iTunes Match: $24.99/Year, Matches Ripped Tunes, Offers Them In The Cloud

Today, in addition to Lion, iOS 5 and the other iCloud features, Apple rolled out iTunes in the Cloud. The service is free for songs purchased through the iTunes Store, while a new "iTunes Match" service priced at $24.99/year extends the program to ripped music.

iTunes Match
iCloud will attempt to ease the burden of syncing -- at least for songs purchased through iTunes. Previously-purchased songs will show up in a purchase history and any music purchased can be re-downloaded to any device at no additional charge. According to Steve Jobs, this is the "first time we've seen this in the music industry."

Using the new Automatic Downloads feature, content purchased via iTunes is pushed (not streamed) to mobile devices and vice versa. Users will consequently have all of their songs, automatically, wherever they are, on up to ten devices. The service is free for songs through the iTunes Store.

As far as ripped music, iTunes has 18 million songs in the music store and Apple will use a feature called iTunes Match to give users the same benefits on ripped songs matched to iTunes songs, as with purchased tracks. A user's library is scanned and matched and any songs that remain unmatched can be uploaded for syncing. Songs that are matched are upgraded to 256KBps, AAC, DRM-free, with all the benefits above, including push syncing and all the rest.

iTunes Match is priced at a flat rate of $24.99 per year, even for "20,000 songs."

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Top Rated Comments

jav6454 Avatar
169 months ago
Piracy Laundry.... right there.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
saxon48 Avatar
169 months ago
So 25 bucks a year to legitimize several years' worth of downloaded music? Sign me up

Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MathijsDelva Avatar
169 months ago
Available in beta now in the U.S. only and requires iOS 4.3.1 on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM model), iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), iPad, or iPad 2, or a Mac or PC with iTunes 10.3. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer in the iTunes Store. Download iTunes 10.3 free.

Requires iOS 5 on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), iPad, or iPad 2, or a Mac computer with OS X Lion or a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Outlook 2007 or 2010 recommended). Limit 25,000 songs. iTunes purchases do not count against limit.

Unmatched content will be uploaded; upload time varies depending on amounts uploaded.

Upload time varies depending on amounts uploaded.

Unmatched content will not be upgraded.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smiddlehurst Avatar
169 months ago
Cap.

I honestly call this DOA because we have to pay a $25 a year label tax. Compared to Google Music same 20k worth of songs is 100% free. Apple we have to pay $25 a year to have access to the same songs we already paid for.
Uh, you have remembered that Google Music is only free WHILE IN BETA right? Oh, and I've got no problem with the charge for iTunes Match as:

a) a lot of content uploaded WILL be pirated and they're effectively licencing it all when you do upload.

b) iTunes content ripped at lower bitrates effectively gets a free upgrade without having to spend the time re-ripping

c) most importantly, I don't have to spend WEEKS (and I'm lucky, unlimited uploads, most would have to batch this over months) uploading my data and clogging my internet connection in the process. That's easily worth $25.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cxny Avatar
169 months ago
Cap.

I honestly call this DOA because we have to pay a $25 a year label tax. Compared to Google Music same 20k worth of songs is 100% free. Apple we have to pay $25 a year to have access to the same songs we already paid for.

I disagree. This will be huge, no one else can come close and for $25.00 per year it is kinda like an tax paid to the labels. Let's face it only about 1 in 40 songs on the typical iTunes library was paid for.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blu-Ray Avatar
169 months ago
1. If I sign up and it matches my ripped music, does it then let me download the matched version from iCloud to keep forever?

2. What happens when I stop paying for this service? Do I keep the downloaded music from iCloud or does it revert to my old copies of music?

Thanks!
1) You HAVE TO download it and it is DRM-free, so I assume the logical answer is "YES".
2) You will be cancelling the matching service but already have a copy of the DRM-free file, so the logical answer is "YES, you get to keep the "upgraded version".

Disclaimer: I'm just answering based on how it sounds like it will work...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)