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After introducing the new iCloud-based iTunes in the Cloud service, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils his “one more thing” in the form of iTunes Match, a new service which aims to put your music collection in the cloud with no downloading required.
While iCloud may not be quite what everyone was expecting from today’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Apple CEO quickly launched into his classic “one more thing” by introducing iTunes Match, a $24.99 per year service which aims to scan your music collection and allow you to access it from the cloud, preventing the kind of uploading nightmare users have already experienced with Amazon Cloud Player and Music Beta by Google.
So how does it work? “iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store,” the company’s iCloud web page reveals. “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 18 million songs in the iTunes Store, most of your music is probably already in iCloud. All you have to upload is what iTunes can’t match. Which is much faster than starting from scratch. And all the music iTunes matches plays back at 256-Kbps iTunes Plus quality -- even if your original copy was of lower quality.”
Of course, not everything from Apple is free, and iTunes Match will cost you $24.99 per year -- with a good chunk of that money going to the big record labels, as well as the overhead costs of Apple’s massive new data center in North Carolina. The service will launch this fall alongside iCloud and iOS 5.
Apple must think iTunes Match is a great bargain, however -- the company even has a comparison chart on the iCloud features page showing the advantages of their scan and match service versus the existing offerings from Amazon and Google. “If music is your thing and you have the collection to prove it, iCloud is the easiest, most affordable way to store and access all your music,” the page concludes.
We’ll have more about iCloud and iTunes Match in the days to come!
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter