Digital Top Stories

iTunes Match launches in US

By | Published on Tuesday 15 November 2011

iTunes Match

A couple weeks later that originally planned, Apple has added the scan and match element of its digital locker service to iTunes in the US, making this a busy week for big content-service-linked tech launches, with Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet computer just launched and Google expected to make a big music announcement in LA tomorrow.

As previously reported, iTunes Match offers an important extra bit of functionality to Apple’s digital locker which distinguishes it from the rival services offered by Amazon and Google. iTunes will scan the music stored on a user’s computer and, for any track also in the main iTunes library, will drop a copy of the song into the user’s iCloud account without them having to upload anything. Once in the iCloud, tracks can be redownloaded to any net-connected Apple or iTunes-carrying device.

Apple’s digital locker service is licensed by the music companies, unlike Amazon and Google’s lockers, which enables them to offer the scan and match functionality. While, outside the UK, the basic locker service – where users manually upload copies of their MP3 collections – doesn’t need a licence from labels and publishers because it exercises the user’s private copy right (of course whether a licence is needed if the locker streams the content back to the users is of debate), as soon as the locker provider is making copies on a customer’s behalf a licence is definitely needed.

A UK launch of iTunes Match is planned for 2012, though we don’t know any more than that just yet.



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