Back in June's WWDC, along with the iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion, Apple announced that it will be launching its own cloud-storage based online service dubbed as iCloud. Now in relation to that, it seems that Apple has updated iTunes 10.5 beta in order to implement one of iCloud's features called iTunes Match. iOS 5 Beta 6.1 is now available for developers in the United States to download.
So what exactly is iTunes Match? This service is one of iCloud's main features which will set you back $24.99 for a yearly subscription if you want to sign-up. This service will let users mirror their entire iTunes library on iCloud which makes it possible for subscribers to access any music on any iDevice registered under an Apple ID. iTunes Match will let users mirror up to 25,000 tracks which can be pulled anytime to an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and they can also be synced with PCs and Macs that are running iTunes. In addition to that, if a particular song has a match found in the iTunes Store, the track is then automatically added to iCloud in 256Kbps, DRM-free AAC format. So if you have an old 128Kbps mp3, using iTunes Match you are effectively given a way to convert it into a higher quality music file.
If iTunes Match indeed works like that, then it has the potential to be exploited. So users can simply have a low quality mp3 and mirror them in iCloud and they'll be able to access a higher quality music file that easily? How will Apple be able to check which songs are downloaded legally or not? Well one can't be quite sure but there should be more to this than what it looks like. Knowing Apple, then won't just make it easy for users to have unlimited access to the iTunes Store via iTunes Match, so there is probably a catch to all of this.
According to the release notes, developers who will be participating (i.e subscribe) in the iTunes Match beta will be receiving an additional 3 months free on top of their yearly subscription. Subscribing to iTunes Match can only be done through iTunes 10.5 beta in Mac (iTunes Match is not yet available in Windows at this time). You won't be able to subscribe to the service using your iOS device. Just for precaution before installing iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1, Apple recommended that developers should backup their iTunes libraries. iTunes Match beta is only available to U.S. developers.
To download iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1, you need to have a registered developers account over at Apple's iOS Dev Center. Having a developer's account is as easy as signing up and paying an annual fee of $99. Aside from the fee, there are no other requirements to fulfill in order to be a registered developer. Having a developer account not only gives you access to iOS and iTunes beta but you will also be able to utilize various tools and documentations which can help you develop your own application.
Download iTunes 10.6 Beta 6.1 for Mac and Windows.Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback