Apple Inc. this week launched the iTunes Match service to offer cloud-based backup of songs for a subscription fee.

iTunes Match, which launched in conjunction with the release of iTunes 10.5.1., offers iCloud access to a user’s library of music to another device at $24.99 per year.

iTunes Match will scan the user’s library of music and match available titles with the iTunes catalog to offer iCloud access. Cloud-based music will play back at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality.

Apple in Oct. released iOS 5 for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

The new mobile software includes features like a Notification Center, iMessage to send unlimited text messages via Wi-Fi or 3G, Newsstand to organize subscriptions, Reminders, Twitter integration, new Camera features, and software updates without connectivity to a computer.

Apple in Oct. launched iCloud, a free cloud online storage service for data backup, syncing, and access across devices. iCloud requires iOS 5 and iTunes 10.5.

iTunes 10.5, which is required to upgrade to iOS 5, includes new iTunes in the Clouds functionality to store purchased content to the iCloud service and push to all devices, new Wi-Fi syncing functionality, and support for the iTunes Match service to add iCloud storage of imported CDs at $24.99 per year.

The Mac OS X 10.7.2 update includes support for the iCloud service and multiples software fixes.

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