iTunes Match is undoubtedly one of the most controversial services ever released by Apple. Apple recently announced its iCloud service which allows users to upload their music purchased from iTunes to the cloud for free. They can then access their songs anywhere and anytime on any of their iOS devices. However, iCloud only works with music that has been purchased from their music store, so any music that you have from CDs (or other unsavory sources) are excluded. But, Apple being Apple, created another service called iTunes Match which allows users to scan their music and have it â€œmirroredâ€ into the cloud for $24.99 a year.
So, here is the problem. For $25 bucks a year, you can match your music with the same song from iTunes but at 256-Kbps iTunes Plus quality. That means for some who acquired the music illegallyâ€”like torrentsâ€”they can get higher quality versions of all their music for only a few dollars. Now letâ€™s do the math. 50 songs from an illegal source at 25 dollars a year mean each song is 50 cents. Now suppose you got those same 50 songs from iTunes at 99 cents each. Thatâ€™s 50 dollars and thatâ€™s all you get. It seems to me that this is a win for the pirates, no?
But is this also stopping pirates? With the example above, it is hard to find an argument against piracy, but at least it monetizes it. Pirates are still going to have to pay to have their music in the cloud and in a way, the 50 cents a song is a whole lot better for the music companies who have been getting absolutely nothing. If it is any consolation, whether Apple came up with iTunes Match or not, pirates would have still kept on pirating. It wasnâ€™t as if this new service was going to make them see the light or anything.
In any case, this move was extremely smart on Appleâ€™s part. They realized that traditional music sales are dying so they came up with a more future-proof way that is almost subscription-like. So, what do you think about iTunes Match? Let me know in the comments below or send me a tweet on twitter.
Please note that all of the things I said were for informational purposes only. Please don’t steal (pirate) music. Today’s iPhone is not liable if a big music company comes knocking at your door.