updated 03:10 pm EST, Fri December 16, 2011
May be attempt to control bandwidth consumption
Apple is temporarily freezing access to new iTunes Match subscriptions in some of the recently-added countries, reports say. At least some people clicking on the option in iTunes are being greeted with a pop-up message. "iTunes Match is temporarily not accepting new subscribers. Check back later," the window states.
No explanation has been given, but Apple could simply be experiencing issues with bandwidth, since its servers have to scan and mirror each Match subscriber's iTunes library. The company could also be suffering from other server problems; overnight, both iTunes and iCloud users were briefly unable to login with Apple IDs. It is moreover the second time Apple has had to halt iTunes Match subscriptions, the first coming on Wednesday, when some people were allowed to sign up prematurely.
iTunes Match is now available in a wide range of countries, having initially been restricted to the US. This week Apple added Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. The reason for the delay is likely rights, as Match functions are not believed to be covered by Apple's existing iTunes Store rights.