It seemed like Apple was poised to let iTunes in the cloud be an officially-purchased-music affair only, but the One More Thing this year was a bit of a curveball: iTunes Match.
For $US25 a year, Apple will scan your library against its catalogue of tunes and give you DRM-free, 256kbps copies of all the songs it finds. That means some of your obscure Soulja Boy mixtape cuts might not get matched, but anything in the Official iTunes Catalogue is eligible for the bump.
Steve said explicitly that the service will work with CDs you've ripped yourself. It's less clear, though, if it'll work with that Billy Joel discography you torrented last week. I'd imagine so, but that has to be a prospect that makes big scary record company execs cry themselves softly to sleep at night. Either way, iTunes Match is an impressive nod towards full library matching - one that most of us weren't expecting Apple to deliver today. [Gizmodo]