Upgrading iTunes music from 128kbps to 256kbps

bigpoppamac31

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Aug 16, 2007
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So I seem to still have song with were purchased back when iTunes music was 128kbps. Now all songs in the iTunes Store are 256kbps but I can't find how to upgrade my remaining songs. If I right click on a song bought from the store which is still 128kbps it takes me to the page where there is now a "play" button beside the song. I can't find an option on the store to upgrade. I know there used to be a feature to upgrade songs to "iTunes Plus" but that is no longer available. Can anyone help?
 

gnasher729

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Nov 25, 2005
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That upgrade is long gone. You can pay for iTunes Match, which will upgrade all music that is available in the iTunes store and that it recognises to 256 KBit AAC. The upgrade isn't automatically, once all of your library is matched, you'd have to delete the copy that you have and download the music from iTunes Match.

Check how much it is costs and whether it is worth it for you. Obviously you can keep all upgraded music after you cancel iTunes Match.
 

bigpoppamac31

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I don't understand how iTunes match works. If many of my songs have come from CDs would iTunes match replace them with the iTunes store copy?? Would all my songs be uploaded to iCloud or something??
 

chabig

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Sep 6, 2002
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I don't understand how iTunes match works. If many of my songs have come from CDs would iTunes match replace them with the iTunes store copy?? Would all my songs be uploaded to iCloud or something??
Yes. If you subscribe to iTunes Match, then iTunes will recognize your songs in your library, and you will be able to replace them with 256kbps copies from the iTunes Store. Here is how you can do that: http://applenapps.com/how-to/how-to-quickly-upgrade-your-itunes-matched-music-to-256-kbps.html
 

bigpoppamac31

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The thing is I don't want or need iCloud. It seems like iTunes uploads and store all my content in iCloud which I don't care for. I sync my iPhone and Mac through USB. All I want it to upgrade songs from 128k to 256k. Also iTunes match costs $27.99/year. Not really that expensive but it would be nice to upgrade my songs one by one and if need be pay the difference. I only have 47 songs to upgrade which were purchased from iTunes. Anything else would be from CDs I have.

Also what about songs which were downloaded "illegally"?? I have songs from years ago during the era of Napster and Limewire which I downloaded from those places. Many have since been replaced with an iTunes or CD copy but some can't be such as WWF/E wrestling themes which were never officially released by WWE. Could I risk being charged for illegal downloading??
 
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furbzv1

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Sep 17, 2014
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If you cancel before the year end do you get a prorated credit? Like if only used for a month
 

mgroot

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Jul 25, 2014
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The thing is I don't want or need iCloud. It seems like iTunes uploads and store all my content in iCloud which I don't care for. I sync my iPhone and Mac through USB. All I want it to upgrade songs from 128k to 256k. Also iTunes match costs $27.99/year. Not really that expensive but it would be nice to upgrade my songs one by one and if need be pay the difference. I only have 47 songs to upgrade which were purchased from iTunes. Anything else would be from CDs I have.

Also what about songs which were downloaded "illegally"?? I have songs from years ago during the era of Napster and Limewire which I downloaded from those places. Many have since been replaced with an iTunes or CD copy but some can't be such as WWF/E wrestling themes which were never officially released by WWE. Could I risk being charged for illegal downloading??
The only songs iTunes Match would upload would be music that the servers don't recognise. If the check recognises the music there is no uploading at all. iTunes Match has nothing really to do with iCloud, I think that for the music it recognises it just puts a flag on your account which says you have song X from Band Y and if you need to download it again it just points to the iTunes music store for that copy.

And no, you won't be charged for illegally downloading when you use iTunes Match. I've used it to update quite a few of my MP3s from the napster era to 256k versions as well..

And besides the upgrading, it's an offsite backup of all your music which to me is worth the money as well
 

bigpoppamac31

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If you cancel before the year end do you get a prorated credit? Like if only used for a month
I'd be curious about that as well. All I need is to update the remaining songs from 128 to 256. After that I don't need it anymore. All the other songs plus future ones will be at 256.
 

Nermal

Moderator
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Dec 7, 2002
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If you cancel before the year end do you get a prorated credit? Like if only used for a month
No. Match will continue to work for the rest of the year.

If many of my songs have come from CDs would iTunes match replace them with the iTunes store copy??
Yes. It's a good idea to keep a backup though; just last night I noticed that Match had stomped all over one of my albums and had replaced some of the songs with different versions.
 

bigpoppamac31

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Aug 16, 2007
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No. Match will continue to work for the rest of the year.


Yes. It's a good idea to keep a backup though; just last night I noticed that Match had stomped all over one of my albums and had replaced some of the songs with different versions.
Why would iTunes replace song that were not purchased from it's store?? Those should not be touched.
 

Nermal

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Dec 7, 2002
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Why would iTunes replace song that were not purchased from it's store?? Those should not be touched.
That's what Match does; it matches music from your library with content from the iTunes Store. In this case, the tracks from the Store are different versions from the ones I had (which were actually downloaded from the now-defunct Lala and therefore I couldn't redownload the originals!)
 

bigpoppamac31

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That's what Match does; it matches music from your library with content from the iTunes Store. In this case, the tracks from the Store are different versions from the ones I had (which were actually downloaded from the now-defunct Lala and therefore I couldn't redownload the originals!)
So once I upgrade the remaining iTunes Store purchases to 256k I'd have to go back and reimport all my CDs to get the CD version back. That's dumb.
 

Nermal

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I think you can select to do it on a per-song basis. The problem at my end was that I replaced the low-quality Lala MP3s with iTunes AACs and didn't playtest them.
 

bigpoppamac31

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I think you can select to do it on a per-song basis. The problem at my end was that I replaced the low-quality Lala MP3s with iTunes AACs and didn't playtest them.
Okay. I just don't want iTunes to delete my entire music library on my Mac and replace it with only iTunes song files.
 

mgroot

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Jul 25, 2014
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Okay. I just don't want iTunes to delete my entire music library on my Mac and replace it with only iTunes song files.
It won't do that, it will never replace anything without an action from you. If you want to replace a song with the 'store version' you have to delete your local copy and then download from match. I've got a lot of music stored in apple lossless and match doesn't touch that in order to replace them with the 256k versions without an action from me.
The copies of the files I see on my iPad and iPhone through match are the matched versions, which is another bonus for me of match. I have access to my entire music library on other devices without having to have all the songs stored on them (which would never fit, not even at 128k)
 

bigpoppamac31

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Aug 16, 2007
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It won't do that, it will never replace anything without an action from you. If you want to replace a song with the 'store version' you have to delete your local copy and then download from match. I've got a lot of music stored in apple lossless and match doesn't touch that in order to replace them with the 256k versions without an action from me.
The copies of the files I see on my iPad and iPhone through match are the matched versions, which is another bonus for me of match. I have access to my entire music library on other devices without having to have all the songs stored on them (which would never fit, not even at 128k)
Well I think for now I'm just going to replace each song one by one. In the end it will cost more but not by much. I only have 35 purchased songs left to upgrade. The whole iTunes match seems kind of confusing.
 

mgroot

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Jul 25, 2014
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Well I think for now I'm just going to replace each song one by one. In the end it will cost more but not by much. I only have 35 purchased songs left to upgrade. The whole iTunes match seems kind of confusing.
What isn't clear about Match then to you?
 

bigpoppamac31

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Aug 16, 2007
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What isn't clear about Match then to you?
Well I think I'm just "traditional" in how I manage my content. I don't need an outside source managing it for me. I like to sync my iPhone or iPod through USB as opposed to wi-fi. If I could sync my devices through Bluetooth as they sit next to my computer then that would be great in alleviating cable clutter. They're no point in syncing through wi-fi and using up bandwidth. Any content I want on my phone I can do manually on my Mac then sync through USB to my device. Their may come a time where I no longer have that option but for now I do and it works for me. If I turn on iTunes Match then I can't sync my iPhone in the "traditional" manner. I'd have to turn Match off to do so. Seems like a pain that you can't have both options simultaneously.
 

mgroot

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Jul 25, 2014
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Well I think I'm just "traditional" in how I manage my content. I don't need an outside source managing it for me. I like to sync my iPhone or iPod through USB as opposed to wi-fi. If I could sync my devices through Bluetooth as they sit next to my computer then that would be great in alleviating cable clutter. They're no point in syncing through wi-fi and using up bandwidth. Any content I want on my phone I can do manually on my Mac then sync through USB to my device. Their may come a time where I no longer have that option but for now I do and it works for me. If I turn on iTunes Match then I can't sync my iPhone in the "traditional" manner. I'd have to turn Match off to do so. Seems like a pain that you can't have both options simultaneously.
I understand you wanting to control it yourself in this way, the one thing I don't understand is that wi-fi is using bandwidth? Who's bandwidth do you mean? If you sync your device through wifi there's no cable clutter and you can still control what goes on the device or not
 

bigpoppamac31

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Aug 16, 2007
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I understand you wanting to control it yourself in this way, the one thing I don't understand is that wi-fi is using bandwidth? Who's bandwidth do you mean? If you sync your device through wifi there's no cable clutter and you can still control what goes on the device or not
Okay. But if you sync wirelessly through wifi are you not using up data from your home and cell phone plan?
 

DanGoh

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Apr 6, 2014
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After iTunes Match replaces lower bit files with the Apple 256k AAC versions do they count as being purchased? Can I download them later from the purchased section from my iPhone or iPad after the 1 year subscription ends?
 

Porco

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Mar 28, 2005
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Well I think I'm just "traditional" in how I manage my content. I don't need an outside source managing it for me. I like to sync my iPhone or iPod through USB as opposed to wi-fi. If I could sync my devices through Bluetooth as they sit next to my computer then that would be great in alleviating cable clutter. They're no point in syncing through wi-fi and using up bandwidth. Any content I want on my phone I can do manually on my Mac then sync through USB to my device. Their may come a time where I no longer have that option but for now I do and it works for me. If I turn on iTunes Match then I can't sync my iPhone in the "traditional" manner. I'd have to turn Match off to do so. Seems like a pain that you can't have both options simultaneously.
I think you're still confused about what happens.

I mostly prefer the traditional approach too, but I have Match. On my iPad I don't store all my music, I use Match when I (occasionally) want to play something on it. However, I also manually manage my music on my iPhone and iPods. It is true that you can't mix manual syncing and Match on each device - but you can choose to manually manage devices, and you can choose whether to add (that is 'turn on') Match on each device that supports it.

Match does not force you to add it to every device that supports it - this is entirely optional. You can choose to add a device, and to turn Match off again later on any device/ additional computer if you want to.

So long as you have one 'master' computer with Match turned on, the other computers/devices can *optionally* use Match for your music, or not, but you still have full control over whether any devices that sync to your computer use Match or not. Turning Match on on one device does not force it to be enabled on other devices.

What I'm saying is, if you wanted to sign up for Match for a year purely to upgrade your 128kbps files to 256kbps files, you can do just that without affecting any devices you sync your music to, at all. Once you'd upgraded your files you could log into your iTunes account and turn off auto-renew for Match, then turn it off in iTunes, and never think about it again.

That said, Match is no absolute guarantee of the files being upgraded (but I'd be surprised if it didn't match almost all of the old files, enabling you to delete then replace them with 256kbps versions once they were matched, especially if they were bought from iTunes in the first place). So this could possibly work out cheaper than re-purchasing them all for you.

Finally, as others have said, if you do decide to sign up to Match I advise you to make a separate back-up of all your music first just in case.

If it sounds fiddly without the guarantee of doing what you'd want it to do that's because it is(!). Good luck whatever way you decide to go.
 

Porco

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Mar 28, 2005
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Okay. But if you sync wirelessly through wifi are you not using up data from your home and cell phone plan?
If you sync a device with iTunes using Wifi that is using your own network (or whosever local network you are using).

If you mean syncing using Match on an on-going basis with multiple devices, then yes, you would be using up data to sync (mostly download) between music on a device and the cloud (which would provide matched content and store any previously uploaded content that didn't 'match').

But again, for the purpose of upgrading some files, other than matching your library at the beginning the only bandwidth you'd have to use would be to download the upgraded versions. The most efficient way to do that may be to set up a temporary user account on your computer, transfer only the files you wished to upgrade into iTunes in that temporary account, use Match to match them and then transfer the newly upgraded 256kbps files back to your normal account.

Also what about songs which were downloaded "illegally"?? I have songs from years ago during the era of Napster and Limewire which I downloaded from those places. Many have since been replaced with an iTunes or CD copy but some can't be such as WWF/E wrestling themes which were never officially released by WWE. Could I risk being charged for illegal downloading??
Just to answer this point too, there is no-one I have heard of who has got into trouble for matching old dodgy files. If it isn't in the iTunes store it would uploaded, and Apple would assume you must have had the right to obtain that music. You would have to decide if you felt comfortable with anything that you uploaded to Apple's servers - if not, then remove those files before turning on Match.

But basically if it doesn't match with the iTunes store, it gets uploaded. For example, I have many obscure tracks that have never been sold on iTunes, plus a good number of my own musical compositions in my iTunes library - they just get uploaded (at 256kbps) to iCloud and I can access them on any device as if they were matched.

If this lowers the number of files a lot it might make the whole thing a waste of time and money though, of course(!)
 
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DavidLynch

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Apr 9, 2015
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After iTunes Match replaces lower bit files with the Apple 256k AAC versions do they count as being purchased? Can I download them later from the purchased section from my iPhone or iPad after the 1 year subscription ends?
No, they won't ever be added to the purchased section of your iTunes account unless they were there in the first place. If you're going to end your subscription you'll want to download everything from iTunes Match on to your computer before it expires. Once something gets matched and you download it locally, you own it.
 

furbzv1

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Sep 17, 2014
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i ended up getting iTunes Match yesterday.. not all my songs were matched but i do like having the ability to just turn on match on my iPad and not worry about exceeding my storage.. i do have one question tho.. i turned the match on my iphone- would i be able to stream over tmo network? and if so does that go under my monthly data?
 
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