Well, it is finally here. Apple‘s online cloud music storage is here to compete with services from Amazon and Google. Now, for $24.99 per year, Apple will scan your computer and match as many tracks as they can to their iTunes Store library. Once a track is matched it becomes available to every device that is synced with your Apple iCloud account. iTunes Match also automatically upgrades all lower quality tracks you may have to 256-Kbps quality. A pretty nice upgrade for those of you who have really old 128-Kbps tracks from the early days of Napster and other music sharing services.
The main advantage iTunes Match has over other music cloud services right now is probably the fact that when you sign up with the service you don’t have to upload your whole music library contents to their servers. This is due to the fact that Apple has been able to sign agreements with major music labels which permits them to simply match your tracks against their own extensive music library. This saves everyone a lot of time and bandwidth when setting up and maintaining the service.
To use iTunes Match, first download the latest version of iTunes. Then, open up the Store sidebar, where you’ll find the iTunes Match feature. After paying for the service, Match will index your music and match as many tracks as it can with Apple’s library. After everything is matched, you can enable the feature on all your other iOS devices by going to the “Music” tab in the devices Settings. Slide iTunes Match to “on,” and you should be good to go. Your iOS device will begin syncing your music and playlists; and songs will download to your device as you play them.