Question about iTunes Match

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by hello70, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. hello70 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    #1
    Hi,

    I have a question about the iTunes Match service. Although I now purchase all of my music through iTunes (and intend on doing so forever), I do have a big chunk of my library that comes from non-iTunes sources, such as CDs. I'd love to upgrade all of this old music to iTunes-quality and get all the benefits of having iTunes music, including the iCloud service. As I understand it, iTunes Match will do this for me.

    Now, since I will be buying my music from iTunes from now on, I will only need to do this once. So I'd like to pay the $24.99 just once and not every year. I was thinking that I could do this by signing up for iTunes Match and scanning and matching my whole library so that everything will be in the cloud, iTunes-purchased or not. Then I could delete all of my music from my local hard disks on my Mac, iPhone, etc. Next, I could download my library from the cloud onto each of these devices. Now I should have my entire library on all of my devices as I had it before, except with my old non-iTunes music upgraded to iTunes music, just as though I'd purchased everything from iTunes.

    From this point on, I could purchase songs from iTunes whenever I want, and they would all be synced to my other devices through the FREE services of iCloud. Thus I would only have to pay the $24.99 once and have a completely iTunes library, with iCloud for future purchases. Does this sound like it would work?

    Sorry for the long question. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. goodroots macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    #2
    From what I've read...yes and no.

    Upon canceling your iTunes Match subscription, those non-iTunes-purchased tracks that you (and most iTunes Match users!) swapped out for higher quality iTunes versions will remain on whatever local drives onto which you have downloaded them. You'll also still be able to manually transfer them from one device to another (for example - computer to iPhone). However, you will no longer be able to access those songs from iCloud.

    So basically, you're paying the $25 now to convert to higher quality files, and paying the $25 yearly fee in the future so that you can continue to access them from the cloud.
     
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #3
    Seconded poster above. You can pay the $25 and use it as a 1-time upgrade of the matched music. I like Match though because I can avoid keeping unnecessary songs on my iPhone and Macbook Air. Also, it allows these to stay in sync a lot easier than before.
     
  4. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #4
    NO. As noted, you can update and keep the 256k files after you cancel your subscription, but they are not in any way marked as 'Purchased' nor will they be available for re-download from Apple.

    I think you misunderstand the primary purpose of Match. Yes, if your only wish is a one-time upgrade in quality of some of your music, that will work (although don't count on it working with all of your music - my meticulously organized collection still had about 20% that was uploaded rather than matched). Match is really intended to be a way to give you access to your entire library from any location - AND to keep all of those libraries exactly in sync.

    Without Match, your Purchased music is really kept as a backup in iCloud, but there is no way to access that music through a simple interface as there is with a Match subscription.
     
  5. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I have a couple questions....
    One, I don't really notice any difference in my music library after signing up for Match. I assumed the songs would be "matched" with the iTunes version of the songs so they would be better quality and have album covers and stuff like that. Am I assuming wrong?
    Second, the whole reason I did this was because I have to send my computer in for repair so this seemed like an easy way to backup my music. Am I understanding that wrong as well?
     
  6. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #6
    You're correct on it being a backup. For the first part, you won't notice any difference if you only ran the match and nothing else. Right click on the column headers in the window and have it show iCloud Status. For any that are marked "Matched," delete the file (it will ask you if you want to delete from iCloud..say no). There will then be a little cloud button to redownload the higher-quality versions from the cloud.

    For ones marked "uploaded," no matched song was found, so the version that would be downloaded via the steps mentioned above would be the same one that you already have.
     
  7. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Awesome...thanks for the answer!
     
  8. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    Your understanding is off a little bit. Match uses your library as the reference point of what music you own, but it doesn't change that library in any way. There are work-arounds to delete the lower quality music you own and replace it with the higher-quality matched version, but tread carefully here. Match is designed to start with the music and metadata (including album art, tags, ratings, playlists, etc) and make ALL of that available across all of your devices. Again, it does not change your source library, and that is a very good thing. (I will note that I have personally had some issues with deleted album art since turning on Match, though). Match is really designed to give you access to your entire library on devices other than your main iTunes computer. ie. your iPhone/iPad/other computers, etc.

    Regarding backups, yes, in a sense your library is backed up in the cloud now, but I would not trust it as a complete backup of my content. For one, not all content is necessarily uploaded. For another, it's just too new of a service for me to want to trust it completely. I would suggest making a backup to another drive before sending your computer off for repair.
     
  9. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    Ok one more stupid question....why would a song not be matched? I have about 30 or so that didn't match and they seem to be pretty mainstream songs.
     
  10. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #10
    I don't think you're going to get a definitive answer here. There are tricks people use to try and force songs to match but exactly how it works is a mystery. I've had songs match later that were uploaded.
     
  11. hello70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    #11
    Thanks for all the input everyone. After doing some more research, I've found that doing what I suggested does indeed seem possible:

    http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57326759-285/how-to-use-itunes-match-to-upgrade-audio-quality/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJTa-FsiemY&feature=player_embedded

    Of course I will make sure I have a complete backup of my entire library somewhere before attempting this, as there are a lot of ways something could go wrong.

    Assuming I can get this to work, my next question would be about metadata and album artwork. For anyone that has already used iTunes Match, do the cloud versions of non-iTunes-purchased songs gain album artwork and/or correct metadata if the originals were lacking? From what I've read, this does not seem to be the case...

    However, my library's metadata is actually in pretty good shape, so it wouldn't be a big deal if it turns out it can't be automatically updated with the iTunes Store's info. What I'm really interested in is the artwork, since many of the songs in my library lack artwork. Apparently iTunes has a built-in feature to find album artwork. For anyone that's used it, does it work well? And do you think having Apple's exact versions of all the songs along with good metadata will help in retrieving the correct artwork?
     
  12. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    Caveat emptor, in regards to the above words in bold. iTunes does not find a match for EVERY song ever made. Apple doesn't claim it will nor makes any guarantees. In fact, I'd be willing to guarantee ALL of your songs will NOT match.

    In my experience, and other's, there are PLENTY of songs it can't match...from obscure to mainstream, for various reasons. When it can't find a match, it merely uploads your own copy. Of my 17000 songs, 3500 have been uploaded.

    I have some albums split between matched and uploaded. Who knows why. I've also seen it upload songs from an album files, even though iTunes offers the very same album in the store.
     
  13. jeff526 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    My music library contains a lot of Live Legal bootlegs
    I understand that if I was to signup to iTunes match these songs would not be matched, but uploaded at their current bitrate.

    A month after I signup for iTunes Match if I add a new bootleg to my library will this be uploaded?
    Or is this a one-time shot?
    Additionally moving forward if I download music from Amazon or rip it from a CD will this be matched/uploaded?

    Thanks
    Jeff
     
  14. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #14
    Yes, music will continue to be uploaded as long as your subscription is active. Think of Match as a sync service - it's primary goal is to keep all computers and devices in sync with the same library.
     

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