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Monday, November 14, 2011

Apple Releases iTunes 10.5.1; Launches iTunes Match In The U.S.

Apple has just released iTunes 10.5.1. Though it doesn't seem to be available via Software updates, when you click on the Free download link on the iTunes page, it takes you to the download page where iTunes 10.5.1 is available for download. Based on iTunes 10.5.1 beta that was seeded to developers, it includes a number of performance and stability improvements for iTunes Match - one of the major features of iCloud. iTunes 10.5 that was released last month included the following new features:

  • iTunes in the Cloud. iTunes now stores your music and TV purchases in iCloud and makes them available on your devices anywhere, any time, at no additional cost.
    • Automatic Downloads. Purchase music from any device or computer and automatically download a copy to your Mac and iOS devices.
    • Download Previous Purchases. Download your past music, TV, app, and book purchases again, at no additional cost. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer on the iTunes Store.
  • Sync with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 5.
  • Wi-Fi Syncing. Automatically sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes any time they’re both on the same Wi-Fi network.
Click here to enlarge

You need to go to the iTunes download page (this link) to download iTunes 10.5.1.
Update: It looks like Apple has also launched iTunes Match service in the U.S.iTunes Match is a new service that Apple had unveiled along with iOS 5 and iCloud at the WWDC 2011 Keynote address in June. It allows users to store their entire music collection (up to 25,000 songs), including songs that they've ripped from CDs or purchased from anywhere else in iCloud. Here's how it works: iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to your iCloud library for you to listen to anytime, on any device. Since there are more than 18 million songs in the iTunes Store, most of your music is probably already in iCloud. All you have to upload is what iTunes can’t match. Which is much faster than starting from scratch. And all the music iTunes matches plays back at 256-Kbps iTunes Plus quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality. It costs $24.99 per year. iTunes Match will initially available only in the U.S. and expected to be available in other countries sometime later. Apple was initially expected to launch iTunes Match service along with the launch of iCloud and iOS 5, but has delayed it to fix the outstanding bugs.

Apple Releases iTune 10.5.1 With iTunes Match to the Public

Apple has officially released iTunes 10.5.1 to the public following several developer betas. iTunes Match has been in the final testing stages for months, and beta 3 of the cloud music service was seeded to developers over the weekend.

Alongside iTunes 10.5.1, Apple is finally releasing iTunes Match to the US public today after a two week delay. It’s finally here…

The new iTunes is also available on Apple’s website, and the 10.5.1 is propagating in Software Update for Mac and Windows users. iTunes 10.5.1 is required to use iTunes Match, and iOS 5 users will be able to access their tracks in the cloud once the service is enabled in iTunes

Neither iTunes 10.5.1 nor iTunes Match seem to be available for everyone yet, as Apple is still rolling things out. If you can’t get the new iTunes in Software Update, we recommend downloading it directly from Apple’s website.

iTunes Match is still a US-only service.

More screenshots:

Apple also confirmed the availability of iTunes Match in the U.S., with the following announcement on their iTunes page. iTunes Match syncs users’ music to iCloud for $24.99 a year. Unlimited songs can be synced and doesn’t affect iCloud storage, but only songs that are available on iTunes can be synced.

Even though it is available to the public, Apple is still labeling iTunes Match as a beta product. Developers who tested Match will still receive a free three months with a year subscription.

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