Secrets and features of Apple’s iTunes Match

“Apple this week took the wraps off its anticipated iTunes Match service, the latest Internet-based extension of its popular iTunes media managements software,” Jesse David Hollington reports for iLounge.

“Like the previously-debuted iCloud and iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Match creates an Internet server-dependent mirror of certain computer content; for an annual fee of $25 (U.S.), users can place a 25,000-song iTunes music library in the cloud and access it from any iOS 5 device, second-generation Apple TV, or Mac/PC running iTunes 10.5.1 or later,” Hollington reports. “The premise behind iTunes Match is relatively simple: after paying the fee and uploading your music to Apple, you get unlimited online access to all of the music in your iTunes library via iCloud, regardless of where that music came from—purchased or free. iTunes Match includes not only access to content purchased from the iTunes Store, but also any music that you’ve acquired from other sources. iTunes Match further differs from the free ‘iTunes in the Cloud’ service in effectively becoming your music library, rather than merely allowing you to go back to the iTunes Store and re-download your prior purchases.”

Hollington reports, “Although the process seems pretty straightforward on the surface, there are some important points to be aware of before you begin.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. No your iTunes will not be gone. Can you imagine the uproar if that was true remotely true? Besides it is not something Apple would do. Apple is not Microsoft.
      Of course you’ll be able to burn the CD……Steve Jobs designed the BURN button himself. So I can’t see that Apple would now eliminate that.

  1. This was an interesting point from the article.

    > iTunes Match effectively replaces “iTunes Plus.”

    So, I’m glad I did not “upgrade everything” to iTunes Plus, although I did selectively upgrade some songs. Now, I can get the rest upgraded by paying $25. Good deal.

    Also, it is mentioned in the full article, but that 25,000 song limit only applies to songs NOT purchased from iTunes Store. Previously purchased songs do not count toward that limit. My complete library only has about 5000 items, so I’m well under that limit.

  2. This confirms what I suspected. There’s no way I’m enabling iTunes Match. Virtually all the 9000 or so tracks in my library are 320Kb; to have them replaced by lower quality files is totally unacceptable to me; quality is paramount, quantity less so. I’m getting a 3Tb Seagate GoFlex external HDD and use its app for cloud storage.

  3. The showstopper for me is that turning on iTunes Match on your iOS device wipes out all the music on the device. You have to redownload it from iCloud. That’s just stupid, IMHO. The whole point of buying a 32MB iPhone was so that I could have my entire music collection in my pocket at all times. I don’t want to have to download my “favorite” stuff in advance so I can listen to it where’s there’s no wi-fi (unless I want to hammer my minimal data plan).

    I just don’t get this decision. My iTunes library is synced in its entirety to my iPhone — surely the iCloud status could be synced as well?

    It’s tempting to subscribe to the service just to upgrade my old DRMed tracks. But… I dunno.


    1. I’ve signed up for match and it did not “wipe out” all the music I had already synced to my iphone. It simply added the songs in my iTunes that I had not synced to my music app with a cloud icon denoting I could stream/download them to my device. If you have enough space on your phone for your entire collection there isn’t really a point in subscribing. I specifically purchased the 16GB 4S knowing that I could just stream my 20GB collection. I see it as paying $50 over the two years I’ll have this phone for virtually unlimited music storage as opposed to $100 upfront for 16GB more physical storage.

    2. Here is what you do (I explained this late on another post yesterday)

      After you have enabled Match on your computer and device, and your library is finished uploading and all that, turn Match OFF on your device (but leave it ON on your computer), hook it back up to your computer via USB and sync your preferred songs back to your device, eject, and all is the same as before you ever enabled Match….

      THEN….turn Match back ON on your device, enable ‘show all music’, and you will then have your library of songs you want to carry around loaded PLUS the ability to download any of the rest of your library on a whim.

      Apple really should do a better job of explaining this.

      1. Great post! I agree, Apple has done a miserable job of explaining iTunes Match, iCloud, iCloud backup, upgrading songs via Match etc. FWIW, your suggestion on syncing IOS devices is exactly what I learned yesterday.

  4. Good article, as promised.

    Too bad Apple hasn’t communicated so well.

    Will skip iMatch. I don’t need it for the time being.

    Two concerns. First, lots of people will auto-renew because of fear. Afraid of dealing with the end of Match, and unforeseen consequences of the non-renewal, having to manage the stuff again.

    Second, this could be a bad omen for future Apple systems. What if Apple decides that all music purchased will be in the cloud? Not a thing will be downloaded for personal storage. What if Apple decides that all content on your Mac will be stored in the cloud?

    Farfetched? Sure, but there’s something going on that Apple hasn’t told us about.

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