Apple's iTunes Match goes live with iTunes 10.5.1
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is releasing version 10.5.1 of its iTunes multimedia player software, which brings with it the new iTunes Match service, allowing consumers to access their music library across multiple platforms and devices.
Originally slated to reach customers by the end of October, iTunes Match essentially mirrors music library files with a 256 kbps AAC DRM-free version culled from the iTunes Store, offering consumers anytime/anywhere access to their collections via the iCloud digital media storage platform. Users do not upload their libraries; Apple instead scans each collection, matching contents with the iTunes Store's 18 million tracks. iCloud also will store up to 25,000 songs downloaded or purchased from sources other than Apple's digital storefront. Apple offers iTunes Match at $24.99 per year.
Apple first announced iTunes Match in June 2011 in conjunction with its new iOS 5 mobile operating system, which rolled out to consumers last month. Delivering 200 new features as well as backwards-compatibility with devices dating back to the iPhone 3GS, iOS 5 is highlighted by Siri voice recognition technologies enabling users to employ natural spoken language to access and perform device tasks like mobile search, messaging and contacts. Also new in iOS 5: iMessage (a free SMS alternative enabling users to send free text messages, photos and videos between all iOS devices), location-based Reminders, deep Twitter integration, Newsstand (an in-house distribution system for iPad magazine content), an improved Safari browser and PC-free activation.
In addition to iTunes Match, the iTunes 10.5.1 update touts a patch to halt so-called "man-in-the-middle" attacks enabling hackers to disguise attacks as available software upgrades. According to Apple, Windows users who have not installed the Apple Software Update utility on their PCs are most vulnerable.
- read this Computerworld article
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