Apple queuing up launch of iTunes Match?

Company tells developers testing the song-syncing service that their data will be wiped from the iCloud servers as Apple prepares "for the launch of iTunes Match," according to a report.

A look at the iTunes Match interface.

Apple may finally be ready to launch iTunes Match, the subscription offering that will let users play ripped songs via Apple's iCloud service.

Apple has sent an e-mail to developers who are testing the beta version of Match, informing them that their stored songs would be wiped from iCloud servers and reminding them to back up their libraries on their computers. It's not the first time such a data reset has taken place, but the wording of the e-mail may suggest the service's debut is nigh.

"As we prepare for the launch of iTunes Match, we will be deleting all current iCloud libraries on Saturday, November 12th at 10 AM PST," the company said, according to a report by John Paczkowski at All Things D. AppleInsider first reported the news earlier this afternoon.

iTunes Match is the $24.99-a-year service that scans a user's library to find music the user may have ripped from a CD but didn't purchase from Apple, then cross-references those tunes with songs in Apple's own library. When the service finds a match, it provides users with a license of the track at the same quality they'd find if they bought it off iTunes, up to a maximum of 25,000 songs.

The feature is integrated with Apple's iCloud platform, which taps into the cloud to do things like ferry files, content, and apps between Apple devices. In this case, matched tracks are effectively licensed to users, letting them download music tracks to a device, even if they bought them on a different gadget.

Apple said in September that it would launch the service in October, but that didn't pan out .

Here's a video of the service in action:

CNET's Josh Lowensohn contributed to this report.

 

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