iTunes Match is here in the UK

If you want the benefits of iTunes in the Cloud for music you haven’t purchased from iTunes, iTunes Match is the perfect solution. It’s built right into the iTunes app on your Mac or PC and the Music app on your iOS devices. And it lets you store your entire collection, including music you’ve imported from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes. For just £21.99 a year.

Here’s how it works: iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to iCloud. Since there are more than 20 million songs in the iTunes Store, most of your music is probably already in iCloud. All you have to upload is what iTunes can’t match. Which is much faster than starting from scratch. Once your music is in iCloud, you can stream and store it on any of your devices. Even better, all the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality.

20 million songs for matching
iTunes scans your music and matches it with the 20 million songs in the iTunes Store — and automatically stores it in iCloud. So chances are your music is already in iCloud.

Listen at 256 Kbps
Play back matched songs from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality. Even if your original copy was of lower quality.

There are two problems, why are we paying £21.99 in the UK when in the USA it’s only $24.99! Secondly it doesn’t work! I have purchased my first year’s subscription and it keeps failing with an error. Apparently, I’m not alone.

Here’s hoping that once the initial demand is out of the way that it starts to work as advertised.

UPDATE 16-DEC-2011:
It is now working and my iTunes music is currently being “matched”.