updated 12:50 pm EST, Mon November 14, 2011
Delayed service gets underway
(Updated with single security fix) Apple has officially released iTunes 10.5.1, an upgrade of the company's jukebox software. The update's only stated purpose is support for iTunes Match, a $25 annual subscription service which lets users keep an iTunes music library mirrored on Apple servers. Only tracks not already on the iTunes Store must be uploaded, and once synced, tracks are accessible from any Mac, Windows PC, or iOS device, including the Apple TV.
iTunes Match was originally scheduled to launch by the end of October, but ended up delayed for reasons unknown. A third iTunes 10.5.1 beta was in fact released just this Saturday, suggesting a last-minute crunch to prepare Match for a deadline. During the course of testing, third-party developers' Match libraries were wiped several times.
Update: An Apple note shows the addition of a single security fix in v10.5.1. In particular it prevents a man-in-the-middle exploit related to automatic update checks; the issue is said to have been most serious with Windows PCs, since a computer without Apple Software Update installed might open a given URL in a web browser. Both Mac and Windows systems should now handle checks more securely.