iTunes Match Goes Live – Here’s How to Sign Up

Apple was a little bit late on its promise of a “late October” release for iTunes Match, its new music subscription service that lets you have cloud access to all of your songs for $24.99 per year, but it has finally made the service available for everyone with the new iTunes 10.5.1 update.

If you’re not up to speed, iTunes Match is a service that scans through all of your MP3s (yes, all, whether they are ripped from CDs or downloaded from anywhere on the Internet) and “matches” them, giving you access to the corresponding songs on the iTunes Music Store. This means that if you have a collection of low-quality downloaded MP3s, you can “upgrade” them to HQ 256 kbps files from iTunes for $24.99 per year, and if you already have the quality you want, you will also have access to re-download any of your songs to your iOS devices or your five authorized PCs. It’s essentially access to all of your music at any time, without the painful upload process that comes along with similar systems like Google Music and Amazon Cloud.

If iTunes doesn’t have matching songs for something in your library, those files are uploaded to Apple’s cloud, so you’ll be able to re-download those, too.

iTunes Match Goes Live - Here's How to Sign UpIf you are interested in iTunes Match, head over to Apple’s iTunes site or run Software Update and upgrade your iTunes to 10.5.1. When you launch iTunes again after the update, you’ll see a new sidebar item underneath the iTunes Store called iTunes Match. Once you click that, you should see a button to Subscribe — just click that and you will be walked through the signup and scanning process. It looks like it is experiencing a high signup load right now and is only letting so many through, so if you get an error that says signups are temporarily unavailable, try back in a few hours.

For those of you who have made it through, what do you think of iTunes Match so far? How long did the initial scan and import take? Share your experiences in the comments.

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  • Kyle Polansky

    I wish Apple would learn and make better release plans for it’s products. It’s iCloud didn’t work very well when it came out, you say this product has issues, and people have to wait in long lines to have a chance to buy a new piece of hardware. Another problem is that this service is limited to only 25,000 songs, which is only 5,000 more than Google Music Beta. I currently have 65,000 songs and don’t want to open 3 accounts. Also, I’m assuming that higher quality files such as .wav or 320kbps would be down converted if you use this service. 

    • http://khurtwilliams.com/ Khürt L. Williams

      Very few consumers have 65,000 song files.  My friends and family are impressed that I have 10,000.

      • http://uzair.myopenid.com/ Kevin

        Heck, I am surprised that you have 10K songs.

      • http://uzair.myopenid.com/ Kevin

        Heck, I am surprised that you have 10K songs.

    • http://khurtwilliams.com/ Khürt L. Williams

      Very few consumers have 65,000 song files.  My friends and family are impressed that I have 10,000.

    • http://www.theaccordance.com/ Joseph Mainwaring

      65k is an astonishing number!  The only people I know with more than 25k songs are musicians and those involved in the music industry. 

      Unfortunately for you, your the exception to the rule.  I have to imagine that other than building a reliable and scalable match service, agreements with the music industry also became a factor when deciding to limit it to 25,000 songs. 

      • Kyle Polansky

        Yes, your correct, I am in the music industry. I do like the idea of the service, but it’s just not for me.

      • Kyle Polansky

        Yes, your correct, I am in the music industry. I do like the idea of the service, but it’s just not for me.

    • http://www.theaccordance.com/ Joseph Mainwaring

      65k is an astonishing number!  The only people I know with more than 25k songs are musicians and those involved in the music industry. 

      Unfortunately for you, your the exception to the rule.  I have to imagine that other than building a reliable and scalable match service, agreements with the music industry also became a factor when deciding to limit it to 25,000 songs. 

  • Kyle Polansky

    I wish Apple would learn and make better release plans for it’s products. It’s iCloud didn’t work very well when it came out, you say this product has issues, and people have to wait in long lines to have a chance to buy a new piece of hardware. Another problem is that this service is limited to only 25,000 songs, which is only 5,000 more than Google Music Beta. I currently have 65,000 songs and don’t want to open 3 accounts. Also, I’m assuming that higher quality files such as .wav or 320kbps would be down converted if you use this service. 

  • Nathaniel Peterson

    The day iTunes Match came out, i signed up. The process was simple. The scanning began and was completed within an hour, but the process of uploading unmatched content was very slow. 3 hours into it the uploading stopped. I had to restart the process again in which this time it fully completed the uploading. Done. 

    So i went on to my iPad and iPhone 4s to enable iTunes Match, entered ID and Password. No problems there. Went into the music and was shown a full list of music. So i wanted to “stream” some tunes. Well thats not what you can do here, you pick your song or album and download it to your device first (which takes up space), then you can play the music. If you want to play more music or in other words download more to your device and if your limited on space, you’ll have to delete previously downloaded songs to make room for the new content. 

    Ok so what they’re doing isn’t streaming at all. As on Apples web site it clearly states you can “stream and store” your music anywhere. Well my definition of streaming is like Zumocast or Subsonic. Where your music is indexed and streamed to your device without taking anymore space than a simple cache of the current song and the one to play next. 

    Its too bad this wasn’t the way iTunes Match was going to work (not saying it won’t in the future), because a streaming service would keep you with one device where you can access all your music anytime without using space best used for apps or other things. I own a 160GB iPod Classic where i can store all my music and play anytime anywhere. 

    So my impression of this service for $25 a year isn’t worth it yet for me. Im sure theres some out there with the need or use for it. But for now I’m happy they were nice enough to refund my money.

    P.S Im not knocking this service. You never know what the future holds for it.

  • Alix

    It isn’t available in Canada, which is unfortunate.  It may be here “soon” whenever that is….

  • Alix

    It isn’t available in Canada, which is unfortunate.  It may be here “soon” whenever that is….

  • Anonymous

    This is a Music Lovers dream come true.  This could be worked around in so many ways.  That is, if you’re the kind of person who likes to live on the edge and does a few questionable things.  Then again, who doesn’t these days?  I’m talking to the younger generation of course.

  • Anonymous

    This is a Music Lovers dream come true.  This could be worked around in so many ways.  That is, if you’re the kind of person who likes to live on the edge and does a few questionable things.  Then again, who doesn’t these days?  I’m talking to the younger generation of course.

  • Pkcurtin

    I stick with rdio