Two weeks late, but definitely not dollars short, Apple's iTunes Match service launched Monday. Accompanied with the release of iTunes 10.5.1, the new $24.99 a year service will provide up to 25,000 equivalents or matches to the tracks in your music library, courtesy of iCloud, which weren't purchased from Apple. One published report has already confirmed that Apple will accept tracks you didn't get from "kosher" sources and offer their own 256K AAC equivalents. Just as fascinating, they may also match older CD albums with the latest iTunes remastered versions. A case in point: I ripped a copy of The Beatles' classic "Revolver" album, a CD version I bought in the 1980s. Since then, these classics have gotten a full digital remastering, ahead of the release of iTunes versions. Sure enough, the album was "Matched" with the up-to-date iTunes equivalent. Those amazing songs sound great. As I continue to rip my Beatles collection, I can just count all the money I've saved.
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