iTunes Match, a cloud based streaming music service, has finally arrived with the release of iTunes 10.5.1 for Windows and Mac OS X. This new service from Apple lets you store all your music collection in the cloud and access it on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, or even PC.
Currently, iTunes Match is available only for US residents. Support for other countries may follow soon. The service is still in Beta, and will cost you USD 24.99 per annum.
To those wondering what iTunes Match is, here is a brief description of the service. iTunes Match scans your local music library and tries to match all songs found in your iTunes library to those available in the iTunes Store. All songs that are matched will then be available in your iTunes Match account on the cloud, so that you can stream or download them to any of your iDevices or Computers.
iTunes Match processes all songs in your music library, even those you copied from a CD or downloaded from the Internet. All songs are streamed at 256 Kbps AAC DRM-free quality. Which means that even If the song in your collection is of lower quality (less than 256 Kbps) that its match in the iTunes Store, iTunes Match will still allow you to enjoy the song at a higher quality.
iTunes Match limits the number of devices or Computers that can access the songs to 10. Purchase music from any device or computer and automatically download a copy to your PC and iOS devices.
Download iTunes 10.5.1 for Mac OS X