Mastered for iTunes Available for iTunes Match?

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by RNVarma, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. RNVarma macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2010
    #1
    Will Mastered for iTunes albums be available through iTunes Match?

    For instance, I have Mylo Xyloto from Coldplay, and it's already matched from months ago. Will I eventually be allowed access to the Mastered for iTunes album version through my subscription to iTunes Match?
     
  2. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

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    #2
    I don't get what's so special about mastered for iTunes. They are still 256kbps AAC.

    I did buy The Dark Side of the Moon (mastered for iTunes and it's in the cloud already but I bought that a few months back and then bought iTunes Match this week.
     
  3. HazyCloud macrumors 68030

    HazyCloud

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    #3
    From TUAW.com

    "As Ars Technica points out, most modern music tracks are recorded using 24-bit samples at 96 kHz or 192 kHz, depending on the processing power and storage space of the system. iTunes files are then compressed to a 256 kbps AAC "iTunes Plus" format, which loses 97 percent of the data contained in the original, uncompressed recording.

    Apple's new "Mastered for iTunes" tries to minimize this lost data by downsampling the original, high-quality music file to 44.1 kHz using a 32-bit floating-point intermediary file. This file is then converted to AAC. As Apple writes in its Mastered for iTunes guide, this process uses "every bit of resolution available, preserving all the dynamic range of the 24-bit source file." For end users, this means your Master for iTunes tracks will sound delightful to even the best-trained ears."

    OP: I don't think anyone here will now the answer for sure. Mu guess would be to see if the album is available as not Mastered. If so, you're probably getting that version in Match.
     
  4. macfanboy macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    The shortest I can answer I can give you: there is a whole lot more to music quality than kbps, similar to how picture quality is more than just megapixels.

    OP, I'm trying to figure out myself. I think it depends on the album, because some were just released, and right off the bat they were "mastered for itunes", but for older albums, they were remastered and rereleased as "mastered for itunes". Apple hasn't done the best job clarifying any of this.
     
  5. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

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    #5
    I bought (not in iTunes) U2 Achtung Baby Deluxe Edition and named the album the exact same name as what is in iTunes Match and it is matched for what the mastered for iTunes version says. Not sure how I would know for sure if it is the same exact version but I am assuming it is. I don't see any other deluxe version for sale in the store.
     
  6. Freis968 macrumors 6502a

    Freis968

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    #6
    97% of the original data is lost?

    WHAT?

    That seems pretty amazing, first time I ever read that. Shocking!!!:eek:
     
  7. nate13 macrumors 6502

    nate13

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    #7
    Think of it as alternating current compared to a DC->AC converter. The DC converter will use steps to imitate a wave, while a true AC will have a continuous wave. When you break a song into bits, it works the same way. To most people it sounds "the same", but in reality it is thousands upon thousands of little steps per second. This process merely smooths out the wave based on that extra file (this I'm not 100% on, but would seem plausible)
     
  8. marcusj0015 macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Dude Masters are like 4GB, and 24 or 32 bit, and like 192kb, theres a **** ton of data loss.
     
  9. jimthing macrumors 6502a

    jimthing

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    #9
    Read the comments under the Ars Technica article, from the clever readers on there, and you'll soon realise why:
    "Mastered For iTunes" = load of nonsense marketing BS.

    Or more eloquently: MFI is Apple's way of making the best out of not good enough quality constraints of the lossy audio codec that is 256kbps AAC.


    The consensus being: They have opened-up their ALAC lossless format a few months ago, so about time they just offered that instead at a minimum of CD 44.1/16.
    (at least do that before we talk about so-called "super lossless" formats like 192/24 !)
     
  10. jpcos macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2006
    #10
    I tried it with one track, and they did not match with the Mastered for iTunes version.

    • I ripped in a track from a Diana Krall CD.
    • I uploaded and it matched on another of my machines.
    • I checked out the ripped file and the matched file in Audacity and saw they were very similar.
    • I purchased the Mastered for iTunes track.
    • Checked it in Audacity. It is clearly a different master, with more dynamic range and a slight rolloff in the upper frequencies.

    So, at least for that track, there was a completely different "match" file from the Mastered for iTunes file.
     
  11. RNVarma thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2010
    #11
    Thank you for testing it!

     
  12. Freis968 macrumors 6502a

    Freis968

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    #12
    Ok, I read the fact wrong.

    Dumbing down from a master recording to a 256kbps file, yes, I can see that as a 97% data loss. I was thinking in terms of 1141kbps down to 256kbps...that I know is a drop in data loss but not 97%...my bad.
     
  13. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #13
    Anyone have an update on this? Thinking of getting iTunes Match for a year so I can get a 256k copy of my current library. Hoping the MFI tracks become the Match files...
     
  14. steinbch macrumors newbie

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    Jul 9, 2008
    #14
    Here are a couple data points:

    Originally bought "Wilco - iTunes Sessions" pre-MFI...just deleted and redownloaded and received the MFI version

    Ripped a copy of M. Ward's new album and iTunes match downloaded all MFI versions of the songs

    Downloaded an MP3 version of Beachhouse - Bloom from their vinyl insert card. Only the first track matched to an MFI version. The rest download as non-MFI.
     
  15. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #15
    Ok. Great observations. Seems they're coming along but not quite there yet. Thanks, I'll check back soon.
     
  16. steinbch macrumors newbie

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    #16
    More data points (and a pretty good idea of what's happening)...

    Just bought Fiona Apple's and Glen Hansard's new albums released this week and last from Amazon.

    Imported to iTunes and added to iCloud. All songs matched. Deleted songs and downloaded via iTunes Match. All songs were marked as Mastered for iTunes.

    Hypthesis:

    - New albums (without a non-MFI version) will give you the MFI version through iTunes Match

    - Older albums that were remastered (with a non-MFI version sold at some point in the past) will all depend on how closely the matched version lines up to the actual MFI version. That's been hit or miss.

    The good thing is that when downloading from Amazon, you can really choose whether you want the higher bitrate Amazon MP3 or the MFI m4a when utilizing iTunes match.
     
  17. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #17
    Excellent observations. Seems MFI has become ready for PrimeTime.

    With the hit or miss items, I guess it's not Apple's fault if a label can't/won't provide a hi-fi copy of older music. In these instances, if it's offered in MFI, seems its more of a bonus.
     
  18. Zimmy68 macrumors 65816

    Zimmy68

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    #18
    Huh? How can you tell iTunes Match which files to use???
     
  19. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

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    #19
    Doesn't really have anything to do with the OP's question, but it seems that to really be "Mastered for iTunes" the mastering engineer would have to be making his adjustments while listening to the audio at the goal bitrate.
     
  20. steinbch macrumors newbie

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    Jul 9, 2008
    #20
    I guess I should be clearer...I use iTunes match as less of a streaming service and more of a way to clean up and standardize my music that comes from a variety of sources (CD, Amazon, Vinyl DL cards). I typically add songs to iTunes, wait for them to match in iCloud and then delete and download the matched versions. In this way, I can choose to not delete the added Amazon songs or delete them and download the matched MFI versions.
     
  21. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    #21
    Good golly folks, please stay on topic. I'm trying to find the same information as the OP and there are already a million threads on the merits (or lack thereof) of Mastered for iTunes.

    I've recently ripped some CDs into iTunes but have not checked their iTunes Match status. I'll download them and see if any of them are MFI. The last time I looked at the list of available MFI albums it was quite small.
     
  22. JPM42 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 21, 2007
    #22
    I've been interested in this, as well, and thanks to steinbch for testing. To add to the existing data:

    I purchased the CD of new Beach Boys album, "That's Why God Made The Radio", on June 5th, the album's release date. After loading it into iTunes, it matched 11 of the 12 songs. At the time I uploaded it, the "Mastered for iTunes" note wasn't available on the iTunes Store page until later that day. So, when I went to download the matched copies today, no "Mastered for iTunes" logo was available.

    Since I had iTunes match the album before it said it was mastered for iTunes, I wiped the album off iCloud and tried it again, tonight. It still only matched 11 of 12 songs and, once again, no MFI version available.
     
  23. Zimmy68 macrumors 65816

    Zimmy68

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #23
    Sorry if it has been asked but how do you tell if the matched files you get are "Mastered for iTunes"?
     
  24. JPM42 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 21, 2007
    #24
    In the summary tab in the "get info" section, you should see a "Mastered for iTunes" logo.
     
  25. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    #25
    None of the CDs I have that are also available as Mastered for iTunes were matched to the Mastered for iTunes version. I noticed in the iTunes store that the Mastered for iTunes album release dates were newer and the old non-Mastered for iTunes versions were still available. So... my quick test has the same results as the others here and the answer to the OP (for now) is "no".
     

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