Is iTunes Match worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by kpress3, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. kpress3 macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2011
    I'm debating on finally purchasing iTunes Match, and I'm curious as to how you guys feel about it. Especially with iTunes 11 out now, is it buggy at all and is it worth the $24.99 a year in general?
  2. mmomega macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    For me it was worth it simply because I wouldn't have to my music on multiple devices and if you have a ton of music with playlists setup it was cheaper than the paid versions of Pandora or Spotify, even though both of those have their pluses as well.

    This also made it easier to just get the cheapest iPhone5 and iPad3 because I didn't have to worry so much about storage space anymore. Photo Stream helps a lot as well.
  3. kpress3 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2011
    So with iTunes Match I do not need to actually sync the music to my phone? I just stream it or choose to download from the cloud if I please? I'm just trying to make sure I understand completely.
  4. mmomega, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012

    mmomega macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    Exactly, my library isn't as large of some on here but I still have access to almost 100GB of music on my 16GB iPhone. You can stream any of your music or you can download them if you're on a smaller data plan or will be in areas with bad service.

    If you look at the pic, I put a blue arrow showing how the song look when it is actually on your phone. Any songs in the cloud show a cloud icon with the down arrow.
    Just tap the song plays/streams the song, tap the cloud icon and it downloads the song.

    Attached Files:

  5. kpress3 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2011
    Okay, thank you so much!!
  6. DrumApple macrumors 6502a

    Jan 30, 2009
    Totally worth it for me. I have around 32gb of music and I love having it all stored in the cloud. Yes, you need Internet access to listen/stream but I'm almost always connected. LTE makes it really quick when you don't have wifi available although it does suck A LOT of data through cellular. Luckily I have an unlimited data plan through my work so it's not really an issue (yet!).

    And for times like in an airplane, you can always download your playlists.
  7. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    IMO, iTunes Match is easily worth it for the first year because it enables you to match all your songs to their library and redownload better quality versions.

    BUT, iTunes Match is also yet another one of those amazing Apple products that they introduce with a parade and fireworks, but once the congratulatory articles are written they throw it into their bucket of amazing yet ignored apps along with iLife, iWork 09, Time Machine, Aperture and every single one of their iOS apps (iMovie/iPhoto/Maps/Passbook/iWork).

    As a year 2 pay service then there is so much missing from iTunes Match that it's just sad:
    - There's no options for metadata updating through iTunes tags
    - Theres no features to add in lyrics
    - There's no web interface for seeing your library from another computer
    - iTunes Match tends to create duplicates within the library (iTunes no longer has "display duplicates" which makes this more annoying)
    - Unmatched songs aren't revisited when rescanning your library so they're stuck as "uploaded" even though theyre clearly matched in the iTunes store

    Complaints aside, i did subscribe for year two so obviously I like it enough to pay again. But I just wish Apple was more dedicated to its products AFTER you buy into their sales pitch.
  8. shenfrey macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    As long as you remember if you cancel the service, you lose all your tracks.
  9. Gemütlichkeit macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2010
  10. andyp350 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2011
    Not entirely correct. You lose access to cloud tracks, but you don't lose any songs previously downloaded from iTunes match.
  11. shenfrey macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    Can you store the downloaded tracks in the cloud though?
  12. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    iTunes Match artwork issues?

    My library is 8000+ songs, about 48 GB, not including movies, tv shows, videos. A huge majority of it is either several hundred CDs, tons of rare live mp3 tracks, and a small portion that is iTS. While I buy everything from iTS and have for some time, I spent a lot of time tagging and setting decent artwork for my entire library. I am worried that Match will mess up some tagging, and especially mess up the artwork.

    I have noticed that when iTunes first introduced the "Get Artwork" feature, that it actually put incorrect artwork on albums that already had it. This was some time ago, but for this reason I stay away from it. I also know that a majority of the artwork was dropped in back when iTunes managed artwork in a folder, whereas I believe now it embedded it in the track metadata.

    I just don't know if the upside of have access to my library at any time is worth it over the potential issues with the nature of my library, tagging, and potential artwork issues. My iP5 is 64 GB so I could realistically load a large portion of my library on it, saving room for apps, photos, and the ability to shoot photos and video.

    Anyone with experience on Artwork issues on iTunes Match please chime in.

  13. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Match no longer looks like that in iOS6. Overall I believe it to be an improvement, but there is no cloud icon next to each track anymore.

    In that version you show, there is actually no option to stream a song. Play it once, and that cloud icon will go away because it has been actually downloaded.

    I think Match is an incredible service for people with more than one computer or device who want to keep access to everything everywhere.
  14. vladobizik macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2012
    This is an annoying problem. Sometimes I buy a CD or mp3 from the the artist's website (or CDBaby, etc.) while the album is unavailable on iTunes. Later iTunes gets it, but the songs will forever be stuck as uploaded, not matched. I've discovered a workaround for this, though.

    Convert the songs to a different format (if it's an mp3, just right-click and create AAC versions or vice versa), delete the original files (also from iCloud), restart iTunes (so iCloud "forgets" about the old files and doesn't think they're duplicates) and update iTunes Match. This way the songs in a different format/bitrate will be matched against the iTunes database again. Don't worry about the lost quality by converting a lossy format to another lossy format, when the songs are matched, you'll get the full iTunes Plus quality of course. The only annoying situation is when even the newly converted songs don't match for some reason. I don't want to keep the double compressed audio files, so I have to repeat the same process in reverse - delete the newly converted files, get the old ones from trash back into the library and reupload again.
    Slightly annoying and inconvenient, but it's all based on the logic of iTunes - it doesn't want to rescan your whole library all over agian, so it's understandable - and also there's no reason something is inherently bad with your original uploaded mp3s, even if they're not matched with the ones at the store, right?
  15. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Why do you particularly care if a song is uploaded instead of Matched?
  16. mmomega macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    In that version I show, if you tap the song it will stream the song, you have to tap the cloud icon before it will download the file.

    I completely forgot that I was posting from iOS6.1b2.
  17. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Interesting if they are going back to that model. I think overall it is better if the music still streams unless you explicitly download it. Ios5 was a mess where everything you ever played was permanently downloaded, and ios6 was difficult to discern between the two states.
  18. ekrueger24 macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    London, UK
    I've been considering to subscribe to iTunes Match, but I am wondering what does Apple and iTunes use to match the music? Is it based on the metadata or their own algorithms based on the title and such?

    Basically, I have tons of music that I ripped from CDs or acquired through friends that don't always have the actual artist info, album artist, etc. but the track titles and album names are all correct (or at least should be). Would this be a factor in determining matches or would this misinformation lead to more uploads versus matches?
  19. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I believe they do some sort of waveform analysis so they are not dependent on the metadata.

    In practice I don't think that it really matters all that much whether music is Matched or uploaded from your own collection.
  20. iThat, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013

    iThat macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2011
    sorry to bump a ancient old thread but just wanted to add to this.

    I could only see itunes match being useful at this point if all of these where currently your status.
    - You have many 128k tracks
    - Some of your tracks are "scratchy at high volume"
    - You have more than 2GB of music thats uncommon
    (music collections that wouldn't normally be found on services like "Rdio" or MOG)
    - You have more than one device

    If you just want to stream from the cloud MOG is probably a better match for you seeing they have 320k bit tracks and you can search for any particular song you want. MOG also has a android livewallpaper that scrolls album artwork directly in the background as well ...for what its worth.

    I have a question tho, does apple send some of the money made from iTunes match to artists ?
    (which they probably do)
    And If they do how much is that percentage compared to other services ?

    I suppose if they did then adding iTunes match as a way to support artists might also be a reason to get it.

    And if thats true wouldn't it be better if apple upped the anti here and came out with a even higher bitrate download premium addon to itunes match than that of MOG? Then moving from a 256K model to 320K model? AAVB can go all the way up to about 460 kbps. I'm sure apple could find a way to match or beat that no?
  21. Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    It's definitely worth it - you'll have a hard time with a lot of albums that are only matched partially or realizing how corrupt your library actually is at the moment.

    But once it's finished and settled it's great to browse your library on different devices (and being provided better song quality if not purchased via iTunes).

    And by the way, $24.99 is a ridiculous small amount from my point of view - I wish I would have only spent that little amount yesterday evening :)
  22. Fissure macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2010
    Don't think I saw it posted anywhere but I think no one has mentioned it. Maybe it's the elephant in the room.

    iTunes Match = A way to legitimize music. It washes away, launders, illegally obtained music.
  23. Hrothgar macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    New York
    I have 60G of music in iTunes. I'm guessing that at least half was downloaded from iTunes. How much of a hassle is it to download the non-DRM versions from Match?

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