iTunes Match has gone live in the US (Monday), bringing with it Apple’s new cloud music service.

“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,” says Apple.

The idea is that the service will check the songs you have in iTunes and then instantly back those tracks up in the cloud. Any music with a “match” is automatically added to iCloud for you to listen to anytime, on any device, and Apple says that, with 20 millions songs available, it should have most of what you’ve got.

The service has gone live with iTunes 10.5.1. Sadly it isn’t available in the UK yet, due to licensing issues.