They shoot… they shoot… they shoot… and they miss! Apple sorta kinda released iTunes Match Internationally, at least for a little while. It appears that the roll-out was flawed however, and only the United States and Brazil are functioning with the service in any meaningful way.
The news was good for those of us not located in the United States and very exited about Apple’s new music service. When we saw the ability to sign-up appearing yesterday there were many that took advantage only to discover that beyond being able to pay for it there was little else they could do. Apple has since pulled the ability to sign-up and made it clear that they intend to happily refund the US$24.99 annual fee of anybody who got in early.
Built right into iTunes, this new service allows for your entire music library including songs purchased from anywhere to be available in your iCloud all without actually uploading every song. Using iTunes Match you can scan your collection and songs will be recognized and cataloged from the iTunes library and made available for you to stream on any of your iOS devices (often at a higher quality than the original in your library too)!
Reports from Apple all seem to indicate that the launch on Wednesday was unintentional and premature, though Brazil is quite clearly supported. And no offense intended to those in Brazil of course, but that seems an unusual second choice when the service is yet to be offered in Canada (a country that recently sees releases simultaneous or close-by those in the United States).
Unfortunately for a very disappointed lot of us, there is no word on when Apple will next attempt a full International launch of iTunes Match.
A word of warning… do not click the considerable links out there indicating ‘hey try this and see if iTunes will let you sign up’, because it seems that they work (though it isn’t clear whether you are charged, it certainly insinuates that you are with a confirmation e-mail saying you have successfully subscribed and identifies the annual fee converted to your local currency). Go ahead, ask me how I know.