iTunes Match Cellular Streaming Quality is Terrible.

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by clancemasterj, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. clancemasterj macrumors regular


    Jan 31, 2007
    Somewhere outside of time.
    Being able to stream my songs is probably the best feature of iOS 6. However, streaming over cellular sounds like a cassette tape that was ran over by a car a few times. I'd be interested to know what bit rate they're streaming at, because its sounds like a 64kbps mp3.

    Obviously they are using AAC codecs for their music streaming, but even a 64kbps HE-AAC stream sounds better then this. Hopefully they will give us a high quality streaming option.

    On the bright side, having the lower quality stream is good for those with capped data plans.
  2. liquidsuns macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2009
    You aren't technically "streaming", in the sense that it is not adapting to the available bandwidth. You are simply playing the song as it is downloading from iTunes, in the same quality that it gives you all the time, the first time you play it. Unless you manually delete the song from your device, it has in fact been downloaded. The only difference between how iTunes Match works on ios 5 and ios 6, is that the iCloud download button isn't available for each song.

    In other words, the quality is no worse using iTunes Match over 3G then any other time.
  3. clancemasterj thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 31, 2007
    Somewhere outside of time.
    I don't think is is entirely true. On Wifi the audio quality is great, but on cellular it sounds terrible. So they are definitely serving different bit rates. You are probably right about it not streaming and just downloading, but I think it's identifies your device's connection and downloads the lower quality file.
  4. steviem macrumors 68020


    May 26, 2006
    New York, Baby!
    Yeah, liquid suns. iOS 6 is streaming adaptively now.
  5. liquidsuns macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2009
    If that is so then explain these things to me; the number of songs on device goes up every time you play a song; if you play all songs in an album, the download button goes away; if you play a song then turn off the iTunes Match option to "show all songs", meaning it will only show downloaded songs, the song you just played will be shown; play a song, turn on airplane mode, play the song plays fine....because it has been downloaded.
  6. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Dunno, mine on 6b2 streams now unless I hit the cloud button. Play it once, no increase in storage. Play it twice, internet is being used again. End the app and disconnect from the internet, start over, can't play - says "Connect to a Wi-Fi or cellular network to play "song name here".
  7. liquidsuns macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2009
    Hmmm. Well I guess they are just trying this out for some people or....I dunno, cause it is most definitely downloading on my iPad and iPhone 4.
  8. benernestm macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2012
    Still in beta, I know...

    Even if you hit the 'iTunes match download' button it will download the low-bitrate version if you're on the cell network, and it sticks around that way on the phone. If you play the 90-second clip off the iTunes app of the same song it sounds sooo much better, which I think verifies the low-bitrate theory.

    I was getting pretty close to my 4GB data plan limit just streaming while driving, so I get why they're doing it, but I hope they add an option to only download high bitrates.
  9. Roofy. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2009
    itunes match on ios 6 doesnt stream anything. It still downloads every song you play.

    The worst thing about it in beta 2 is you cant delete any songs all of a sudden. Try and swipe to delete. Not gonna work. If you turn off itunes match, the songs you downloaded stay there, but if you turn it back on, every song gets deleted. That better not stay in the final release. That is a terrible way to manage music.
  10. iMacRum0rs macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2012
    Not for me. It is streaming only over cellular. And the sound quality is not adaptive at all... WIFI: Full quality. 4G: Horrible quality. Like, surprisingly bad audio quality. Similar to a 64kbps mp3, only worse.

    I upgraded to beta3 hoping it might get better, but it doesn't. :confused:
  11. iMacRum0rs macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2012
    Streaming Quality Finally Improved!

    The streaming quality over cellular is MUCH improved in beta 4!
  12. spidertaker23 macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2009
    I'd really like to get a solid answer on this for iOS 6 beta 4. I have iTunes match and very much looking forward to iOS6 because as it stands in iOS 5 (since it doesn't change the bitrate or do any bandwidth checking) ... if you try to play one song on 3g it stops very shortly after playing and buffers forever. To point where I can't use it in my car because after a certain amount of time my fm transmitter shuts itself off. P.S. I'm on Verizon 3g ... which in my area is crap ... max speed I've got is 1.5 down. Most of the time it's .8 to 1.

    So some people are saying it streams and does adaptive streaming of some kind. Others are saying it downloads the songs. Which is it? Or does it stream and download at the same time?

    So here are stuff I would like people to test in beta 4 if they could:

    1. Does it stream music or does it download it and play it at the same time (is it still on the device after you are done playing the song)

    1b. If it does download rather then stream does it stop downloading the song if you skip to another song. My biggest problem with iTunes match is that if you start playing one song and skip to another one it would keep download the first one. Which would cause massive slowdowns and buffering and most of the time it wouldn't even download the album artwork for the second song until it finished downloading the first song.

    2. If it does stream rather then download what sort of quality do you get over 3g and over wifi?

    3. Does iTunes match download the album artwork right away after you enable it on iOS 6. With iOS 5 I would have to go to alumb art view and scroll through the list slowly and it would pull down the album art. Otherwise it wouldn't pull it down until I played the song.

    4. Does genius work with iTunes match in iOS 6?

    Any other info how iTunes Match works in iOS 6 beta 4 would be MUCH appreciated!!!
  13. Defender2010, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012

    Defender2010 macrumors 68030


    Jun 6, 2010
    I feel iTunes Match works great, always has for me. In beta, we can't expect it to be bug free, but in beta 4 it works well, even slightly better than iOS 5.1.1

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