iTunes Match was introduced to mild controversy past June. The upcoming service, which sells for a $25/yr subscription, will match a user’s entire existing iTunes library with with 256-KBps quality songs downloadable via iCloud. So whether a user’s iTunes library is filled with burned CDs or consists of thousands of illegaly downloaded songs, Apple will provide a high-quality version of each song that can be downloaded to any computer or iOS device.
As for the controversy, some critics were quick to claim that iTunes Match legitimatized music piracy. But with music companies on board, we have to imagine that the record labels examined the economics with a fine tooth comb. In other words, if the record labels aren’t that concerned the ethical implications of iTunes Match, then neither should we.
iTunes Match was already supposed to have launched but as tends to be the case with Apple’s cloud-based services, its been subject to delay. In any event, Apple this past weekend issued yet another iTunes Beta to developers – 10.5.1 Beta 3 to be exact – which boasts a number of “important stability and performance improvements for iTunes Match.” In the process, it also wiped the Match libraries of developers.
The original launch date for iTunes Match was scheduled for late October. With one deadline already missed, Apple has yet to give a new launch date for its upcoming service.