Apple Officially Launches iTunes Match For The Public With iTunes 10.5.1

This morning, Apple has finally made iTunes 10.5.1 available to everyone after multiple betas, and a couple week delay. Originally, Apple planned to release iTunes Match by the end of October, but has further tested the service with two developer betas since then. Now everyone can get matching for $24.99/year allowing you to connect your non-iTunes Store music to iCloud. The iTunes Match service was the last part of iCloud waiting to launch, and now iCloud and music are a lot more appealing. iTunes 10.5.1 is now available via Software Update and the iTunes download page.

If you’re unfamiliar with the iTunes Match service, you can subscribe for $25/year, and then let iTunes do the rest. You simply start iTunes Match, and it matches all of your songs to the 18 million different songs in iTunes. If songs are matched, you’re upgraded to 256kbps versions. The unmatched songs are simply uploaded to iCloud, and then all of your music is available via iCloud. You don’t need to store any music on your iOS devices, while still being able to see your entire iTunes music library. You can play any of your songs at any time, and the service uses an intelligent streaming system mixed with local cache for a seamless listening experience.

We will have a full write up about iTunes Match later today to help you decide if it’s right for you. Also, the iTunes Match service is U.S. only for the time being, although Apple is working to secure licenses for wider availability across the globe.

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