Back in October, at its “Let’s Talk iPhone” event, Apple detailed iTunes Match. Though the company wasn’t able to give a solid date when it came to a UK release, Apple said it was working very hard to bring the iTunes Match service to additional countries before the end of the year. Well, with the end of the year looming, it seems someone from Apple accidentally pulled the trigger on iTunes Match for the UK.
Late last night, some iTunes users outside the U.S., including folks from the UK, noticed that iTunes Match had gone live in their country. However, it seems the launch was accidental, as GigaOm reports that Apple is today telling customers that outside of Brazil and the U.S., Match “will not function.” It’s also issuing refunds for the the people that attempted to sign-up early.
Though we’re sad that the UK launch of iTunes Match is still a mystery, this accidental launch hasn’t been a complete let-down, because we now know how much Apple plans to charge UK customers for iTunes Match: 21.99 per year. This is a little bit steep, as our friends in the U.S.A are only paying an annual fee of $25. Of course, we’ve grown used to paying more, but that doesn’t mean we’re okay with it. For the record, by today’s exchange rate, $25 is equal to just over 16, and 21.99 is just over $34.
For those that missed this news back in October, iTunes Match allows users to scan and match tracks in their iTunes library, including songs from CDs or elsewhere, with tracks in the iTunes Store. The service will then automatically add any music with a match to your iCloud library. Those without matches will be uploaded from your computer. Once that’s done, you’ll have instant access to your music library from up to ten devices. What’s more, all of the music iTunes matches plays back at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality — especially handy if your copy of the song or album was of a lower quality.
Apple has not yet provided an update as to when we can expect iTunes Match in the UK, but we’d wager that it won’t be much longer.