How does iTunes Match modify your music tracks?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by randian, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. randian macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 15, 2014
    #1
    I noticed that after buying iTunes Match and letting it do its thing, every track in my iTunes Library, other than tracks it refused to match because they were too big, now has a last modified time of today. This is disturbing, and it's not clear what iTunes changed in them. So, what did iTunes do to them? Munge my metadata? Change the artwork? God forbid, change the music track itself?
     
  2. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Atlanta
    #2
    First and foremost you should have a backup of your music (and everything else too). So no matter what happens you are covered.

    Second it is usually just metadata and in most cases just the modification date changed since the file was scanned. The next most likely thing is artwork (which is metadata).
     
  3. randian thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Yes, I do have a backup, but at some point I have to backup the modified tracks and likely overwrite the previous backup. It would be really annoying if iTunes replaced my artwork, I have a lot of high-res album covers and I'd hate to have them replaced without warning by iTunes. There's nothing in Apple's description of what iTunes Match does that suggests a modification like artwork replacement can happen.
     
  4. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #4
    It shouldn't replace the artwork. However it is best to buy a cheep (if you don't have one) USB drive and do a 'permanent' backup of only your Library.
     
  5. randian thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Shouldn't or doesn't? Too many lossless and high-res tracks to fit on a USB drive. I use external hard drives as backup.

    If the only thing iTunes Match changed was adding the matched/not matched indicator to the tracks then I'm ok.
     
  6. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #6
    Lossless tracks are not eligible for Apple Music. They have to be mp3 or AAC. The matching process will just ignore them.
     
  7. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #7
    Actually it will Match them to a 256kbps AAC iTunes/Apple Music copy or if no match available will make a 256kbps AAC copy and upload.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204925
     
  8. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #8
    Cool, that must be something new. When I joined, mine were marked "ineligible" for iCloud Status.
     
  9. randian thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Unfortunately iTunes Match won't match or transcode a 24/96 or 24/192 track because it's too big. I understand why Match rejects long tracks, but the size limit is just plain nonsense. A 5 minute track transcoded from 24/192 lossless to 256k AAC takes up no more space on Apple's servers than one transcoded from 16/44 lossless. If it's matched rather than transcoded then of course it's not just the same size, it's the same shared track.
     
  10. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #10
    What format are they in (ALAC)? Strange that if iTunes will play them it seems Match would support them. Also here is a workaround.

    Make a Smart Playlist and sort by Sampling Rate or Bit Rate. If by Sampling Rate it would require 2 Playlists, one for 96 and one for 128. Then highlight that Playlist's tracks and convert them to 256 kbps AAC. This will make a copy. After matching you can delete the copies.
     
  11. randian thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Yes, they're ALAC format. If you select "convert to AAC" it won't delete the original tracks? Does iTunes Match run automatically once the AAC tracks have been created? Won't deleting the new 256k tracks remove them from iTunes Match?
     
  12. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #12
    It will make a 256kbps AAC copy and not delete the original. Convert is somewhat of a misnomer. Not sure if it will auto scan but but I think you can force it to scan by Files> Library> Update Match (or what ever it says). I don't have Match anymore so not 100% positive.
     
  13. Rigby macrumors 601

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    San Jose, CA
    #13
    I don't think it has to do with the size. I have some 24/96 stereo tracks in ALAC format that are well below the maximum upload size (200MB) and still have the iCloud status "ineligible".
     
  14. randian thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    It's not really an "upload" limit then, since transcoding a 24/96 track to 256k AAC will make something a lot smaller than 200MB.

    If I create 256k AAC copies of my 24/96+ tracks to get them into iTunes Match, and then delete them, would they overwrite my high-res originals were I to redownload them in the future?
     
  15. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #15
    ANY original file you delete will be deleted and gone. If you download the track from Match you will get a Match 256kbps file/track since Match doesn't have your original file/track for you to download. You should NEVER delete your originals unless you have a copy and are deleting to save space on your drive (like a small SSD).

    EDIT: Missread your post. See Rigby's answer.
     
  16. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #16
    What I'm saying is that even in their original form these files are well below the limit, so that's obviously not the reason why iTunes Match considers them ineligible. It probably doesn't like sampling rates other than 44.1kHz.
    No, because the converted AAC copies will be separate songs in your iTunes library.
     
  17. randian thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    My 24/48 tracks got matched. That's probably the limit. Glad the AAC tracks are separate, but they quite annoyingly clutter my track listings.
     

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