So what’s up with the Apple iTunes Matching? It looks like iTunes with iCloud will check your complete music collection (up to 25.000 songs) and (if the song is in the iTunes Store) it will save it to your iCloud account from which you can stream it in top 256K AAC quality.
In my opinion this will open a huge opportunity for music lovers: Instead of looking for illegal sources of music and then “authorize” them via Apples service there could be a much better option. How?
Just make a list of all the songs you like to have, make a silent mp3 or aac file with the correct meta data – and possibly the correct length. Put it in your music library and ask iTunes to match it. Then you can start streaming happily (and we all know that streams can be stored easily).
So what can Apple do to prevent this? Since iTunes Match promises to be quicker than uploading the whole song Apple, so all Apple could do is start fingerprinting all songs. So my guess is that this fingerprint algorithm will be broken pretty quickly. As soon as the fingerprinting is broken, people will start to share the fingerprints of the songs and software will be available to generate trick mp3 files to fool iTunes into matching the right song.
Can Apple and the music industry stop the sharing of the fingerprints? I don’t think so, since the files would not contain the original work so they could not be protected. But we will se attempts (just as we have seen attempts to protect integers).
Is there any other way for Apple to make sure you really have the song? Even in poor quality?