How to check if your Mac’s songs are uploaded, matched, purchased, or Apple Music DRM-laden

“With Apple Music introducing a new form of DRM for its streaming catalog and songs you’ve re-downloaded from your library, it’s easy to get nervous over which songs on your Mac are yours,” Serenity Caldwell reports for iMore.

“You can check to see how Apple has uploaded, matched, and categorized your tracks,” Caldwell reports. “Unfortunately, there’s no way to check the status of your iPhone or iPad’s tracks—but they’ll be the same as what’s listed on your Mac.”

Read more in the full article – highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: A useful primer for anyone who’s confused about what the heck is going on with their music, iTunes Match, and Apple Music.

SEE ALSO:
The real difference between iTunes Match and iCloud Music Library: DRM – July 2, 2015

11 Comments

  1. Towards the bottom of this article, it states:
    “Apple Music files are 256k AAC (m4p) files and have FairPlay copyright protection on them; if you ever cancel your Apple Music subscription, you’ll lose access to playing redownloads of these files. (Your original files on your Mac stay intact, as they have the original encoding on them.)”
    Can this be for real?

    1. NOTE: If you have iTunes Match turned ON, it works like before. The redownloads are not DRM’ed. If you only have a Apple Music subscription, the songs you download are subscribed, not owned. Therefore, they are DRM’ed and “expire” if your subscription expires.

      The confusing part of the statement is saying “redownload” instead of just “download.” And adding the stuff about “your original files.” With Apple Music (only), it does not matter. ANY download is DRM’d. (If you happen to have that song already, that existing song file is not affected.)

      1. To clarify what I just wrote,

        If you have iTunes Match turned ON, if works like before FOR SONGS YOU OWN. (New songs that are added to your library using Apple Music are subscribed. If you download or “redownload” them, the song files are DRM’d, because you do not own that song.)

  2. Towards the bottom of this article, it states:
    “Apple Music files are 256k AAC (m4p) files and have FairPlay copyright protection on them; if you ever cancel your Apple Music subscription, you’ll lose access to playing redownloads of these files. (Your original files on your Mac stay intact, as they have the original encoding on them.)”

    1. Another confusing part of the article…

      > You use Apple Music, and Apple Music alone. This status [“Apple Music”] primarily means that you’ve downloaded a song from Apple’s streaming catalog.

      Even if you have iTunes Match turned ON, if you download a NEW song from Apple Music’s streaming catalog, it will have this status and it will be DRM’d. This makes sense, because that song is subscribed, not owned. So, having iTunes Match does not make downloads from Apple Music DRM-free.

      However, you can still add new songs from CD or other (non-iTunes) sources. If you have iTunes Match turned ON, they will upload or match (like before). If they upload (not match), you can redownload the uploaded file (like before). If they match, you can redownload Apple’s matched song file with no DRM (like before).

  3. I gotta say that long ago Apple made their DRM so painless I seldom think about those 3 evil letters anymore.

    I play my music on my Mac. No problem.
    I play my music on my iPhone. No problem.
    I play my music on my iPad. No problem.
    I play my music on my PC laptop. No problem.

    If ever I just get completely sick of Apple, meh, I’ll always have at least one Apple device, probably an AppleTV and have access to my music.

    I doubt I will ever bet that upset with Apple.

  4. Here’s the simple version.
    Any song you own/payed for (this includes CD ripped songs, songs purchased from iTunes, and songs you owned that have been “matched” from Apple) you own and they do NOT have DRM.

    Any song that you downloaded at no extra charge through the Apple Music subscription service (yes you can download them for playing offline) you don’t own. You are just renting them for as long as you are paying the monthly subscription free. Those have DRM that work as long as your subscription is active. You don’t own those songs, you just rented them.

  5. Folks are seeing the letters “DRM” and freaking out. Apple Music provides a STREAMING service, just like Spotify or Pandora. If you purchase a subscription to either of those services, do you expect to be able to download hundreds of songs to keep for yourself? Of course not, so why do you expect to be able to do so with Apple Music streaming? This goes back to the days of RealNetworks and Rhapsody. As long as you pay for the subscription, you get to treat the songs as if you bought them. Once you stop paying, they go away. The confusion lies in the fact that Apple Music is trying to allow you the convenience of combining the streaming functionality of Apple Music with your existing iTunes library of music you ACTUALLY PURCHASED. That music does not go away, because you bought it, so “Apple Music files” and “iTunes files” are two different animals.

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