Apple just sent out an email to developers signifying that iTunes Match is now available to developers.
As you know, iTunes Match is the matching service that allows you to stream the tunes that you already own without uploading all of your music. The service works by “matching” the music contained on your local computer with what’s already available in the Cloud via iTunes.
For those more obscure that iTunes doesn’t already have, you can still upload your music for streaming.
Keep in mind that this is beta software, so obviously some things are bound to change and bugs will have to be worked out before the final release hits the public. I think it’s a good indication of what we can expect come launch day, though.
Overall, I was fairly impressed with what I saw. It’s a painless process that works pretty much as advertised.
I think that if Apple can educate customers properly, loads of people wouldn’t think twice at shelling out $24.99 for a year’s worth of matching service; it’s going to be a very convenient thing to have.
The whole point of iTunes Match is to make it so you can access your music from anywhere, without the lengthy upload process required by competing services like Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player.
Here is the verbiage from the email that Apple just sent out to developers:
iTunes Match stores your complete music library in iCloud, allowing you to enjoy your collection anywhere, anytime, on any iPhone, , iPod touch, or computer.
iTunes Match beta is currently available to developers in the United States. Beta subscribers will receive iTunes Match service during the beta period plus an additional 3 months for free with their 12 month paid subscription.To get started with iTunes Match, download the current version of iOS 5 beta and iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1 with iTunes Match. Once installed, choose Turn On iTunes Match from the Store menu, and click “Subscribe for $24.99.”Please note that you must maintain a local backup of your iTunes library as well as any music you add to iCloud. Apple will periodically reset your iCloud library during the beta and it is critical that you backup your music regularly. Some features and optimizations of iTunes Match will not be available during the beta.
Again, iTunes Match is only available for developers thus far. Personally, this is one of my most anticipated iOS 5 features, what about you?