One of the big news when Apple announced iCloud was the upcoming music service iTunes Match. Yesterday, the first beta of iTunes Match was released to registered developers in an updated beta version of iTunes 10.5.

The service scans all the music you have stored in your iTunes library and tries to match it with songs in Apple’s library. This means that if you have an old mp3 version of a song that is encoded with 128Kbps, iTunes Match can update the version on your hard drive to a current version of the song in 256Kbps.

When iTunes Match launches, users can pay a fee of $24.99 per year, to have up to 25,000 songs in the cloud that are automaticallyuploaded and upgraded. After syncing all your music with iTunes Match, the songs will be available on up to 10 different iOS devices at a time, although only 5 of those devices can be computers.

iTunes Match will be launched sometime this fall, but it will at first only be available in the U.S. Apple has not announced when other countries will be able to use the service.

(via MacWorld)

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