Apple’s long promised iTunes Match feature may finally be nearing launch after the company missed its end of October deadline. Developers received notice today that Apple will be resetting and erasing their iCloud libraries on November 12 at 10AM PST so that the company can prepare for the launch of iTunes Match, although it did not specify when the service would publicly debut.
iTunes Match was first announced back at WWDC 2011, when Apple also revealed the iCloud and iOS 5, which were all set to launch this fall. The iCloud and iOS 5 have both been released last month along with the iPhone 4S, but the iTunes Match feature has remained in developer beta testing since the end of August.
The service costs $24.99 a year and is designed to be an optional feature that allows users to stream via the iCloud both iTunes music as well as songs that they’ve purchased or acquired elsewhere. iTunes Match will attempt to find the song in Apple’s vast music library and if it’s already there, the service will automatically stream from the Apple master copy at 256kbps. If the song cannot be found then it will be uploaded to the user’s iCloud account for streaming.