"Purchased AAC" vs "Matched AAC" on iTunes Match?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by r6mile, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK
    Hi all,

    I recently subscribed to iTunes Match to help me clean up my iTunes library (and improve the quality of old CD rips for example), and also to be able to redownload my old iTunes purchases into DRM-free versions that work on non-Apple devices. However, I've noticed that some of my purchases are redownloading as 'Purchased AAC', and others as 'Matched AAC', sometimes even different songs within the same album. Is there any practical difference between the two?

  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    AAC audio file: This is a standard AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) file. Most likely, you created this file by converting an MP3 or ripping the song from CD using iTunes' built-in AAC encoder.

    Matched AAC audio file: This is a standard AAC audio file, except that you downloaded it to your computer or iOS device from your iCloud account, using iTunes Match.

    MPEG audio file: This is a standard MP3 file. You may have downloaded it from the web or ripped the song from a CD using iTunes' built-in MP3 encoder.

    Protected AAC audio file: A protected AAC file was the default filetype for songs purchased from the iTunes Store prior to the introduction of the DRM-free iTunes Plus format in April 2009. It is noted as being protected because the DRM built into the file prevents it from being copied/shared beyond the iTunes account it's associated with.

    Purchased AAC audio file: A purchased AAC file is what a protected AAC file becomes when it's been upgraded to the iTunes Plus format. This file was still purchased at the iTunes Store, but it no longer has the DRM-based copy restrictions. All songs at the iTunes Store sold after April 2009 are in the Purchased AAC audio file format.

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