Apple has let developers know that they’re planning on resetting their iTunes Match data again today, but don’t read too much into this. The service is likely still being tweaked. We don’t expect an imminent release. It’s only a hunch, but this isn’t the first time that iTunes Match data has been reset in the relatively recent past.
iTunes Match, originally slated for release in October, still hasn’t shipped yet. Frankly, I don’t mind that at all. I’d rather iTunes match be 100% working before it’s released. After living through the original Mobile Me launch, it’s unlikely that Apple will ship iTunes Match unless they’re completely comfortable with how it’s behaving in the wild.
Having been reading the Jobs’ biography, a particular quote from Jobs sums up the delay nicely: “It would be better to miss [the completion date] than to turn out the wrong thing … It’s not done until it ships.” I would argue that Apple has mis-stepped with Lion, releasing it well before it was ready, and people have noticed. If iTunes Match also ships filled with bugs, people will also notice and probably take to the web to voice their frustrations with the service. Apple’s doing the right thing. Holding iTunes Match back until it’s ready, despite publicly announcing a shipment date, is unequivocally the right thing to do.