Developers have received an email from Apple informing then that the iTunes Match music library in iCloud will be wiped out, again. This will happen today Thursday, October 27th. Apple has told the developers to turn off iTunes Match on their devices during this time. A screenshot of the email that was sent is shown below.
We think that this wipe is because they are preparing for the public launch of the iTunes Match. We had expected that the iTunes Match would be launched at the same time as the iOS 5 but its launch was pushed back to the end of October. iTunes Match is still in beta state with developers testing but we are expecting a launch very soon.
iTunes Match toggle had appeared in the iOS 5 Music Settings pane, which led users to subscribe to the service, however, Apple has not yet released an updated version of iTunes that allows users to sign up for this feature.
There is a $25/year subscription service for the iTunes Match, this service will match your existing iTunes library with 256-Kbps versions in the iCloud. Your uploaded docs and music will be available for download on your other Apple devices through the iCloud.
MacRumors provides a detialed explanation of how this is supposed to work:
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 your iCloud library. 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