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Apple online stores again down for some users for second time [U]

09/04, 7:56pm

App and Media stores, iTunes Match and Radio unavailable to some users

[Update: problems resolved as of approximately 7:45PM ET] For the second time in as many days, Apple's online stores are unavailable for an undetermined percentage of users. The current outage, which began around 4:30PM ET and is ongoing, is affecting the both the iOS and Mac App Stores, the iBookstore, and a variety of iTunes services such as iTunes Match, iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Radio and the iTunes Store. Other iCloud services, such as Siri, email, FaceTime and syncing services are not affected.

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ITunes Match users hit with problems matching, uploading music

06/16, 12:41pm

Service timing out for some users

A number of iTunes Match users are experiencing problems matching and uploading tracks, according to complaints on Apple's support forums. Affected users will see iTunes say "Matching your music with songs from iTunes Store," but have the process stall out as it appears to be on the verge of completion. Difficulties started on or around June 9 and are continuing.

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Apple's iTunes Match arrives in Japan

05/02, 1:04am

Add-on service to capitalize on iPhone, Mac popularity

On Thursday, Apple opened its iTunes Match cloud storage and syncing add-on service to Japan, two-and-a-half years after its original US debut, and in time to take full advantage of the iPhone's staggering popularity in the country. During a conference call with analysts, CEO Tim Cook said that the iPhone now accounts for more than 57 percent marketshare, and that Mac sales have also improved -- seeing "double digit" increases. The subscription-based service is ideal for users who want to carry around large libraries of music with the confines of the space-limited iPhone.

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Apple's iTunes Match now available in Nordic countries

12/09, 9:30pm

Allows more than 25,000 songs to be stored, streamed in virtual 'music locker'

The iTunes Match service, a yearly-subscription service from Apple that allows users to store and stream more than 25,000 songs from their own library (regardless of original source) has arrived in four new Nordic countries. Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden now have access to the service, which costs 249 Krona (between $38-45 US depending on the country) or €25 ($34.40) in Finland. All four countries also gain iTunes in the Cloud, which allows re-downloading of any iTunes Store purchases.

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iTunes stores, other Apple online services impacted by brief outages

10/02, 3:42pm

FaceTime, iTunes Match, other iCloud features briefly affected

Several of Apple's online services were briefly impacted by outages earlier today, according to Apple's System Status page. The worst affected the iTunes Store, the iBookstore, and the Mac and iOS App Stores between 1:28 and 2:57PM Eastern time, preventing some people from making any purchases. During the same time period, people may have been unable to use iTunes in the Cloud or iTunes Match, or restore purchases from an iCloud backup.

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Brief outage hits iCloud, iTunes, App Stores, iBookstore

08/07, 2:40pm

Downtime affects major services

Several Apple online services encountered outages earlier today, according to the company's system status page. Between 11:23AM and 1:54PM Eastern, people may have been "unable to make purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, Mac App Store, or iBookstore," the page states. "Users may also have been unable to download previously-purchased content, use iTunes Match, or successfully restore Apps and Music from an iCloud backup."

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Apple premieres iTunes Radio streaming service

06/10, 3:17pm

Uses Pandora-like structure

As a part of unveiling iOS 7, Apple today confirmed the existence of a new streaming service, iTunes Radio. The service will be accessible through iTunes, iOS, and the Apple TV; in iOS it will be built into an overhauled Music app. People can listen to custom or featured stations, and like Pandora skip songs, and vote to have the service play more of a certain kind of song or never play a track again. Tracks can also be added to an iTunes wishlist.

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Survey: iCloud tops in cloud storage services among users

03/21, 6:54pm

Around 55 percent of those surveyed said they don't use cloud services

Marketing and analysis firm Strategy Analytics has released the results of a new study into the use of cloud media storage services, noting that Apple's iCloud and iTunes Match have captured the majority share at 27 percent (combined) US marketshare and revealing a tighter-than-expected horse race between Dropbox and Amazon Cloud Drive for second most-popular cloud media service.

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Apple proposing half Pandora's royalty rate for streaming

03/07, 1:09pm

Record labels balking at Apple offer, report says

As an initial offer to a record label for a forthcoming streaming service, Apple recently proposed a royalty rate of just 6 cents per 100 songs, sources for the New York Post claim. "Apple wants a rate that is lower than Pandora's," one executive is quoted as saying. Pandora pays labels 12 cents per 100 songs, which itself is below the Copyright Royalty Board's standard 21 cents for digital-only streaming. Spotify pays 35 cents, according to the Post's sources.

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iOS 6.1 now available through iTunes, OTA updates [u]

01/28, 1:40pm

Update expands LTE support, tweaks Siri, iTunes Match

(Updated with security, Apple TV info) Apple has officially released iOS 6.1 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update is available through iTunes or as an over-the-air download, and makes several important tweaks. For instance, it enables LTE on the extended number of carriers Apple announced last week; an official list has been posted on the company's website.

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iTunes Match outage follows iMessage, FaceTime downtimes

11/19, 9:32am

iTunes Match still broken for some users

Apple's iTunes Match storage and streaming service is currently down for at least some users, says AppleInsider. Trying to play content hosted on Match only results in tracks sticking at the "0:00" mark. The trouble notably follows outages of iMessage and FaceTime, which hit users of Macs and iOS devices on Sunday.

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iTunes terms-of-service glitch briefly halts downloads

10/01, 9:46am

Error affects multiple platforms

An overnight error with iTunes prevented many users from downloading content via the service, according to complaints. The overriding issue was an inability to buy or update apps via the App Store; a message would pop up, asking people to accept new terms and conditions for iTunes before the download could continue. Even after accepting, though, the download would again be interrupted by the terms-and-conditions message, ad infinitum.

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iTunes Match coming to Poland, Hungary, others on Thursday?

07/19, 11:49am

Service now becoming standard worldwide

Apple could officially debut iTunes Match in Poland and Hungary as soon as today, according to tips received by 9to5Mac. One comments that on the 18th, the Polish iTunes Store was updated with terms of use mentioning Match. Local reports meanwhile say Match is coming to Hungary at a cost of 25 euros per year; neither Poland nor Hungary, however, have been added to Apple's official list of iTunes Match regions.

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Apple brings iTunes Store to 12 new regions in Asia

06/27, 9:21am

Includes music, movies, iCloud services

Apple has announced that the iTunes Store is now available in 12 new regions in Asia. These include Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, as well as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Local visitors can now buy music from iTunes -- including local and international artists -- and either rent or buy movies, including titles from major studios like Fox, Paramount, Sony, Disney, and Warner Brothers.

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iTunes Match reaches Italy, Greece, Austria, more

04/30, 5:15pm

Service now in oer 40 countries

Apple has once again expanded the availability of iTunes Match, the company's music upload and streaming service, reports say. The service is now available in several more countries, including Austria, Italy, Greece, Portugal,and Slovenia. In Italy the service is priced at 25 a year.

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iTunes 10.6 brings 1080p video, iTunes Match upgrades

03/07, 4:25pm

Solves matching, artwork problems

To go along with iOS 5.1 and the third-generation iPad, Apple has released iTunes 10.6. The software's main addition is support for 1080p video, which is now sold on the iTunes Store, and can be recorded by both the new iPad and the iPhone 4S. Apple TV owners can view 1080p content.

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Apple at work on 'adaptive streaming' audio format

02/28, 10:55am

Tech could allow new service, improve iTunes Match

Apple is at work on a new file format that should enable "adaptive steaming" of high- or low-quality audio to iCloud users, The Guardian claims. The format will allegedly adjust itself to the bandwidth and storage on a given device, and it's speculated that it could allow downloading "HD" audio to iOS devices, or else form the backbone of a long-rumored streaming music service. More firm, though, is thought to be integration with iTunes Match, the combination upload and streaming service launched late last year.

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iTunes Japan gets ringtones, 3G shopping, other features

02/22, 11:55am

iTunes Match coming in second half of 2012

The Japanese iTunes Store has gained several other features in addition to iTunes in the Cloud, Apple has announced. This includes access to ringtones, downloading music over 3G instead of just Wi-Fi, and the Complete My Album option. All music on the store is now in iTunes Plus quality, meaning DRM-free, 256kbps AAC files. In some cases, tracks have been specifically mastered for iTunes.

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Samsung's own cloud service shelved as 'inappropriate'

02/21, 8:05am

Samsung attempt at iCloud parallel already dropped

New claims late Monday have implied that Samsung's internal attempt at a cloud service, S-Cloud, may have been cut short. Although it didn't directly cite a source, ET News had understood that Samsung thought the cloud backbone was "inappropriate" for a worldwide service. Instead, Samsung would use off-the-shelf systems from others, such as Amazon, various app and virtualization developers, and Korean telecom firm KT.

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Royalties from iTunes Match a boon for indie distributors

02/08, 6:00pm

Artists paid each time user re-downloads song

Most people know that iTunes Match, Apple's latest music-related service that offers to backup and make available whole iTunes libraries online, costs $25 year. While many assume the fee is at least in part a "bribe" to record companies to allow unlimited re-downloading, in fact Apple pays rights holders a fee each time a song is re-downloaded -- and for independent distributors who work with iTunes such as BandCamp, CDBaby and TuneCore, the royalty is a windfall for their artists.

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iTunes Match desktop playback bug hits, may clear up

02/04, 3:40am

iTunes Match on computers faces odd glitch

iTunes Match subscribers late Friday reported a problem with iTunes Match playback failing. Anyone on a desktop, whether Mac or Windows, couldn't play cloud-stored songs unless they were already matched with the iTunes Store. The problems didn't appear to be limited to particular app or OS revisions, and iOS users could still access the service.

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Bug in iTunes Match may switch 'explicit' and 'clean' songs

02/02, 8:00pm

Apple said to be working on a fix

A flaw in iTunes Match may inadvertently replace "explicit" tracks with "clean" versions for some users, according to reports by Cult of Mac reporters and corroborated by users elsewhere. A later update on 9to5Mac indicates that at least one user has heard back from Internet Software and Services head Eddy Cue's office that acknowledged the issue and said the company is working on on a fix.

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iTunes Match adds 19 more countries in Latin America, Europe

01/16, 11:25pm

iTunes Match doubles in size with 19 more

Apple has quietly updated iTunes Match to roughly double its size. A total of 19 new countries have been added to bring the total up to 37. Most of the expansion focuses on Latin America and northern Europe.

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Apple does second freeze on iTunes Match subscriptions

12/16, 3:10pm

May be attempt to control bandwidth consumption

Apple is temporarily freezing access to new iTunes Match subscriptions in some of the recently-added countries, reports say. At least some people clicking on the option in iTunes are being greeted with a pop-up message. "iTunes Match is temporarily not accepting new subscribers. Check back later," the window states.

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iTunes Match makes official debut in Canada, UK, other areas

12/15, 5:10pm

More expansions may be imminent

Following a botched rollout on Wednesday, Apple has today officially expanded iTunes Match to Canada and the UK. In Canada the service costs $28 a year, while in the UK annual pricing is set at 22. Unlike regular iCloud options, iTunes Match allows a person to mirror and remotely access their entire music library, regardless of whether the content is on iTunes.

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Apple refunds premature iTunes Match subscriptions

12/15, 9:30am

US, Brazil still only regions with option

Apple is refunding a number of iTunes Match subscriptions, according to posts on the company's support forums and elsewhere. On Wednesday Match appeared to become available in a number of new regions, such as Canada, the UK, New Zealand and Australia. The additional options have since vanished however, and Apple is said to be contacting accidental subscribers to assure them a refund is coming.

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Canada, UK, Australia, others now seeing iTunes Match

12/14, 8:30pm

European countries also seeing the option

Apple appears to be quietly rolling out iTunes Match to a number of countries this evening, judging from reports of users who now see the option to sign up available under their iTunes account information pages. Pricing for the service has been revealed to be $28 in Canada, 22 (approximately $34) in Great Britain, and 25 (approximately $32.50) in Europe and equivalently-priced elsewhere.

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Apple makes Latin American expansions official

12/13, 9:45am

iTunes Match comes to Brazil

Apple has now formally confirmed the expansion of the iTunes Store to a host of Latin American countries. The strongest emphasis is on Brazil, where the initial music catalog is said to include over 20 million songs, including the first digital editions of Roberto Carlos' collection. Apple says that most songs are priced at 99 cents, and most albums at $9.99.

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Piper: iTunes Match fees likely going to royalties, support

12/08, 12:15pm

Service likely meant only to generate hardware sal

The $25 annual fee for iTunes Match is likely only putting Apple just above even on the service, says Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster in new memo. The analyst points to the iTunes Store, which generates a small fraction of Apple's annual revenue. The iTunes Match fee is instead to believed to be covering royalty fees to labels, as well as basic storage and infrastructure costs.

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Leak: Spotify event about app store for music features

11/29, 11:10pm

Spotify to add music content apps

Spotify's Wednesday special event will be all about adding an app-like platform, according to new details. An "app finder" would come to the jukebox app, the Wall Street Journal said, and let users add functionality to the normally barebones software. Mimicking the iOS App Store, it would bring in third-party developers but would see apps vetted for compatibility and "other criteria."

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Google Music cloud exits beta, stays free despite labels

11/16, 6:45pm

Google Music now open to all in US

Google's music store was joined Wednesday by an open launch of its Google Music cloud service. The music locker is now ready to use without an invitation and lets users upload as many as 20,000 songs that can stream to Android devices, the desktop web, and iOS devices through the browser. The service remains free to use, although it remains US-only.

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Google may sign Universal deal same day as music store opens

11/15, 10:10am

Google may have second major label at Nov 16 event

Google's last-minute music store negotiations may see it get just its second major label the very day its music store event takes place, insiders slipped on Tuesday. The primarily Android-focused store was already known to have EMI, but Bloomberg understood that Universal's deal might be struck on November 16, just as Google was due to unveil the shop. Sony and Warner still hadn't signed on due to worries over pricing and piracy, the source said, leaving Google with a catalog far smaller than at Apple or Amazon.

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Tips for iTunes Match already appearing

11/15, 8:00am

Consolidating music, upgrading tracks

Apple finally flipped the switch on iTunes Match, its $25-per-year service that automatically identifies what songs a user owns and provides iTunes-quality (256kbps AAC) matches available on any of the user's internet-connected mobile devices or computers. Within hours, MacWorld magazine had posted a pair of tips to help users with multiple US iTunes accounts consolidate their libraries, and to make replacing lower-bitrate copies of songs easier.

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Apple releases iTunes 10.5.1, formally launches iTunes Match

11/14, 12:50pm

Delayed service gets underway

(Updated with single security fix) Apple has officially released iTunes 10.5.1, an upgrade of the company's jukebox software. The update's only stated purpose is support for iTunes Match, a $25 annual subscription service which lets users keep an iTunes music library mirrored on Apple servers. Only tracks not already on the iTunes Store must be uploaded, and once synced, tracks are accessible from any Mac, Windows PC, or iOS device, including the Apple TV.

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Apple posts iTunes 10.5.1 beta 3 ahead of iTunes Match

11/12, 11:05pm

iTunes 10.5.1 beta 3 preps for cloud music

Apple late Saturday gave developers a third beta of iTunes 10.5.1. Beta 3 primarily adds "important stability and performance improvements" for iTunes Match, according to developers who've downloaded the update. The company is encouraging developers to turn iTunes Match on, if they've subscribed, for all their computers and iOS devices.

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Apple purging developer iTunes Match libraries, hints launch

11/11, 4:00pm

iTunes Match dev accounts deleted November 12

Apple alluded to its delayed iTunes Match release by warning developers of what might be a final reset on developer accounts. The company plans to empty the accounts on November 12 at 1PM Eastern. Unlike past resets, which were intended to improve the quality during the testing phase, Apple said it was necessary "as we prepare for the launch of iTunes Match."

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BBM Music goes live as RIM's first self-made music service

11/02, 10:30am

BBM Music reaches BlackBerry devices Wednesday

RIM on Wednesday offered its first self-run music option in earnest with a promised launch for BBM Music. The finished version of the cloud music service should reach BlackBerry App World later in the day for Canada and the US. In both countries, it should cost about $5 per month, although RIM is temporarily giving a two-month free trial to help get users onboard.

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iTunes Match misses target, iTunes 10.5.1 beta expires

11/01, 12:40pm

Apple still 'close' to iTunes Match rollout

Apple has missed its official target for the launch of iTunes Match, and let current testing of it expire, notes MacRumors. At its October 4th iPhone event the company promised to have iTunes Match ready by the "end of October" in the US. Support was in fact present in developer builds of iTunes 10.5, but pulled in time for the software's public release.

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Microsoft reportedly blocked datacenter head from Apple work

10/28, 5:15pm

Microsoft may have forced staffer out of Apple

Microsoft may have blackballed Apple's choice of datacenter head in the moves that ultimately led to Apple hiring from Yahoo, according an unusually detailed rumor. After fighting opposition from his immediate management on his way out, Kevin Timmons was supposedly met by CEO Steve Ballmer, SAI heard. Timmons may have had an "attitude" during the meeting that led to Ballmer reaching Apple directly, threatening legal action if Apple completed the hire.

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Apple confirms dev iTunes Match libaries reset October 27

10/26, 9:00pm

Apple resets iTunes Match ahead of public launch

Apple told developers late Wednesday that it was resetting their iTunes Match accounts for what's likely the last time before the end of October launch. Its need to upgrade the "overall quality and reliability" of the cloud music service would require that the existing accounts be reset on October 27. Those signed up in the beta phase have been told to turn off iTunes Match on all their computers and iOS devices to avoid connection problems during the shutdown.

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iTunes Match option suddenly appears in iOS Settings app

10/19, 3:20pm

Apple preps for service launch

An option to activate iTunes Match is spontaneously appearing in iOS 5's Settings app, users say. MacNN has verified that going into the Music section of the app will reveal the slider after one or two seconds of waiting. Since the command was previously missing, Apple appears to have changed a server-side setting to flag iTunes Match as available.

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Google still trying for music store, labels unconvinced

10/13, 8:50pm

Google presses for music store again

Google's abortive attempt at a music store has been renewed, label executives outlined in a leak Thursday. It would embody the same basic concept, but it would be a "more extensive service," the NY Times said. In ideal conditions, it would go live within several weeks.

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Apple in talks to get iTunes cloud movie streaming rights

10/13, 8:00am

Apple near deals with movie studios for cloud movi

Apple is getting close to a deal that would let it serve its iTunes movies from the cloud rather than locally, sources claimed Thursday. The terms understood by the LA Times and backed by the WSJ would let Apple stream any movie a user buys or rents. Access would apply across any iTunes device, including the Apple TV, where the lack of permanent storage makes streaming its only real option.

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Apple seeds first beta of iTunes 10.5.1

10/11, 3:30pm

Update required for iTunes Match beta participants

Having just publicly released iTunes 10.5, Apple is already seeding the first beta of iTunes 10.5.1 to developers, reports say. Notes describe the code as making "several performance enhancements and bug fixes," without going into additional detail. The update is required for all developers in the iTunes Match beta; Apple warns that associated iCloud libraries will be deleted once the Beta 1 period is finished.

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Apple posts iTunes 10.5 ahead of iOS 5 and iCloud

10/11, 1:25pm

iTunes 10.5 quietly goes live

Apple has quietly posted iTunes 10.5 as prep for iOS 5 and iCloud. The new music jukebox app is needed for full cloud services like iTunes Match and for local syncing with the iPhone 4S. iOS 5 devices can also sync over Wi-Fi when on the same local network.

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iCloud-ready Lion 10.7.2, iTunes 10.5 may drop early

10/08, 7:25pm

Lion and iTunes updates for iCloud may come Oct 11

A late rumor has Apple posting its iCloud-capable Mac OS X Lion and iTunes releases early. The "reliable" Macotakara contact has both Lion 10.7.2 and iTunes 10.5 arriving before the iOS 5 release on October 12. Apple rarely posts updates on weekends, making October 11 the most likely candidate if true.

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iCloud to go live on October 12th, iTunes Match due by Nov.

10/04, 3:25pm

Apple 'working hard' to export Match

iCloud will launch on October 12th, alongside iOS 5, Apple has announced. The cloud service saves and syncs content between all compatible devices, which includes anything running iOS 5 or OS X Lion. Content types primarily consist of apps, music and books from iTunes, but also the likes of mail, contacts, calendars, photos, and documents. Apple notes that backups will occur daily, and that a basic 5GB iCloud account will (as previously stated) be free.

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Live: Apple's 'Let's Talk iPhone' event [ended]

10/04, 12:45pm

Apple iPhone 4S real-time coverage

(Update: done) Apple is about to hold its promised "Let's Talk iPhone" event at the Town Hall in its Cupertino headquarters. The event is known to be introducing the iPhone 4S as well as final launch details for iOS 5. Final details for iCloud and iTunes Match may also occur. Check into our real-time coverage starting at 1PM Eastern for details as they appear.

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Apple pushes for iTunes Match, iTunes in the Cloud worldwide

09/30, 7:00pm

Apple wants international iTunes cloud deals

Apple is pressing to get the same deals for iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match in the rest of the world that it has in the US, contacts explained Friday. Label negotiation details relayed to CNET had it replicating the same terms in other countries. Deals were "close," but nothing had been formalized yet, the insiders said.

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iTunes Match cloud library reset now due September 26

09/24, 3:25am

iTunes Match online content resetting for launch

Apple has told those developers currently subscribing to the beta-era iTunes Match that it will reset the cloud side of their libraries on the morning of September 26 at 12PM Eastern. Early adopters are being asked to turn off the feature on any of the beta iTunes and iOS 5 clients before the reset arrives. It's not evident how long the reset process would take.

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