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Thursday, December 15, 2011, 02:20 pm PT (05:20 pm ET)

International iTunes Match rollout begins after premature launch

Apple has officially launched its cloud-based iTunes Match service in numerous countries, with the news coming on the heels of reports saying the company promised to refund customers who subscribed to a premature launch on Wednesday.

Following an accidental launch on Wednesday, Apple is officially rolling out iTunes Match to countries outside the U.S. and Brazil, with users seeing changes in their respective iTunes Stores granting them access to the service.

Citing Apple's support forums, iPodNN revealed on Thursday that the international iTunes Match launch was in fact premature, and refunds were being given to those who "accidentally" subscribed to the service. It now seems that Match is up and running in France, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Spain

Apple's subscriber-based music matching service was thought to have gone live on Wednesday but the sign-up page was removed and refunds were promised.

The page was reinstated on Thursday, allowing users to once again sign up for the service.

Spain iTunes

Spanish iTunes homepage with 'new' iTunes Match


Previous reports noted that some would-be subscribers were experiencing problems during the sign-up process, and those who managed to get through complained that they couldn't access the service. This lead some to take to Apple's support forums where it was explained that the launch was indeed accidental and all money paid would subsequently be refunded.

Because users can now subscribe to Match through the iTunes store, however, it is unclear if the refunds will still be issued or how the launch will affect those who subscribed during the premature rollout.

France iTunes

Screenshot of French iTunes Match landing page


The multi-country release of iTunes Match is confirmation that Apple >secured a deal for cloud-based music distribution outside the U.S. and Brazil, as reported in September.