It's been out a few days, but hadn't noticed myself until last night. $25 in the States transfers to £21 here for a years subscription... I'm just glad that the involvement of everyones friends the PRS didn't mean it got delayed into next year or end up costing more than that.
So whats it do (for those who kinda know it exists but no more) -
Your money essentially gives you cloud storage for 25,000 of your songs, regardless of where they were sourced from. You let it do its thing, it analyses your library then flags each song saying whether it has a match already, or if it needs to upload the song in order to store it. The upload bit seems to take a damned long time, I'm just using my MB Air at the moment and not my main library, but it took ages. I'm not looking forward to importing 20,000 odd songs but maybe it'll be faster when I'm home on my cable line.
The bonus is your 128kbit mp3 rips from 2003 get swapped out for 256kbit AACs if they already have the files, which should be a decent quality boost. I notice you might get 9 matches out of 10 songs on an album, so they have to upload one of the songs. I'm hoping you can rescan this later down the line and get the final match needed. It doesn't look like there's any scope for accidentally matching the wrong song either which is neat.
What's it useful for?
My iMac holds my main, big MP3 library while my Air tends to have latest stuff on it and I use home sharing between the two so I can listen to whatever I want. Not ideal. The Air doesn't have a big HDD so storing lots of songs on here isn't the best idea. When I unite the two libraries and match across the cloud, I'll clear the Air out of music completely except for a handful of records I listen to loads. I can then stream or download on demand the stuff I want to listen to whenever and wherever I am.
I usually have my iPhone synced to selected albums from the iMac, which was always a pain if I wanted a new album I had on the Air but hadn't copied across. Not an issue now, and it means I don't have to have 40gb (compressed to 20gb) of music on my phone all the time, I can just download albums as I need them from my entire collection, wherever I am.
It's pretty cool. Anyone else thinking of signing up?
iTunes Match Launched in UK
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