iCloud iTunes Match Questions

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Melodeath, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Melodeath macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2009
    Ok I'm trying to decide between the 64GB iPhone and 32GB, and this depends partially on iTunes Match. I have more than 64GB of music, so a 64GB iPhone is not a full iPod replacement for me, but it's closer than 32GB. And, it seems I have no need for a 64GB iPhone if iTunes Match is pretty good. $25/year is worth it to be able to hear all my music anywhere, versus spending another $100 for a bigger phone that still wont hold all of my music.

    The Apple website clearly indicates iTunes Match will match your existing music if it has it, and stream back at 256 kbps. What if your library has the tracks as 320 kbps mp3s? Does iTunes Match still playback its own, lower-quality versions?

    Secondly, in both the keynote and Apple website, iTunes Match will upload anything in your library that it doesn't have so you can stream that material too. Anyone know how good the stream quality will be? Will it be full quality on Wi-Fi and 3G, or will iTunes match play it back as even-further compressed files to save bandwidth?

    I assume no one really knows bc I think iTunes Match launches ont he 12th, but what are your thoughts?

  2. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    I'm not an expert but here's what I gather from reading the other discussions.

    Next time I will get a smaller capacity phone if iTunes Match pans out.

    No. Songs only match if they are less than 256 kbps.

    iTunes Match does not stream. The songs are downloaded onto your iDevice.

    Didn't there used to be an iTunes forum? I must be imagining things. I also have some iTunes Match questions.
  3. Melodeath thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2009
    But check this out: "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 your iCloud library. Since there are more than 20 million songs in the iTunes Store, most of your music is probably already in iCloud. All you have to upload is what iTunes can’t match. Which is much faster than starting from scratch. Once your music is in iCloud, you can stream and store it on 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."

    Am I reading it wrong?
  4. wombat94 macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2010
    iTunes match always provides the 256kbps version to a client (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or iTunes running on a computer) that is downloading the music.

    My collection is a bout 9000 songs that are nearly all Apple Lossless CD rips - nearly 170GB of music. iTunes match provides 256 kbps versions of those songs - Apple's official versions from their central library for any that matched, 256kbps versions that are down-sampled from my lossless files and uploaded to the iTunes match server for any songs that didn't match.

    Locally on the computer that is providing the source library for iTunes match, the songs are still the original lossless versions - as are any local LAN client computers or devices that are using iTunes home sharing (AppleTV, iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc. on the home LAN).

    Basically, if the source is local files on the machine or iTunes home sharing on the local LAN, then you get your full original quality tracks.

    If the source is iTunes Match - pulling the music from the cloud - then you get 256kbps AAC versions of the files.

  5. kumquat macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2011
    iTunes doesn't carry most of my 34GB music collection. Also, there's a fee for iCloud. Also, there's some question about how the information revealed from one's audio files will be shared with law enforcement. iCloud sounds like paying Big Brother to sue you for the worst of your music collection to me.
  6. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    Yes, iTunes match will still download the 256Kbps songs. I had an album by Depeche Mode that was at 320Kbps. iTunes match still downloaded the 256Kbps versions. I still had the 320Kbps songs, it didn't replace them, it just placed them so they appeared in the same album.
  7. mlpsponzischeme macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2009
    You seriously think Apple is going to assist law enforcement with prosecuting piracy by allowing them to access information on their customers? Sounds like an amazing strategy to sell even more iPhones considering the enormous number of techies who pirate music and movies. Apple doesn't give a ***** if you stole the music that you are playing on their devices. They still sell more digital media than any other company. Apple would become the Lebron James of the tech world if they helped the music industry go after their customers. iTunes match is one way the music industry is able to generate revenue despite piracy. It would be absolutely moronic for either parties to use iTunes match to prosecute piracy. The music industry has internet providers to do that dirty work.
  8. Melodeath thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2009
    Kind of annoying iTunes will give you a lesser quality file if you ripped your own at 320 :(

    But songs not in iTunes, does it leave those alone? It wouldn't make sense for them to increase the bitrate bc you wouldnt gain quality and it would increase storage space needs on their server, but lowering the bitrate to 256 would make sense for them - that would be super annoying too.
  9. wombat94 macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2010
    I'm not sure what iTunes Match will do with a track that it doesn't have in its database that is less than 256kpbs - I didn't have any that fit that spec.

    My guess is that they may upsample it to 256kps for consistency across the entire music collection - even though this makes no sense.

    As for the difference between the lossless Apple codec version and the 256kbps version - well that's the basic trade-off of iTunes match that you have to decide on for yourself.

    To me, the fact that I have full bitrate Apple Lossless still available to my home LAN is enough of a compensation. I now use only 2 - 3 GB of my iPhone and iPad for downloaded iTunes Match songs, but I have access to my entire 9000 song library anytime/anywhere with a still very high quality 256kpbs AAC version. At home, my playback devices are from Denon and Onkyo - not audiophile stuff, but pretty good, and I can still tell the difference between the 256kpbs versions and the Lossless.

    On the road, with iTunes match, my playback devices are either earbuds or analog audio out of the headphone jack into my car stereo - there's no way I can tell the difference in the vast majority of songs because of too much ambient noise competing.

    $25/year for this functionality is a BARGAIN. It means I can now have all of my mobile music needs taken care of with about $5 per month ($2 to Apple and $3 per month to Pandora for Pandora One) - instead of $10 per month for Rhapsody or Spotify or a service like that.


    There's no additional fee for the space used by your uploaded songs that didn't match the iTunes library in iTunes match. The service is related to iCloud, but it doesn't use iCloud's storage space in the way that the Amazon service uses up storage for songs that you didn't buy from Amazon.

    The limits in iTunes match are based solely on the number of songs in your library - 25,000 songs (or it may be 20,000 - I don't remember right now) - whether they match or not. If they match something already in the library, Apple gives you the version from their library when you request it. If it doesn't match, Apple down-samples the track, uploads it to their server and gives you that version when you request it - the amount of space that takes up doesn't cost you a dime.

    As for law-enforcement, though it is not explicitly stated, the generally accepted idea of Apple's approach to this is that they have finally been successful in convincing the record labels that this approach is going to net more money than trying to stop piracy and sue their customers. Apple is guaranteeing hundreds of millions of dollars to the record labels - and this program is basically seen as a piracy amnesty program.

    If your entire library is pirated, it might not be too cool to use iTunes match, but still $25/year is better than nothing.

    My library is 90+ percent rips of purchased CDs, probably about 3-4% rips of CDs from sound-board recordings at live concerts of artists that I've purchased many of their CDs. The remaining 4-5% is made up primarily of songs that I had purchased from one of the gray-market Russian music download stores before that was shut down. CD-quality songs that I own because of a loophole.

    I might have somewhere between 20 - 100 tracks remaining out of 9000+ that were true "pirated" music, though in the case of those tracks, they were albums that were out of print and I could not purchase, as I find those songs to play again, I check from time-to-time and will purchase the songs when they come back into "print" digitally.

    For me the $25/year is purely a service fee - and a cheap one at that, which allows me to access my music from anywhere on my iDevices - and the amnesty/licensing umbrella of Apple is just a nice side benefit.
  10. frunkis54 macrumors 65816


    Apr 2, 2009
    I don't like how you can't remove a song from your cloud. say you record a show and put it on itunes to sync to your iphone. i like to remove them from itunes when i've listened to it, but now it will stay it the cloud.
  11. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Only folks wearing tin foil hats have questions. His has been covered many times. Part of your yearly fee goes to the record labels as licensing fees.

    My understanding is that they are copied up into iCloud as is.

Share This Page