Apple Misses October Deadline For U.S. Launch Of iTunes Match

Apple’s iTunes Match service appears to have gotten lost amid the Halloween candy. Despite promises that it would launch its Internet-based music storage service by the end of the October, November 1st has arrived with no sign of one of the more interesting aspects to Apple’s iCloud.

iTunes Match, when it arrives, will let you duplicate your music library on Apple’s servers for $24.99 a year. The service will scan your hard drive and make a copy of the music that is listed in the iTunes Store, uploading any songs that it can’t find for sale in the store. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) offers 20 million songs through iTunes, and one of the big advantages of the service is that you don’t have to wait for hours and hours while uploading your music collection to one of the “storage locker” services operated by Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Amazon.

But the service has now missed the October deadline set out by Apple during its launch event for iCloud and the iPhone 4S, and it’s not entirely clear why. Apple, per its usual strategy, isn’t saying anything, and the Web site for iTunes Match says simply “Coming soon.” The plan all along was to launch in the U.S. first, and international availability has not been discussed.

Developers who have been testing the new iTunes 10.5.1 beta might also be running into problems, according to MacRumors, who notes that the testing period for that software expired as of October 31st. That means that copy of iTunes no longer works on their computers, and might have caused problems with their music or app libraries.