You no longer have to be a developer to access iTunes Match, the subscription music service from Apple that scans your entire iTunes library and makes it available for download on any of your iOS or Mac devices. You can sign up by downloading iTunes 10.5.1, so long as you’re in the U.S.
iTunes Match is a $25 per year subscription service, through which Apple matches tracks in its extensive iTunes Store catalog to ones in your own personal library, regardless of their original source, and makes available 256 Kbps AAC DRM-free tracks for download on any device associated with your Apple ID. If Apple can’t match a track from your library, it’ll upload your original file instead, making sure that everything is available to all devices. Apple initially said it would deliver iTunes Match by the end of October, and obviously missed that timeline by a couple of weeks.
To sign up for iTunes Match, all you need to do is install iTunes 10.5.1, which is available now through Apple.com, and then click on the iTunes Match link on the iTunes Store main page. To sign up, you’ll need an Apple ID and an active payment method on your account to pay the initial $24.99 fee for the first year of service. Be aware that the initial scan and upload of your library could take up to a few hours depending on how many tracks you have.
Also note that as of this writing, iTunes Match has temporarily suspended new sign ups and is advising users to “check back in an hour,” due to overwhelming demand. Note also that your iOS devices will need to be running iOS 5 or later to use the service, and there’s a 10 device and 25,000 song limit.
How is the service working for you so far, if you managed to get in, and who’s planning to sign up, once Apple opens up registration again?