The iCloud (launching on October 12th) will be free. You can store all your iTunes music purchases there without worrying about crashing hard drives or stolen iPods. iTunes Match, however, is an entirely different beast. For $24.99 a year, iTunes Match allows you to store music NOT purchased from iTunes in the iCloud too!
Imagine you’ve converted your entire CD collection (legally purchased, ahem- ahem!) to MP3s and stored them in your iTunes library. Now, your iTunes player will query to iTunes’ database and “match” the music you’ve got stored on your computer with music files in its own system. It will “credit” your iCloud with those particular songs or albums as well. For $24.99 a year, your entire music collection can exist in the cloud. No more clunky hard drives. No more worrying which music files you should move off your personal computer when it starts running slow.
iTunes Match will launch later this month.
-Chris R. at CD Baby