iTunes Match, Apple’s upcoming cloud music service based on “scan and match” technology, was scheduled to launch by the end October. As October went by and Apple missed its pre-announced release date – which Apple’s Eddy Cue announced at the “Let’s talk iPhone” media event on October 4th – it appears the company is now requiring additional testing for iTunes Match, which is available in a new version of iTunes not released to the public yet, iTunes 10.5.1.
A new beta of iTunes 10.5.1 has been seeded to developers a few minutes ago, including the iTunes Match functionality that Apple has been testing since August. From the release notes of this beta, it appears iTunes Match is now also available on Apple TV for testing. iTunes 10.5.1 beta 2 comes with a number of bug fixes and improvements, and Apple notes iCloud music libraries will be deleted at the end of this beta.
iTunes Match is currently in beta for developers and US-only. Rumors in the past weeks suggested another reason for the delay of iTunes Match could be Apple trying to get international rights to launch iTunes Match in additional countries besides the US – a rumor seemingly confirmed by Apple’s Eddy Cue himself, who stated iTunes Match would become available in Canada shortly after the US launch. Of course Apple may have added more countries to the launch list since September, although the company’s website still reports iTunes Match as a US-only service.
iTunes Match will work on iTunes for Macs and PCs, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV.