iTunes Match is not dead! Do not ditch it yet, read this...

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by Soni Sanjay, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. Soni Sanjay, Jun 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015

    Soni Sanjay macrumors 6502

    Soni Sanjay

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    #1
    I've seen that lots of people are confused regarding the matching and cloud functionality of Apple Music vs the regular iTunes Match service. Here's a simple explanation to define the differences between those services.

    There are several ways to get music from Apple.

    1.- Directly buying from the iTunes Store.
    2.- Matching songs you already own, deleting them, and downloading fresh AAC copies from the store.
    3.- Subscribing to Apple Music.

    In all 3 cases, you receive the exact same AAC 256 file.

    Now, in order to understand why Apple Music does not replace iTunes Match 100%, you need to understand this.

    1.- If you buy songs from the store, those are yours forever, plus they will forever be in the cloud. You can download them multiple times, delete them, modify them, etc. The stuff everyone already knows.

    2.- With iTunes Match, you are paying Apple $25 for them to rent you a space in the cloud for a year, AND (as the name says and most people forget about) you are paying Apple to match your songs to what they already have on the iTunes Store and only upload what's not in there, by doing that, you can delete your original copies and actually download a fresh high-quality copy from the store itself.

    Here's the most important part... Some people do not care about this functionality, they only care about renting a space in the cloud. But some other people use this to upgrade their whole library and delete their original low-quality copies, and the cloud stuff as an added bonus.

    Of course, to receive a fresh copy from the store, you need to own a copy of the song somehow (either legally or illegally, that's another story) but you need to somehow own a copy of the song to match it, that's the most important thing about Match (duh).

    However, if you do not renew your subscription, your matched and locally downloaded songs will remain with you forever, free of DRM, of course, you will lose the cloud functionality, that's the big advantage of actually buying the songs, but the actual downloaded copies will remain in your library forever.

    3.- Apple Music does offer cloud functionality, matches your songs and uploads the rest, but... It doesn't give you DRM-free files, it gives you .m4p files, so your matched music won't remain with you forever, and even if you keep paying for Apple Music they are only protected AAC files, not regular AAC files, plus, iTunes Match matches songs from the iTunes Store, Apple Music matches from the Apple Music catalog only, so if you upload some songs of The Beatles, they won't get matched, they will get uploaded, as The Beatles are not in Apple Music's catalog, but they are in the regular iTunes Store.

    So, if you are still reading this, the point is... If you just care for iTunes Match solely for the cloud capabilities, you can ditch it right now, as long as you pay for Apple Music your music will be in the cloud. However, if you actually want to keep your files forever, and upgrade the files you already own (either legally or illegally, again, that's another story) you should keep iTunes Match as it complements Apple Music.

    Plus, if you try to add a song from Apple Music to Your Music... If you bought the song from the iTunes Store OR if you matched it with iTunes Match, Apple Music won't allow it, it will recognize that you already own that song, that it is already in your library, so if you decide to download it for off-line listening, it won't give you an AAC protected file, it will give you a regular DRM-free file. That's the big difference between Apple Music cloud service and iTunes Match, but the cloud is the same, it just got renamed, iTunes Match is an extra, optional feature, they are not separate clouds, only one. Hence the "iTunes Match complements Apple Music" sentence.

    Last thing... If you have Apple Music + Match, and you add an album or a track from Apple Music to Your Music, let's say... "Uptown Funk" and later on you decide to buy the song elsewhere, or somehow you got a copy of the song, and you upload it, it won't allow you to do it. It will detect that you already have the song and won't match it... So you are stuck with the DRM-file...

    To avoid this, you need to delete the song from your music, (also deleting the offline copy if you downloaded it) and then add the copy you've got, and THEN upload it to the cloud, that way it will recognize it as a song you don't have in your music and finally it will let you download a DRM-free copy.

    That way, when you go to the album or track in Apple Music, it won't let add it to Your Music, there won't even be an option to do so, as it recognizes that you already own the song... So to have a DRM-free copy you must delete the Apple Music copy first, it is not automatically done... It's a complete mess.
     
  2. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #2
    Thanks for this very clear post. Good that I made a backup of my entire library before. It is really unfortunate that Apple creates this mess now. It means that I won't be able to get rid of my local copies under these circumstances and iTunes seems to prefer playing my bad quality copies over high-quality streaming, unless I delete the local copies. It's also sad that Apple offers no information on this at all and that I have to look elsewhere. Damn it, Apple.
     
  3. Sym0 macrumors 6502

    Sym0

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    #3
    One thing to note, you never own any of the music from Apple, read the T&C. When you die, they are surrendered back to Apple. I believe Bruce Willis sued Apple over this because he was unable to leave his purchases to his kids, of course he can give them a copy on the hard drive but if lost they could never gain access to them from Apple again.
     
  4. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #4
    This is a great explanation, thanks!

    I used iTunes Match when it was first launched, but cancelled after the first year as I'd hit into their 25,000 limit. I had matched, deleted and downloaded new (typically higher bitrate) files.

    It looks like Apple are going to be increasing the limit to 100,000, although with Apple Music I'm not sure I'll need iTunes Match as most of the music I've downloaded or ripped since have been at a higher quality anyway.
     
  5. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #5
    Technically, you never actually own the music you buy, it is always a licence. Even a music CD is a licence, although copyright law does not allow rightsholders to prevent you from selling your CDs to someone else or charging extra for it, as you correctly said.
     
  6. Blujelly macrumors 65816

    Blujelly

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Location:
    South East England
    #6
    that's the best description so far! well done on this has cleared a lot up for me
     
  7. chiefdave macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    #7
    Thanks for finally explaining this in a way I understand! Think I'll stick with match.
     
  8. Blujelly macrumors 65816

    Blujelly

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Location:
    South East England
    #8
    ill be having it along side apple music
     
  9. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #9
    Good explanation. I'm ditching my iTunes Match.
     
  10. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #10
    Thanks for the detailed explanation.

    It's very useful information so I've made it a sticky while the Apple Music launch is the hot topic here on MacRumors.
     
  11. schlaufox macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    #11
    So perhaps this can be summarised a little more neatly:

    The only additional benefit of iTunes Match over Apple Music alone seems to be the ability to download DRM-free music tracks from the iTunes Store, to keep forever, of music that has been matched from your existing library, be it legally or illegally acquired in the first place.
     
  12. ErikGrim macrumors 68030

    ErikGrim

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #12
    The return of DRM is most unwelcome. But I understand streaming services like AM and Spotify can't be run without it.
     
  13. cornycopier macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    #13
    This...

    And to add:

    Apple Music: CANNOT sync songs added to library to an iPod (for, say, working out - I use a Shuffle)
    iTunes Match: CAN sync matched/downloaded songs to an iPod
    Apple Music + iTunes Match: CAN sync songs matched/downloaded to an iPod

    Tested this shortly after launch.

    That is all.
     
  14. ErikGrim macrumors 68030

    ErikGrim

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #14
    Good to know. Also relevant to me once they up the limit to 100K.
     
  15. Jib21 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    #15
    So...I'm a Match and AM subscriber...

    When I try to sync a song I pulled down from AM onto my iPod I get a message saying that AM songs can't copied to an iPod as per this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/sync-apple-music-songs-to-ipod-touch.1896733/#post-21533400

    Am I doing something wrong or is what's happening to me the way it's supposed to be?
     
  16. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ma
    #16
    Well I'm not sure about that, here's my scenario.

    I originally ripped all my Music to 320 bit rate files, had ITunes match for about 2 years , then ditched it. I have since blasted those files and been reripping my library in apple lossless. I'm only about a quarter thru that at the moment. Now I've got this Apple music sub, all my previous ITunes match music shows in my list whether I merge or replace, along with the music that is physically on my phone, but I can only play the stuff on the phone, when I select the previously ITunes matched songs, they do not play.

    Any how does it match your tunes if you do not subscribe to ITunes match? I don't see it doing this in my library, and the only option that alludes to matching is still ITunes match that is turned off in ITunes uless I resubscribe for a year. So what is going on here ?
     
  17. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #17
    The other difference I suspect is that without Match, you will not be able to stream music you own that is not part of the Apple Music library.
     
  18. StevenB14 macrumors regular

    StevenB14

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Location:
    Scotland
    #18
    I could be wrong but I'm sure you can do that with Apple Music.
     
  19. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #19
    Streaming services for music do not interest me at all, but it's just me. I do not listen to music very often and when I do, I listen to the same artists all the time and do not even want to find sth new. I pay for iTunes Match to keep my devices up to date, but that's it. Apple Music is certainly good for people that want to discover music all the time. For them it's probably worth the 10$ per month (as Spotify is).
     
  20. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #20
    I can't see how it could be given the legal hurdles of streaming. Say you own a Beatles album, which is not licensed for streaming? Without Match, under what license are they streaming it to you? Match gets around this by uploading 'your' content into the cloud and then streaming it to you. That's the whole point of Match, that the license to stream it to you is given by the fact that you own it. I'm fairly sure this is what Apple means when they say that Apple Music and Match are 'separate but complementary.'
     
  21. StevenB14 macrumors regular

    StevenB14

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Location:
    Scotland
    #21
    From Apple Music website:

    Your entire library lives in iCloud when you’re an Apple Music member. First, we identify all the tracks in your personal collection and compare them to the Apple Music library to see if we have copies. If we do, we make them instantly available in iCloud across all your devices. If you have music that’s not in the Apple Music library, we upload those songs from iTunes on your Mac or PC. And because it’s all stored in iCloud, it won’t take up any space on your devices.
     
  22. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ma
    #22
    Well how do they do this I downloaded the new ITunes it did not scan my library, they only option to do this is still ITunes match which is turned off unless you subscribe, as I said I can see my previously uploaded albums, but pressing play does nothing. It really seems to me that you need to still pay for ITunes match
     
  23. zhenya, Jul 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015

    zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #23
    iCloud is separate from Match. I suspect you may be able to download them from iCloud to listen on demand, but not stream them.

    I don't know though - reading through some other reports, it appears that Apple may be effectively including Match in Apple Music, only leaving the stand-alone Match service for people who want to use it without subscribing to Apple Music.
     
  24. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ma
    #24
    More testing, I add an album from Apple Music that is already in my cloud music collection and it shows both and only the newly added version plays. I can delete the non playing cloud version and then add the apple music version, but I should not have to.
     
  25. Blujelly macrumors 65816

    Blujelly

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Location:
    South East England
    #25
    Just had a call from Apple in regards to this and they've assured me that Apple Music works exactly the same as iTunes Match…

    So Apple music would be if you wanted to stream what they have plus your own iTunes library.

    iTunes Match for it your not interested in Apple Music. Can't say I'm 100% convinced.
     

Share This Page