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iTunes Match innovations

MIX & MATCH: But what’s even more ingenious—at least from the point of view of the music biz—is that Apple’s latest innovation is designed to inspire users to “pay for music they've already bought,” as former EMI exec/now consultant Syd Schwartz put it on RollingStone.com. "I'm sure someone in an executive office at a major label somewhere is going, 'At least that's one way we can monetize the stuff people stole from Napster over the years.'" The new iTunes Match service will cost $25 a year, for users to copy digital music ripped from CDs and/or downloaded illegally. It will also update lesser-quality song files to iTunes standards—presumably 256 kbps. The free version is available now, while Match will roll out in a few months. The limit of Match is 25k tracks, but iTunes purchases don’t count against the limit. The service, which will also allow storage of movies, photos and other data files, replaces MobileMe, which cost $99 a year. (6/7a)

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