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Mark Harris

Digital Music Term This Week: iTunes Match

By November 24, 2011

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iCloud Service

Apple's iCloud addon service, iTunes Match, finally rolled out last week hot on the heels of Google Music's full launch. iTunes Match tries to simplify the process of uploading and managing your iTunes song library in the cloud by using a unique feature -- 'scan and match' as it is often referred to.

To use iTunes Match, you need to pay a subscription charge of $24.99 per year. This may sound excessive when compared to services like Google Music who offer it for free, but iTunes Match could be an impressive time-saver if you've got a large music library.

Instead of having to upload every single song, iTunes Match checks to see if there is a version in the iTunes Store catalog. If there is, you instantly get a 256 kbps AAC version -- and that's even if the file on your hard drive is of a lower quality. You can also register up to 10 Apple hardware devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch in order to keep your library in sync wherever you are.

To find out more, read our short guide on How iTunes Match Works. There's also additional information on how different audio formats are handled and what happens if it can't match one of your songs. We also highlight some of the service's limitations to be aware of.

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