Early yesterday, Apple announced the availability of iTunes Store across 12 Asian countries including Singapore. Along with it, Apple also made its Cloud music service known as iTunes Match available to users across this region, for just S$31.98 a year. Essentially, iTunes Match will give the user access to their library of songs through iCloud. The difference (as compared to others like Google Play or Amazon Cloud Player) is that iTunes Match will even match music you did not purchase through iTunes and make them available to you at no extra cost. So if you had previously purchased DRM-free music from other sources (or downloaded them somewhere), Apple will attempt to match them and make them available to you DRM-free at 256kbps in AAC format - even if your source was of lower quality. This makes upload a lot faster than other cloud-based music solutions out there.
However, as most of you would have come to realize by now, not all albums available in iTunes US were made available in Asia. This limitation is applied across to iTunes Match as well. We tested by uploading a US-only album and as expected, the Singapore version of iTunes Match refused to match tracks that were not found in the iTunes SG store.
This is bad news for users who currently maintain a vast library of music using iTunes especially if most of your music tracks were from recent albums. So if you're jumping into iTunes Match now, don't be surprised to find music you've purchased from iTunes in US failing to get a match. Although not a huge issue to most, it may prove to be highly inconvenient to users with a slow internet upload connection since every track would have to be manually uploaded into iCloud.