After a few weeks of testing, Apple has released iTunes 10.5.1 to the public. This update adds Apple’s new iTunes Match service, which was previously available exclusively to developers as a beta. Please note that currently the iTunes Match service is still showing a “beta” tag even though Apple’s iTunes webpage shows that it’s “[a]vailable [n]ow.” It should stop showing that it’s in beta soon, but let us know in the comments if it doesn’t. More coverage after the break.
If you didn’t know, iTunes Match is a music streaming service that’s located in the cloud. Any media that you buy on iTunes will automatically be added to your iTunes Match account, and any other music can easily be uploaded. It’s a lot like Google Music, except it has a built-in store. iTunes Match knows your full purchase history, so finding an old song that you bought on the iTunes Store is just a search away.
New purchases. Automatically everywhere.
iCloud can automatically download new music purchases to all your devices over Wi-Fi — or over 3G if you choose. Which means you can buy a song from iTunes on your iPad at home, and find it waiting for you on your iPhone during your morning commute. All without having to sync.
Your past purchases. Available on all your devices.
Now you can download music and TV shows you’ve previously purchased to all your devices. When you buy from iTunes, iCloud stores your purchase history. So you can see what you’ve bought — no matter which device you bought it on. You can access your purchase history from the iTunes Store on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, or Apple TV. And since you already own the songs, albums, or TV shows in your purchase history, you can tap to download them to any of your devices.
If the service meets your needs, it will cost you $24.99 per year – which is a great value for the storage of 25,000 songs and a 10 device limit. You can find more information about Apple’s cloud music service here.
I’m currently not getting iTunes 10.5.1 to show up in my Software Update utility, but I’m sure it should within a few minutes. If this is happening to you then just keep trying and you’ll get it eventually.
iTunes 10.5.1 can be downloaded here.