you by common sense in conjunction with foresight. :)
Rating: 8 Votes
41 months ago

Still hoping for a way to "test my library" first before signing up. Why pay if only 1/3 of my music can be matched?


Taken from Apple's website.

Here’s how it works: iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to your iCloud library for you to listen to anytime, on any device. Since there are more than 19 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.

Rating: 8 Votes
41 months ago
I apologize if this has already been answered, but I have yet to see a definitive answer:

What if I only pay once? Will all of the matched songs still be available once the year is over? Once a song is matched is it always matched? To download to a new computer, for example?
Rating: 7 Votes
41 months ago
$25 per year to keep my entire music library safe and upgrade all (or most) of the tracks to higher quality is a no-brainer.

Remember when you had to pay an additional $0.30 per song (at least, I think that's what it was) to upgrade the quality, and that only covered songs you purchased through iTunes? If you have thousands of songs to be upgraded, the cost comparison is pretty silly.
Rating: 5 Votes
41 months ago
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Rating: 5 Votes
41 months ago

I apologize if this has already been answered, but I have yet to see a definitive answer:

What if I only pay once? Will all of the matched songs still be available once the year is over? Once a song is matched is it always matched? To download to a new computer, for example?

I believe, and someone correct me if I am wrong...but if you stop paying after the year you will not have access to your matched music. It's a yearly service. That doesn't mean though that you can't match your music and redownload the higher bit rate and never use it again after that.

You just won't be able to redownload it after your years up.
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago

That was my first thought. When did Apple start auto-forcefully send me OS updates?


It's not an OS update, and nothing was sent. It was lying dormant in the code all along, and it just checks a server to see if it should appear.
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago
the music tab just advises match is on
Rating: 4 Votes
41 months ago
this is the message if you try drag / drop.
Rating: 4 Votes
40 months ago

it sounds like the only way to get music on your iOS device is to download it from the cloud. however, once it is downloaded, it stays on your device until you specifically delete. then, if you want it back, you have to download it again. so, for the most part, it is a one-time download.
but yes, filling up a 32GB iPhone with music would take a long time over wifi initially...


I have used iTunes Match since it first was available in beta and it is not actually a "pick and download" thing. It just plays. So if you created, say, a "current songs" playlist and played it through they would be in all likelihood playable without an internet connection.

HOWEVER... if you scroll to the end of a playlist there is an option to "Download All." This should alleviate the fears about being away from a Net connection. Since we can now create playlists on-the-fly you could even create a quick playlist before, say, a flight and download it all before taking off. Downloads seem very fast, at least there seems to be no bottleneck on iCloud's side... yet (we all saw what happened when siri was opened up to the world).

A few other things...

You can see, when looking at your music in the Music app, whether songs are downloaded on the device, or only in the cloud. If you don't have Net access and are playing a playlist that is only partially downloaded it will skip the songs in the cloud. You can also, within Settings app, choose to only see music downloaded to the device.

Also, while iTunes Music synching is not available if iTunes Match is on, shared iTunes libraries are still available on the iOS device (local LAN only of course). But unlike iTunes sharing between PCs/Macs you cannot choose to download shared tracks to your own device.

Another thing... and I think this has been mentioned. But when you turn on iTunes match on an iOS device your current music library is NOT deleted at that time. Personally I don't think syncing to iTunes is all that important anymore so this is a good workaround to preload your cloud music onto iOS device: sync it up with music THEN turn on iTunes Match. Your synced music will be there for you until you sync to iTunes again.

Personally I am liking iTunes Match but YMMV.


BTW: For anyone still asking if iCloud music can come from iTunes when on the local LAN, whether WiFi or USB (really???), forget it! It's Internet only. But see above about preloading via iTunes before turning on iTunes Match.




Michael
Rating: 3 Votes

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