Now, your music is in the cloud with iTunes Match. A bit of a delay from their “late October” release, iTunes Match is now available if you download the just released update to iTunes — download the iTunes 10.5.1 update here. We’ve been beta testing the service, and so far, iTunes Match works perfectly. After sending our music up to the magical Apple cloud — we were flawlessly able to grab our music collection on other devices, from the iPhone and iPad.

Update: Uh-oh. Too many people are trying to use the service and it is not available for new subscriptions.. Interest in iTunes Match has made Apple issue the following message….

New iTunes Match subscriptions are temporarily unavailable.
Due to overwhelming demand, iTunes Match is not accepting new subscriptions at this time. Please check back in an hour.

Here’s more details on the $24.99 a year service from Apple:

With iTunes Match, even songs you’ve imported from CDs can be stored in iCloud. And you can play them on any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC — whenever you want and wherever you are, without syncing. iTunes Match is just $24.99 a year.2

Here’s how it works: iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to iCloud for you to listen to anytime, on any device. Since there are more than 20 million songs in the iTunes Store, chances are, your music is already in iCloud. And for the few songs that aren’t, iTunes has to upload only what it can’t match. Which is much faster than starting from scratch. Once your music is in iCloud, you can stream and store it to any of your devices. Even better, all the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality.