What’s the Holdup on iTunes Match?

When Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced its new subscription music service iTunes Match in June, it vowed the offering would be online by the end of October. Well, Halloween has come and gone, and Apple fans still haven’t seen the service. What’s the holdup?

As usual, Apple’s mum on the subject. It didn’t respond to requests by MacNewsWorld for a comment on the topic. But there are several possible things that could be snagging the launch. One could be the Steve Jobs effect.

“Apple is still struggling with the loss of Steve Jobs,” Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group in San Jose, Calif., told MacNewsWorld.

“Steve was the guy who forced everybody to hit their dates,” he continued, “so when you remove someone like that, surprise, surprise, they’re missing dates.

“This is one more example of the new Apple is not the old Apple,” he added.

Matching, Not Uploading.

While Jobs’ absence is no small loss, it might be a stretch to lay too much of the blame for Match’s delayed appearance to him, argued another analyst.

“Apple has a history of pushing products back even when Jobs was CEO,” Ross Rubin, an analyst with the NPD Group, told MacNewsWorld.

What could be a major snag for the service is ironing out the licensing agreements with rights holders to the content in the iTunes store.

Unlike music services provided by the likes of Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), which act like online warehouses for your music, Match mostly uses the iTunes Store library to fill out your music cloud. It scans your iTunes library, using the acoustic matching technology Apple obtained when it acquired a company called Lala, and compares what it finds to the millions of songs in the iTunes store.

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