iTunes Match (ITM), an optional service of iCloud, will have a $24.99 annual fee. It is the the replacement service for Apples disappointing MobileMe service and is expected to launch alongside iOS 5 this fall. Experts say that ITM will help compensate musicians and their record labels for their huge losses suffered at the hands of music piracy. The problem is so widespread that it would be a truly insurmountable task to find and prosecute all of the offenders. Still, little is known about how Apples partners will be compensated but something is certainly better than nothing.
Basically iTunes Match will scan a users iTunes library for any music you haven’t bought through iTunes and its subscribers will be able to get a high quality copy of those songs for iTunes In The Cloud. CEO Steve Jobs said, “It takes just minutes. Not weeks,” on the turnover time to upgrade your music. He then went on to poke fun at competitors Google and Amazon who recently launched cloud services of their own.
iTunes Match rests on the fact that iTunes has a library of over 18 million songs available in their iTunes store, “The chances are good we have the songs you’ve ripped. So we have software to scan your music and match it with the store,” Jobs explained. “We give that music the same benefits as purchased music.”
So Apple’s basically betting you’ll pay $25 a year to legalize all your content, and for the convenience of having it with you everywhere. Guess that’s better than losing the $25 you weren’t paying Apple before.