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Old Nov 15, 2011, 09:00 AM   #1
vrDrew
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ATV and iTunes Match: Good Stuff!

A somewhat unheralded benefit of the new iTunes Match service is that it allows you to (under certain circumstances...) dispense with having to have iTunes running on a computer, or even have a computer on at all.

The latest updates to the AppleTV software gave you the opportunity to turn on iTunes Match. Now that the service is up and running (and I've uploaded and matched my library) I gave it a try.

The first time you select iTunes Match (which has its own separate menu) it takes a little while to load the data on your library - about two minutes for my 5000 song collection. Once the data is loaded, you get access to all your playlists, songs, album art. Once you pick a song or playlist it streams impressively quickly - only slightly slower than when streaming from my computer over wifi. Obviously this isn't going to be the first choice if you quickly switch between a big variety of songs.

There were a couple of glitches. For some reason a couple of songs in one playlist got an error message: "Content Not Found" - I'll need to investigate the iTunes Match status of those tunes.

Still more experimenting to be done (for instance will it let me stream my US library if I'm in Europe.) But all in all, a massive development. And the promise of freedom from having to have a computer on someplace in my house before listening to music over the AppleTV.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 09:38 AM   #2
bucksaddle
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Does the ATV only allow 1 iTunes match library to be configured and therefore streamed? The wife and I have seperate music libraries and will both subscribe to iTunes match when it is available in Europe so we can take advantage on our iPhones - however all the screenshots I have seen of iTunes Match on the ATV only allow 1 account to be configured.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 09:54 AM   #3
wxman2003
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It's a good idea for large amounts of music, but not worth $25 for a thousand songs. Plus if you have a slow internet service or slow 3G, not very practical.
Can use my iphone to airplay to ATV, so computer doesnt have to be on.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 09:58 AM   #4
jbeinhor
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Originally Posted by bucksaddle View Post
Does the ATV only allow 1 iTunes match library to be configured and therefore streamed? The wife and I have seperate music libraries and will both subscribe to iTunes match when it is available in Europe so we can take advantage on our iPhones - however all the screenshots I have seen of iTunes Match on the ATV only allow 1 account to be configured.

I have this same problem - I want to use two iTunes Match accounts with my Apple TV. Thoughts?
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 10:06 AM   #5
MattG
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Can use my iphone to airplay to ATV, so computer doesnt have to be on.
True, but one caveat to that is you're using up your battery.

I like the idea of this; may have to give it a shot. It'd be awesome if someday the same were to apply for TV shows and movies.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 11:04 AM   #6
vrDrew
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It's a good idea for large amounts of music, but not worth $25 for a thousand songs. Plus if you have a slow internet service or slow 3G, not very practical.
Can use my iphone to airplay to ATV, so computer doesnt have to be on.
Probably not worth it for a smaller library. And nothing cloud-based is going work very well over a slow or buggy internet connection.

There is, for me, one other huge advantage to the iTunes Match service: I don't have to spend the time and money constantly backing up my iTunes library. If you compare the cost and life expectancy of a terabyte-class NAS, and four or five years of $25/yr iTunes Match - you come out about even. Add in the ability to access your entire collection from literally anywhere there is WiFi service, and the freedom from even having to think about backing up your music files, playlists, album art, etc. - and iTunes Match starts looking like a really good deal.

You most definitely CAN "beam" iTunes songs from your iPhone (also iPod Touch and iPad) to the AppleTV. One of the big pluses of the device - and very easy to implement.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 03:26 PM   #7
marc11
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Probably not worth it for a smaller library. And nothing cloud-based is going work very well over a slow or buggy internet connection.

There is, for me, one other huge advantage to the iTunes Match service: I don't have to spend the time and money constantly backing up my iTunes library. If you compare the cost and life expectancy of a terabyte-class NAS, and four or five years of $25/yr iTunes Match - you come out about even. Add in the ability to access your entire collection from literally anywhere there is WiFi service, and the freedom from even having to think about backing up your music files, playlists, album art, etc. - and iTunes Match starts looking like a really good deal.

You most definitely CAN "beam" iTunes songs from your iPhone (also iPod Touch and iPad) to the AppleTV. One of the big pluses of the device - and very easy to implement.
THe back up of my music is the biggest reason I paid for iTunes match, the rest is just gravy.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 03:53 PM   #8
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I was very excited to hear the news regarding Apple TV support when it was first announced and I'm very glad its working out for users

And as marc11 points out, an iCloud backup of your music library is easily worth it.

One question though: How much storage is allotted to your iTunes Match? Is it limitless, hence the 25,000 song limit? Or is it linked to the amount of storage on your iCloud account?
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 04:30 PM   #9
marc11
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iTunes match is unlimited up to 25000 songs AFAIK. It is not counted as part of your iCloud storage space.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 06:23 PM   #10
rwwest7
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True, but one caveat to that is you're using up your battery.

I like the idea of this; may have to give it a shot. It'd be awesome if someday the same were to apply for TV shows and movies.
It does apply for TV shows, you can stream anything but movies. TV shows have been stream able for a long time now.
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 01:36 PM   #11
dgalvan123
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It does apply for TV shows, you can stream anything but movies. TV shows have been stream able for a long time now.
This. Also note that you don't need to pay for iTunes Match in order to re-download or re-stream TV shows. Match seems to be just for audio tracks.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 07:04 PM   #12
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So, I want to clarify this: does Match on aTV stream, rather than download songs? Does the music remain on the device after you listen to it? If so, I don't see how this could work, with the aTV only having 8 GB of storage, and actually somewhat less due to the OS.

What I'm getting at is, if this is the case, why can't it work that way on other iOS devices (iPhones and iPads)? I only have a 16 GB phone, and less than 8 GB available, but I have a 40 GB music library. I cannot download it all to the device. Why can't it just stream to the device and delete it when done, or store a certain number of GB of recently listed to songs in a cache?
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 07:26 PM   #13
marcello696
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So, I want to clarify this: does Match on aTV stream, rather than download songs? Does the music remain on the device after you listen to it? If so, I don't see how this could work, with the aTV only having 8 GB of storage, and actually somewhat less due to the OS.

What I'm getting at is, if this is the case, why can't it work that way on other iOS devices (iPhones and iPads)? I only have a 16 GB phone, and less than 8 GB available, but I have a 40 GB music library. I cannot download it all to the device. Why can't it just stream to the device and delete it when done, or store a certain number of GB of recently listed to songs in a cache?
Apple could easily enable streaming on the iPhone and iPad but since both are considered mobile devices Im sure the music labels put a no streaming to mobile devices restriction in place for iTunes Match.

Since the aTV is not mobile they are allowed to let it stream from iCloud

IMHO
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 01:32 AM   #14
DNAppleGold
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So, I want to clarify this: does Match on aTV stream, rather than download songs? Does the music remain on the device after you listen to it? If so, I don't see how this could work, with the aTV only having 8 GB of storage, and actually somewhat less due to the OS.

What I'm getting at is, if this is the case, why can't it work that way on other iOS devices (iPhones and iPads)? I only have a 16 GB phone, and less than 8 GB available, but I have a 40 GB music library. I cannot download it all to the device. Why can't it just stream to the device and delete it when done, or store a certain number of GB of recently listed to songs in a cache?
Yes it streams and it's an awesome way of getting your whole library into the living room, without having the computer with all of your music with you. The way iCloud/Imatch works on Apple TV is exactly the way the service should work. Classic Apple "it just works" stuff.

And yes, it's very frustrating that it doesn't work with way for Iphone/Ipad. I can only think of two reason 1) the music companies won't allow streaming for mobile devises 2) Apple is being cautious about it's ability stream tons of stuff at once. (or a combo). Whatever the reason, I hope this get's worked out soon.
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 02:52 AM   #15
fpnc
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Yes it streams...
Technically I don't believe that it is "streaming" (even on the Apple TV). At least part of the iTunes Match service on the Apple TV appears to begin as a progressive download just like on the mobile devices. The content is stored in the Apple TV's memory for an indefinite amount of time but it appears to eventually gets flushed as you play/download more content.

You can check this by accessing a music video which are also supported by iTunes Match (at least for the content that you've purchased from iTunes, it won't upload music videos from iTunes that may have come from other sources). When you first access a music video there is a notable delay before the video begins but after it completes the download you can go back even at a much later time and it will play immediately (as long as you haven't played a lot of additional content between the first play and the second access).

Of course, this apparent behavior all depends upon the speed of your internet connection. If you have a very fast connection the playback will probably begin very quickly even on the first download.

The difference in the user experience between a progressive download and pure streaming is pretty slight. But it appears from my testing that the Apple TV and the mobile devices operate nearly the same way and I'm pretty sure that Apple has claimed that the iTunes Match implementation under iOS 5 is not "streaming" (they still call it "downloading" but I think the more correct term would be progressive downloading -- just like all of the other iTunes Movie and TV content).

It is true, however, that on the mobile devices the content remains in storage until you remove it. On the Apple TV it seems to be automatically removed after some limit of additional downloads/storage use. Thus, to the end-user the Apple TV implementation almost appears to operate in a pure streaming mode (i.e. the user experience is practically identical, even though it may not be technically the same).

Why there is a difference between the apparent behavior on the mobile devices and the Apple TV I can't tell. It may be because of licensing issues, or user interface issues, or just because Apple wants the Apple TV to appear to have unlimited storage (i.e. it was probably designed from the beginning as a cloud-based device).

It could also be a marketing thing, since there is only one model of the Apple TV while there are multiple price points on the mobile devices based largely upon the size of their memory. That is, if Apple allowed you to transparently access all of your content via iTunes Match on the mobile devices it might convince some that they really don't need the more expensive and larger memory device. Either way Apple would still make money, but the iPhone/iPad groups within Apple might not like having that revenue go to some other group within Apple (and the iPhone/iPad wireless carriers might not like it either).
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 07:02 AM   #16
MattG
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It does apply for TV shows, you can stream anything but movies. TV shows have been stream able for a long time now.
Unless I'm missing something here, it doesn't apply to shows you haven't purchased from iTunes. What I'm saying is I wish it matched all of my shows, so they'd all be available in the cloud.
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 01:07 PM   #17
decafjava
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A somewhat unheralded benefit of the new iTunes Match service is that it allows you to (under certain circumstances...) dispense with having to have iTunes running on a computer, or even have a computer on at all.
Cool but...you still need your computer to set up and manage your playlists etc. correct?
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 01:41 PM   #18
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Cool but...you still need your computer to set up and manage your playlists etc. correct?
I believe so, because I don't think you can sign up for iTunes Match without using iTunes on a computer.
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 06:18 AM   #19
DNAppleGold
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Technically I don't believe that it is "streaming" (even on the Apple TV). .
I stand corrected - although as you say from a user experience angle the difference is slight.

Regarding the service on mobile devices , check out this article I'm Macworld. http://http://t.co/qPyZ61tl
Apparently songs not explicitly downloaded are eventually removed, thus making the experience more like streaming and reducing the need for manual deletions. For mobile devices this makes some sense because you can keep listening to a song if you've lost connectivity. It would be nice to know how much music will be cached and for how long. Definitely some room for improvement.
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 10:38 AM   #20
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Technically I don't believe that it is "streaming" (even on the Apple TV).
Interesting, so technically Pandora isn't streaming, since you can walk out of range of wifi using an iPod Touch, or pause, walk into the woods and hit play an hour later and miles away from the nearest wifi and the song will finish playing?
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 11:34 AM   #21
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I signed up for it last night, uploaded about 13000 songs to it, this morning i checked and could wirelessly download to my iphone on 3g from anywhere, and set it up at work to stream my library from itunes on my work computer.

pretty slick way to back up my library, so now i can sleep at night...
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