iTunes Match Q&A

3/26/2012 6:14:24 PM

We give you the lowdown on iTunes Match

By Kirk McEIhearn

Apple’s iTunes Match service can match the tracks in your iTunes library with those in Apple’s catalogue o120 million songs, and lets you upload the ones it can’t find (up to 25,000 non-purchased tracks), and then access those songs via iTunes or your iOS devices whenever you want. For the tracks it does match, you can download copies to replace your own poorly ripped MP3 files from a decade ago. Sounds simple enough, but we’ve received dozens of questions. Here are answers to a few of them.

Too many tracks

Q: have more than 25,000 songs that have accumulated over the years from the iTunes store. CD rips and other sources. How can I prevent some songs Prom being matched to allow others to sync without removing the excess song From my library? Many artists are in the form of discographies and I dont need all of them to sync.

The 25,000-song limit is strictly enforced: if your library tips the scales, you won’t even be able to sign up for iTunes Match. It’s possible, if fiddly, to only add some of your songs to the service- we discuss one way of doing this on the opposite page. Another workaround is to select certain tracks and change their Media Kind to Voice Memo (File “Get Info ptions).  iTunes Match will see those tracks as being ineligible.

Perhaps the best solution is to create a second library just for iTunes Match, Or to put your iTunes Match library on a second computer. We hope in future Apple will add a tag to let you exclude specific files from this service.

Syncing playlists

Q: If I subscribe to iTunes Match will my playlists be available on other Macs or IOS devices as they are on my home computer, or will just see a list of all of my music?

iTunes Match syncs and displays your playlists on all the computers! iOS devices (up to 10 devices in total) on which you’ve enabled iTunes Match. Ii, however, you have playlists that contain podcasts. videos or music videos, they won’t sync. All your music-only playlists should be available, though.

Matching problem

Q: I noticed there are many songs in my iTunes library that are sold on the iTunes Store, but have still been uploaded. Some of these had different spellings, and I changed mine. I tried to update iTunes Match, but I have the same amount of uploaded tracks.

iTunes Match does not look at the tags in your music files. You could, for example, call David Bowie’s Heroes something like Four Score and Seven Years Ago (see right) and iTunes Match will ignore the title and merely look at the music, creating an acoustic fingerprint that it uses to match against its catalogue. So even if you change tags on your songs, this won’t affect whether or not they match, Also, If you match songs whose tags are incorrect, iTunes won’t fix them for you.

Losing Lossless?

Q: I spent a lot of time adding CDs to my iTunes library in either WAV or Apple Lossless Formats. Will I lose this level of quality?

Yes and no, iTunes Match won’t alter the songs in your library unless you choose to replace them. If a lossless track has been matched and you delete your master files, the version you redownload from iTunes will be 256kbps. If you download that track on to another computer or an IOS device, it will similarly be 256kbps. Unmatched lossless audio ile5 that are uploaded get transcoded to a 256kbps ACC files first, but again don’t affect your originals. In most cases 256kbps AAC Files are fine for portable devices, but you might want to use your iTunes library on your Mac when you listen via a stereo.

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