Apple just sent out an email to developers signifying that iTunes Match is now available to developers.

As you know, iTunes Match is the matching service that allows you to stream the tunes that you already own without uploading all of your music. The service works by “matching” the music contained on your local computer with what’s already available in the Cloud via iTunes.

For those more obscure songs that iTunes doesn’t already have, you can still upload your music for streaming. As usual, we have a video of iTunes Match in action, so be sure to check inside to see how it works!

Keep in mind that this is beta software, so obviously some things are bound to change and bugs will have to be worked out before the final release hits the public. I think it’s a good indication of what we can expect come launch day, though.

Overall, I was fairly impressed with what I saw. It’s a painless process that works pretty much as advertised.

I think that if Apple can educate customers properly, loads of people wouldn’t think twice at shelling out $24.99 for a year’s worth of matching service; it’s going to be a very convenient thing to have.

The whole point of iTunes Match is to make it so you can access your music from anywhere, without the lengthy upload process required by competing services like Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player.

Here is the verbiage from the email that Apple just sent out to developers:

iTunes Match stores your complete music library in iCloud, allowing you to enjoy your collection anywhere, anytime, on any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or computer.
iTunes Match beta is currently available to developers in the United States. Beta subscribers will receive iTunes Match service during the beta period plus an additional 3 months for free with their 12 month paid subscription.

To get started with iTunes Match, download the current version of iOS 5 beta and iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1 with iTunes Match. Once installed, choose Turn On iTunes Match from the Store menu, and click “Subscribe for $24.99.”

Please note that you must maintain a local backup of your iTunes library as well as any music you add to iCloud. Apple will periodically reset your iCloud library during the beta and it is critical that you backup your music regularly. Some features and optimizations of iTunes Match will not be available during the beta.

Again, iTunes Match is only available for developers thus far. Personally, this is one of my most anticipated iOS 5 features, what about you?

  • Yboy403

    Nah, seems like it’s only good for backup. Admittedly, backup is nice, but I keep all my music safe on my laptop anyways. Worth $24.99? Not unless I’m missing something.

    • Ryan

      You are. Streaming your whole library anywhere = more room on your iPhone which also means, you don’t need to buy a 32 gig iPhone, which saves you $50 if you upgrade your phone every 2 years.

      • Craig

        So you would rely on this would you, what if the cloud goes down, no music at all because you chose to keep it on the cloud .. Just like the idea of an iPhone with no storage just the cloud, errr no thanks, complete waste of time this cloud shit imo, I certainly won’t be using it, I trust my external hard drive much more than I trust Apple and the cloud to keep my data safe.

      • Yboy403

        I don’t have an iPhone, I have a touch. Which only works on wifi.
        There’s also no 16 gb touch, so I have to get the 32 anyways, and even if I had an iPhone, I’d go over my data plan in a second if I had to stream all of my music.

      • Ryan

        @Craig Yeah, relying 100% on this wouldn’t be a good idea. You definitely keep a local copy of your music on your machine and probably should have a local backup as well. But let’s say you have 30+ GB of music. If you could, you’d have a 64 GB iPhone and carry it all with you. But you can’t. So you sync your favorite stuff and hope that’s enough. But frequently you get a hankering for something you don’t have with you and it kills you that you don’t have it! What then? Well, right now you just live with it. But with iCloud? Just stream/download it instantly. Don’t even have to leave the Music app.

        Between this and the quality upgrade for old music files? $25/yr is a no-brainer, at very least for the first year. Many people won’t need a 64 GB iPhone with this. Especially if they eventually add movies and tv shows. And if 64 GB would be $100 more than the 32 GB, this would be cheaper anyway, if you upgrade every 2/3 years. And you’d break even at 4 years, but wouldn’t have the convenience and quality upgrade along the way. Definitely worth it, in my option.

        Ryan (a different Ryan)

  • Josh

    OH GOOD LORD. $25?! I’d rather have my music for free on my PC, like human beings do.

  • Dan

    Nice thought but not for me

  • Eskay

    isnt it 25$ for the whole year? I hope it is! That sounds pretty decent to me!
    But if it’s 25$ a month! No thank you!

  • Mark

    It’s a cool feature but not worth $2/mo the way it is. The way it would be a no-brainer would be
    Tier 1 – free
    Access up to 250 of your songs from anywhere each month. Share playlists ad supported

    Tier 2 – $2/mo
    Unlimited access to your music from anywhere
    Share playlists
    No ads
    Tier 3 – $3/mo
    Unlimited access to your music from anywhere
    Share playlists
    Share music
    No ads
    3 free music downloads/mo

  • J

    remember when this site used to be about iOS and jail breaking? now they just copy whatever apple news is on MacRumors. I mean, their news feeds are identical right now!

    • What are you talking about? Nothing was copied whatsoever. As a developer, I got the email directly from Apple and posted this before I read it anywhere else. Lastly, this is about iOS, and is something most readers would like to hear about.

      • Josh

        Jeff, sorry to bother you. But I would like to hear some more news about iOS 5, rather than the, for-the-moment, inexistent iPhone 5. Only if there’s anything you can do about it. Thanks. And by the way, is there an official release date for it (iOS)?

      • Craig

        To be fair dude you’re not really a developer are you lol, you said yourself you have never developed anything you just paid Apple the $99 a year which anybody could do, my 6 year old brother could do that and it doesn’t make him a developer lol .. As for J’s comment, I agree to a point, there is a lot of shitty stories on here lately, not news just rubbish or rumours and nowhere near enough factual stuff or tweak reviews etc but as for the rumour stuff I guess there aint much interesting going on in the world of Apple at the mo.

  • Ryan

    I was already sold before I saw this. Now I’m even more so. While it’s not exactly streaming, the way it’s set up isn’t too far from it. I was thinking it would be something you’d have to go to the iTunes Store on your device and download it from there. If it always shows all of my library in the Music app and I can download and delete at whim, that’ll be awesome! My only remaining questions: can you still sync via iTunes? And can you get and download entire playlists, artists, genres, and Genius Mixes all at once, or is it just song by song?

    Bare minimum the $25 one time fee to upgrade all my lower quality music I’ve gotten elsewhere and download it again will be worth it.

  • Bradley Kelly

    When will we know the UK price?

  • 3rdiguy

    What I want to know is will iTunes Match send you the music it matches in higher quality? I would definitely pay for that!

    • Ryan

      That’s half of the idea and the reason behind the name “iTunes Match.” It matches your library to what iTunes has. If it’s lower quality, you get the iTunes version you can download for free at the higher iTunes Plus quality. If yours is higher quality, you still get the iTunes version. If it can’t be matched, it’s straight up uploaded. Totally worth $25 at least once for the quality upgrade.

      I think that’s the idea: give clear reason for everyone to use it the first year (quality upgrade) and integrate and implement it so well that people will hopefully be hooked after the first year and keep their subscriptions.

  • stephanie

    I think the service is pretty cool but I’m not sure i am willing to spend $25 for just one year of the subscription. Perhaps if Apple only charged $25 for purchasing the iTunes software upgrade that enabled iTunes Match, that I would definitely buy.
    Also, can you download songs from iCloud straight to your iDevice? Or is it that you can just browse and listen?

    • Ryan

      It was originally billed as download only, but they also just added streaming. Best of both worlds.

  • Craig

    Jeff, if you are a developer then you are under NDA with Apple and shouldn’t be posting this.

  • Max

    @Craig you’re right, but there are soo many information flooding around already so nobody really have to tell more about iOS. As for the release date, from what i’ve heard it could be around the end of September (27/28).

  • It looks really nice, but to be honest I don’t think I’ve bought a song in the last 6 months. I’ve just been using the Radio apps on my iPhone and youtube.

  • Rob

    I Just Dont Like How Apple Will Charge $25 In The US And £25 In The UK I Bet, Its Strange, It Means They Make More Out Of Us Brits, The Conversion Rate Isnt Much But Its Still Probably Around $25 = £20/18 Kinda Unfair On Us Brits =P

  • scottiedubya

    donation=isub and 2$ for the app