Apple’s iTunes Match service launched in Australia last week, bringing its vision of music in the cloud to iTunes and iOS users alike. But what is it, exactly, and is it worth your money? Here’s a look at how iTunes Match works and if it’s right for you.
What Is iTunes Match?
What’s especially great is that you get these high-quality files even if your files aren’t as good. The iTunes catalogue is huge, so the chances are good that most of the songs you own are already in it. If they’re not, however, iTunes will upload a copy of your music to store and sync as well. All your music will be transferred to other machines running iTunes (both Mac and Windows PCs) as well as any iOS devices. This way you’ll automatically have all your music synchronised and backed up in the cloud. If you lose all your music in a hard drive crash, you’ll be able to get it all back without issue so long as you’re an iTunes Match subscriber.
Should I Buy iTunes Match?
Whether or not you should bother purchasing an iTunes Match subscription is going to depend on your needs. To get a better idea of what’s best for you, here’s a look at the upsides and downsides to help you make the right choice.
The obvious benefits of iTunes Match are easy synchronisation, a backup of your music collection, and access to music files encoded at a high bit rate — a bit rate likely higher than most of your existing collection. The service is pretty cheap; $34.99 isn’t much money at all on a yearly basis. If you like and use iTunes, and own an iDevice or two, it’s one of your best options for cloud-based music services.[imgclear]
The Bottom Line
If you are into all things Apple, iTunes Match is likely the best service for you. It’s cheap, it keeps your music backed up and synced without the need to upload your entire collection (or possibly any of it), and it will work with all of your devices.
If you’re not fully entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, iTunes Match might not be your ideal service. If you need your music on an Android device, for example, you’re out of luck. If you’re simply dealing with a mix of Mac and Windows PCs, plus an iPhone or iPad here and there, it should work just fine. Plus, if you do have an Android device you will have physical copies of the music files you can transfer over and play without issue.
If you loathe iTunes, then iTunes Match is clearly not for you. Even if you really like the service, it requires the use of the iTunes software to manage your collection. If you can’t buy into that you should definitely look for something else.