Apple has posted a new webpage for iTunes Match that includes a setup guide, a FAQ, and a description of how the service works. The information should come in handy for both experienced Apple customers and the millions of new customers who got Apple devices during the holidays.
Apple makes all of the music you purchase on iTunes available to all of your iTunes-enabled devices and computers for free through what Apple calls “iTunes in the Cloud.” iTunes Match is a paid service (US$24.99 per year) that matches this functionality for all of your music, no matter where you got it.
The service was launched with a few hiccups—though it has generally been rated higher than competing services from Amazon and Google—and the new webpage lays out what the service does and how to set it up much more clearly than before.
To wit, from the How iTunes Match Works section:
iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to iCloud for you to listen to anytime, on any device. Since there are more than 20 million songs in the iTunes Store, chances are your music is already in iCloud. And for the few songs that aren’t, iTunes uploads what it can’t match (which is much faster than uploading your entire music library). Even better, all the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality.
The Getting Started section includes concise instructions and screenshots to help users get the service going.
Apple’s iTunes Match Getting Started Guide
(Click the image for a larger version)
The FAQ includes ten questions (Who can use iTunes Match? Which music formats can iTunes Match handle? How many devices can iTunes Match support? Will my playlists sync across devices? etc.), with very clear and concise answers.