iTunes Match – Matches Your Music to iCloud, Beats Google and Amazon

As part of the new iCloud service announced at WWDC today, Apple also announced a cool new way for you to get your music into the cloud without spending a week or two uploading it all — iTunes Match. Yes, we are talking about, your music, as in the music you have ripped or purchased from other places outside of iTunes.

itunes match

iTunes Match, is Apple’s answer to the upload problem, and to the quality problems that some users may experience with their early ripped music. Rather than upload all of your music, iTunes Match will look at your music collection and for any files that match up with the 18 million iTunes songs will be added to your iCloud library without the need to upload. For songs that aren’t matched, you can upload the remaining songs.

The matching won’t completely remove the need to upload songs to your iCloud library, but it will be a great start and much more friendly to the average consumer than uploading thousands of tracks. An added bonus is that your matched tracks will play as 256 Kbps iTunes Plus quality, even if you had a lower quality version ripped.

While Steve Jobs likes to go overboard in claiming an edge on the competition at times, it is clear that Apple has taken the right approach here. We spent the good part of a week uploading over 5,000 songs to Google Music and still haven’t finished uploading. If we had iTunes Match 90% of our songs would have been available in a high quality version in minutes, not weeks.

The iTunes Match service will arrive this fall alongside iOS 5 with a $24.99 a year price and will be another part of iTunes, in addition to the standard iCloud service that puts your iTunes purchases in the cloud.