Apple’s iTunes Match, the company’s cloud music service, has finally launched for everyone today alongside iTunes 10.5.1. Apple originally promised that iTunes Match would be live by the end of October so this launch is two weeks late and still not quite perfect.
For those not familiar iTunes Match is a cloud music service allowing users to have any of the songs in their music library available to them in the cloud. If Apple already has files in your library you won’t have to upload the file and you can then download it on any iOS (or OS X) device in glorious 256Kbps AAC quality, no matter the quality of your original file. It’s important to note that there isn’t any streaming of music going on here. The files can only be downloaded, although you can start listening while the file is being pulled down from the cloud.
What’s more interesting is that any files in your library that Apple can’t match can be uploaded to the cloud. The problem with this is there is a limit of 25,000 tracks that can be uploaded. People with larger libraries won’t even be able to sign up for the service and select a subset of their library to upload. This is a big issue because it seems to be shutting out the consumers who would be most likely to pay for a service like this. The larger a person’s library, the more intriguing the idea of iTunes Match really is.
This is all kind of moot point right now anyway. Apple’s new service has been so slammed with registration requests that the company has disabled new registrations for the time being. When I tried to get setup with iTunes Match, I ended up with an error telling me that new subscriptions are not available because of the demand. I was invited to try again in an hour. Gizmodo was met with the same error.
I might just give Apple a few days to manage all of the traffic this is generating before I try to setup a Match account again. One would think that with the service being two weeks late, Apple would have been prepared for all of the traffic it would cause. Are any of you guys interested in iTunes Match?