iTunes Match Auto-Delete?


macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2010
The 'ham. Alabama.
Not in my experience. No songs were "deleted".

added: just read the article. The "deletions" are from the cached versions on your separate iOS devices, not your main library.


macrumors member
Original poster
May 27, 2009
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

I read the article. I was under the impression that iTunes Match downloads directly to the device so the songs are always available locally, as opposed to just caching them. Is this not the case?


macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2007
Yes, that's true, but at a certain point, your device will be full. At that point, it starts deleting old songs to make room for new ones.

The mechanism and selection are unclear to me, actually. Two days ago, I explicitly synced my iPhone in iTunes (to see if it would make any difference to playcounts and last played dates on songs). It went from being nearly full to being half empty. Then today, I synced some podcasts to my iPhone, and iTunes was showing the iPhone as being 130MB too full. But it synced the phone anyway, no problem. I didn't check to see what its final assessment of free space was.

So is there 5GB of free space available on my phone or not? I don't know. It's possible that the phone was refilled over night while it was plugged in to my alarm clock. (Actually, it didn't. I'm looking at the phone's own indication of free space, and I have 4.4GB free, no matter what iTunes misreported to me this morning.)

So in summary: Jobs only knows what's going on. :/


macrumors 6502
Sep 23, 2008
I've noticed that too. What iTunes says the available space on your iPhone is now bears little relevance to what is actually available because of iTunes Match.

It seems to be that it will keep downloading music until you run out of space, and they autodelete old stuff. But if you sync movies or TV shows onto your device as well, one day you may have enough space for them but the next day you won't (because you have listened to more music). It doesn't seem smart enough to do an autodelete then, it just throws a wobbly, crashes the sync and tells you that you haven't enough space (when you did yesterday).

One of a number of small, annoying bugs in iTunes Match. Like no album artwork frequently; like changes to "sort by album artist" not getting applied until you reboot your phone; like how the first & last entry in your artists often are listed under the previous or next letter in the alphabet; like how you can start downloading and listen to a song completely yet after its finished, the icon still says its only 1/2 or 1/3 downloaded ... etc etc ...

Don't get me wrong, its a fantastic system and I love it, but it is a bit naughty of Apple to have released it with so many obvious bugs


macrumors member
Original poster
May 27, 2009
As long as music is only deleted when space is needed, I'm fine. I delete songs on my own to free up space on my iPhone. It's just that there's a select group of music I always want to be stored locally for when I shuffle (I don't shuffle the music stored on iCloud--maybe someday if Apple allows streaming). I don't want that music getting deleted automatically.
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