How Does iTunes Match Work?

In just a few days, you’ll have instant access to every song you own, anywhere you are.
iTunes Match Upload CompleteBetter yet, you can replace all the tracks you have that came from scratched CDs or “suspicious sources” (ahem).
You can even take all the DRM restrictions out of those old iTunes purchases. Cool, huh?

It’s called iTunes Match, and it’s an atomic bomb moment for digital rights advocates.

iTunes Match isn’t a streaming service with ads like Pandora or Spotify, and it’s not a downloading service like eMusic or Napster. It’s something completely different.


So how does it work?

What Does iTunes Match Do?

The service costs just $25 a year — so laughably little that it’s as if Apple went over to the RIAA and twisted everyone’s arms continuously for six months. There is no way in the world to legally download music this cheaply, anywhere. I have no idea how they got anyone to agree to this.

Essentially, you’re paying $2 a month for the right to stream high-quality versions of music you bought (…or “found” somewhere) to all your iTunes Libraries, iPhones, and iPads.

iCloud icon in iTunes library
That $2 a month also gives you a permanent backup of all your music, so rain-soaked laptops, crushed iPhones, or freak accidents won’t stop Pink Floyd. (In fact, nothing can stop Pink Floyd– except for the members of Pink Floyd– but that’s a matter for another day.)

How Does iTunes Guess My Music?

Once you’ve paid for the service and signed in, Match looks through your iTunes Library and sends a list back to Apple. Then the long, slow (but one-time) process begins. Go get a coffee, or better yet, look at some awesome photos. It’ll be a while.
iTunes Match looking through an iTunes library

When iTunes Match looks at your songs, it takes an audio snapshot of each one so that it can compare them directly against the iTunes Store database. This way, even if you’ve mislabeled Brian Eno as The Beatles (“wow, their later work really pushed the envelope!”), iTunes will get you the right match.

The same goes for live concerts vs studio recordings: if it’s on the iTunes Store, it’ll figure it out. (A lot of people had trouble with this part initially, but as of now, it’s pretty flawless at picking the right version.)

There are something like 20 million songs on the iTunes Store, so chances are good that this will work for you.

Weird music tastes? Don’t worry.

But what about the songs that aren’t available on the iTunes Store? Surely we can’t confine our eclectic tastes to whatever pop garbage the kids are listening to, right? Well, iTunes has room for you, too. In fact, it lets you upload a staggering amount of your own tracks to the service (presumably 25,000), and doesn’t seem to care how much space that may take up.

My 16,000 tracks were mostly matched, but around 2100 needed to be uploaded. This process is, obviously, pretty slow, but you can keep using iTunes while it happens.

So, How Do I Make My Skipped CDs Sound Better?

Delete from iTunes/iCloud?iCloud icon appears in the track listingiTunes downloading a song from iCloudOnce you’ve uploaded everything to iTunes, you can delete files at will from any of your connected devices. Go ahead, get rid of them. If (when) you need them again, they’re just a quick download away– via the new “Cloud” button that comes up in their place.

Just click the Cloud to have a high-quality, DRM-free, 256k AAC version slide into place right where the old one was. Your iTunes library keeps track of all the metadata– play counts, your rating, date last played, etc., so there’s no downside to “upgrading” your music.

I’ve been listening to music through fairly high-end equipment for years, and while I can still reliably tell the difference between a 128k AAC and the CD it came from, I can’t do the same with 256k. If anything, it sounds better. And if you happen to have ANY MP3s under 320k, replace ‘em right now. You’ll love the difference.

Problems with iTunes Match

iTunes Match isn’t perfect. There are a few things about it that are downright irritating. Here are a few.


  • Your device’s library is either local or “cloud-based”. It can’t be both. This means you can’t sync a few songs to your phone from your laptop and then, while you’re out, opt to download a few more from the cloud.
  • Tracks you’ve chosen to download will stay on the device, though, so this isn’t insurmountable. It just means that if you’re going on a plane or area with no network connection, you’ll need to manually download the playlists, etc. you want beforehand. (And suffer through how amazingly slow this is.)

  • Audiophiles will complain. But then again, they do that a lot.
  • iTunes-Matched files are 256 AAC, which is nerd-speak for sounds incredible. But some people go to a lot of trouble to have collections at the highest-possible (even lossless) bitrates. iTunes Match simply won’t do what they need, if they really need Lossless files on their mobile device. Then again, many mobile devices aside from Apple’s won’t even play such files. In short, if you want your Lossless or 512k AACs on your iPod, you’ll need to put them there yourself.


  • It inevitably consumes a TON of cellular data.
  • I have no idea how anyone will handle this, especially when you must store your entire library remotely (see above). Most people, even those with broadband, don’t have the connection speeds to download thousands of their own songs when they’re already on the computer in the living room. Apple needs to integrate this with Home Sharing, or something: right now, this is a terrible flaw.

  • It takes up more space on your device.
  • Since most people don’t have 256k rips of everything, most people’s iPhones and iPods right now can hold a lot more music than they will if everything gets bumped up in size. Of course, the logical answer is that you’re less likely to have all your music on a device if you’re able to add or remove tracks at will. But who wants to go around deleting music they “don’t really need” to free up space? That’s the kind of housekeeping we shouldn’t have to do. It’d be nice if iOS asked you if you wanted to remove tracks matching a certain criteria– “downloaded >60 days ago, playcount=0 OR last played is not in the last 60 days”.

Then again, just make a smart playlist for that criteria and you’re good to go.

Does iTunes Match Encourage Piracy?


Not to be blunt about it, but yeah, it does. iTunes Match gives pirates access to high-quality replacement regardless of where the source files came from. But since pirates could easily download higher-quality versions of their music anyway, I’d argue that this isn’t (really) a big deal. Where this hits harder is in the area of “digital rights advocacy”. You’re essentially getting a free pass– and no more guilt in future–for all the music you’ve (allegedly) stolen. This may be an unpopular thing to say, but honestly, it’s about time. The music piracy issue got out of control long, long ago.

Is iTunes Match worth it?

The first time I heard the Matched version of a song from my childhood, when its atrocious staccato skips (all of which I’d memorized) were simply gone… well, it was quite a moment. You’re sure to find something to love when all your music gets the “cloud treatment”: whether it’s deciding to listen to a song you forgot to load on your iPod, or seeing a playlist appear instantly across your devices. Of course, the best thing about all this is that it’s a paid feature: it only happens for people who opt-in, so those who prefer the old method get to keep it.

Will you be using iTunes Match?

What do you think of its implementation? Are there features you wish it had that would compel you to sign up? Let me know in the comments!

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96 Comments

  1. Hey DM- thanks for this great post. Info about iTunes Match is so patchy so, not having dev access, it’s awesome to get a detailed breakdown of the hands-on experience! Is there any indication what happens if you have more than 25k songs – can you pay more or are you truly limited to that amount?

    1st time visit after seeing your comment on SlashGear just now but will be back for future posts for sure- thanks again, great job.

    • Can someone tell me after I have done the initial search will it do it again on request where I am coming from is if I have 10000 songs and register and they go into cloud then a week later I decide to burn my 500 CDs into iTunes library will it search agin and put them into the cloud?

      If the answer is know I guess you end up with 10000 in cloud but anything after that stays in iTunes library is that correct or am I mistaken and you can update your music in the cloud whenever if this is not the case not best to subscribe until I have burnt all my CDs into the library, please advise

  2. Hey J-P, I’m glad you got something out of this. I figured it would be good to have a breakdown of what the service actually does, since Apple’s been famously tight-lipped about the whole thing. Good to see you here! And if there’s anything you’d like to know more about, in the iOS or iCloud world, I’m always eager to hear about it :)

    I don’t have 25,000 songs, unfortunately, so I haven’t been able to test this (the most I’ve ever had at one time was a paltry 21,350–most of them illegally obtained from college friends and eventually deleted). There’s absolutely no mention of the 25k-song limit anywhere in the iTunes Match process. Also, there’s no way to pay more, or anything like that. I kind of think this is where the “split library” approach would have made sense: pay for streaming the 25,000 songs, and leave the rest on your device’s internal storage. Alas, it seems they haven’t made plans for that.

    Right now, it’s also unclear whether the limit includes tracks that are matched AND tracks that are uploaded. (My guess is that it’s a separate 25,000 for both, meaning 50,000 in total– since Apple offers no higher “tier”, it would seem weird to artificially cap everything at a limit that some fairly normal people might exceed. 25,000 songs is a lot, but honestly, it’s not THAT many. 50,000 is far less common.)

    A new beta of iTunes came out today, which has to be getting awfully close to the final, so I’ll download it and see if anything’s changed.

    Thanks again for reading, and welcome to Appculture! Be sure to share this if you think others will enjoy it :)
    DM Cook recently posted How Does iTunes Match Work?My Profile

    • I don’t know but I definitly feel ya!!! What’s worse touhgh is AFTER Christmas and you hear a Christmas song or see Christmas stuff at the store!!! GAG ME!!!

  3. Great post, thanks for the help! It’s nice knowing how exactly they do the whole matching of songs.
    I just have one concern though, something I didn’t understand very well.

    From what I understood, using iTunes Match simply meant turning any non-iTunes purchased music into iTunes purchased music, and that having this music on the Cloud meant that if I didn’t have a song on my iPod for example, but I had purchased it on the iTunes store (either offically or using iTunes Match), I could just find it on the iTunes app and download the song at no additional cost.

    But from all I’ve read, I’m getting a bit confused. It sounds much more complicated than that. Is it?

    • You got it, Chris– once you’ve enabled iTunes Match on your computer and iOS device (which removes any locally-stored music), you’ll then see your ENTIRE library on your device and can pick songs to download, whether you’re at home or on 3G. In Music Settings, you’ll also see an option to “show only downloaded music”– useful when you don’t want to sort through 25,000 tracks to find the one you’re looking for. At the moment, downloading is done on a per-song, per-album or per-artist basis, via a “download all” button at the bottom of every list. To delete a local copy, just swipe left over it (the “delete” gesture).

      Hope that helps clear things up!

      • DM Cook /

        To further clarify, all of this is done from within the Music app– not the iTunes store app.
        DM Cook recently posted How Does iTunes Match Work?My Profile

      • Oh right, that helps plenty, thanks! And yeah, I thought it may be done on the Music app, but it seemed weird if it’d show ALL your music. But it’s good to know you can have a “Downloaded only” option.

        I was just worried too cuz I share an account with my Dad, and I don’t really want his music and stuff on my iPod/Computer.
        Is there some option in the settings which disables automatic downloading of a song on an iPod when bought on a Mac, for example? Or is that the default setting anyway? (I buy a song on iTunes on my Mac, it’s stored in the Cloud, and then on my iPod I manually download it).

      • Any idea when they will allow downloading by playlist? Really frustrating to have to download by song/album/artist…

        • DM Cook /

          Aleeady available, Jon. At the bottom of any playlist (on the iPhone’s Music app) you can click the Download All button!

    • I’m impressed by your writing. Are you a professional or just very kneboedglawle?

  4. Thanks for the great post! Most informative I’ve seen on the iTunes Match to date! I do have one question that wasn’t answered though. Any idea on how good foreign songs are matched if at all? I have an extensive library of Korean music, many of which are available on the Korean iTunes Store but not on the US store. Would these simply need to be uploaded instead? Since most of my music is this way, iTunes Match would not be worth getting if I still had to upload most of my library.
    Eugene recently posted Data for the FutureMy Profile

    • Cristian /

      I was thinking the same thing! I have a lot of K-Pop and I want to know if that’ll get matched.

      • jessica /

        Cristian, did you end up doing it? I have a ton of k-pop and don’t know if it’s worth matching….

  5. Thanks for the info. I have a question for you. What will happen if I decide not to update my yearly Match subscription? Most notably, will I be able to keep all my newly Matched music (upgraded to 256 AAC)?

  6. Fredrik /

    I love being able to upgrade old ripped (and other) versions. I have two main gripes. One you’ve identified … how do I manage a limited set of music on my iOS device (without having to delete music manually). Second, if a song is matched, shouldn’t I be able to update the ID3 data and why can’t it link me to that song in the iTunes store?

    • DM Cook /

      The fastest way to “limit” your music on the device is to make an iPhone/iPod playlist, find it on your device, scroll down to the bottom and hit “download”. You can delete all music on your device in one fell swoop by going to Usage under the About menu in Settings.
      DM Cook recently posted How Does iTunes Match Work?My Profile

    • DM Cook /

      Regarding ID3 tags, Match respects whatever tags you’ve already put in (since it matches based on audio data, not tags). That’s to prevent Match from overwriting careful tagging (such as sort order, lyrics, etc.) Tags you’ve made sync to all versions of the file– even the higher-quality “re-download”.
      DM Cook recently posted How Does iTunes Match Work?My Profile

      • I’m very happy to hear iTunes match preserves my ID3 tags, that’s very big for me.

        But what about the underlying files names?

        If I delete a song stored locally that has been matched, then download from the cloud to get the better quality, will the file name be the same as my previously local version, and be stored in the same location? Many thanks!

  7. DM Cook /

    Yes. The files have no DRM whatsoever.

  8. Thanks for your article DM Cook, it helped addressed a few concerns I had before I decide to make the final plunge into iTunes Match. Just a couple of extra questions though:

    1) I understand that you can only declare “all in the cloud” or “downloaded” matched iTunes library, but can you assign a different status per iOS/Computer device? Or is this an across the board choice? Basically, could I have all the iTunes matched songs on my desktop as the “downloaded” versions, but have my iPhone/iPod/iPad access those same matched files via “the cloud” instead?

    2) When using iTunes Match, is there a minimal KBPS amount that it needs to use to make for a successful match, or does that even matter? I have a few thousand 96 KBPS I ripped some 7+ years ago and I’m just wondering if this may cause any errors in the matching process?

    Any insight to those two questions would be grand, and again THANKS A TON for the overall breakdown, very helpful.

    Cheers.

    • Good news! As far as I know, 96k files have worked for me (AAC, not MP3), and each device can determine for themselves how they will handle iTunes Match (it’s a switch in Settings–>Music–>iTunes Match).

      My iPhone has Match turned off for the moment because I live somewhere with not-ideal 3G speeds and somewhat spotty wifi (ie. the networks exist but the connections aren’t always solid). Once I have a better “game plan” of what tracks I want to have available, I might re-enable Match and download everything at home.

      So, for now, what I’m using Match for is to delete local copies of tracks from my laptop, freeing up valuable HD space (though it’s 500 GB, it’s always nearly full), then being able to redownload them again whenever I want. If I had Wifi at work, however, I’d certainly keep Match enabled.

      One thing I’m unclear on is whether Match tracks on your iPhone will update the playcounts on your laptop. Haven’t tried that yet, but it’s rather essential for me. (I do know that iTunes will update playcounts.)
      DM Cook recently posted The Raven Browser: Web Apps for Your MacMy Profile

  9. I really like iTunes match because it actually works and not like other programs who almost got the same feature on it but don’t work. Thanks for sharing!
    Peter recently posted conference callMy Profile

    • I just want to say, I downloaded Jesus at the cetenr this morning. I can not say enough LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT. Te Amo, Overflow, and to make you feel my love are awesome. So tender the way he sings with his daughter she is so talented. I will be seeing the King of Men tour and I am so excited. Be bless all of you. Thank you of making this wonderful music. Be blessed may God continue blessing each and everyone of you.

  10. I really appreciate your blog and your willingness to answer questions. I want to subscribe to IT Match – and I have some newbie specific questions.
    1) Does itunes match songs only from your itunes on your computer, or does it search for ALL songs in your computer.
    2) Once you are matched, and you download the songs onto your devices, can you listen to them anywhere? Or do you need to use wifi or 3G?
    3) Say you match and subsequently download 1000 songs. If you want to add some, can you? (I saw the note that said you can load them onto your computer or on the cloud but not both. I’m thinking if I add songs to my itunes on my computer, it will synch?) And does this automatically synch? Or do I have to hit a button? (told you I’m a newbie).
    4) Are the matched songs loudness equalized? One of the main reasons I’m excited about this is that some of the songs from the ’60s are so much lower in volume than the new ones and I am currently changing the volume on my iphone continuously.

    I really appreciate your time.

    Thanks and regards,

    Steve :)

    • Hi Steve, sorry to have missed your comment!
      In answer to your questions:

      1 – iTunes Match only matches what is showing in iTunes. It WILL match ALL songs (you can’t disable it for certain songs or playlists).
      2 – Songs are stored on the device once they’ve been downloaded.
      3 – iTunes Match should update itself regularly, but you can also force a sync via Store–>Update iTunes Match.
      4 – Yes, all your equalizations should carry over. In addition, the iTunes versions of your songs are likely of a more standardized quality than the rips/converted files you’ve got, so it might make sense to download their copies (replacing your own).
      DM Cook recently posted The Raven Browser: Web Apps for Your MacMy Profile

  11. I have all of the same questions as steve – it the streaming bit im unsure of – i just logged on to itunes and it appears itunes match has just been launched in the UK. I dont mind my music going into the cloud but what i want to know is when i download a song from the cloud to my iphone 4 will it then be stored on my device in the same way if i purchase something on itune on my mac then see the cloud symbol on my device to download or do i need to always be in wifi or 3g?
    Also what happens if i then load more music to itunes does it sync into the cloud for me?

    • Yes and yes. Music stays on your device once it’s downloaded, and iTunes should update the cloud fairly often (mine seems to update each time iTunes is launched or every 24 hours, whichever comes first).
      DM Cook recently posted The Raven Browser: Web Apps for Your MacMy Profile

      • We never had FixLive and Fox Crime. We turned off clnenahs that cannot hold the load. We are working to add them back.Никога не сме имали FixLive и Fox Crime. Изключен канали, които не може да издържи на натоварването. Ние се стремим да ги добавите обратно.

  12. OK – I have signed up and played around with it a while and I can answer some basic questions. ITunes match scans your iTunes folder and matches what you have with what they have. Any songs they do not recognize, they upload it. Then you can stream any devices you have under your name that has IOs5 operating system (iPhone, iPad) as long as you click on iTunes match on each device. The songs will show up in the music folder with a little cloud and a downward arrow. If you want to actually download ITUNES version of your songs (which would be a 256 Kbps mp3) so you can listen to them without the wifi connection, you touch the cloud/arrow of each song (While you are still on wifi). The downloading takes a little while, but once the songs are downloaded, they are there – and you can listen to them anywhere. (You can easily delete any you decide you don’t want anymore). It captures the pictures you have for each song as well as most of the playlists. I’m still playing with this feature – but I have 24 songs on one playlist on my computer and while all 24 songs migrated to my iphone and ipad, only 2 are showing in this folder. Hope this helps other newbies. Oh yeah, as far as I can tell, the sound IS equalized with regard to volume which is great. You don’t have to keep turning the volume of your mobile devices up and down.

  13. I have a 90,000 track library on iTunes, with a smart playlist “on iPod” of 21,000
    or so. Is there any way I’ll be able to download that playlist to my iPhone on a piecemeal
    basis, as required or does the whole thing come in at once?

  14. I have a question about the match service. I know that it’s about $25 a year, but once your songs are uploaded after buying the first year, do you have to pay another $25 to keep the songs you already uploaded in the cloud, or do you only have to buy another year if you need to add more music to the cloud.
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  15. Danny Walker /

    I have singed up for iTunes match, and I must say it’s pretty kick ass :)

    I do have one question.

    I have a bunch of tracks with names like “Electronic Disco Thing I got from Jim” and “This is pretty cool” and I have no idea what they are. Neither Shazam nor Sound Cloud have any idea either but iTunes marks them as “Matched”. Any way to find out what it matched them to so I can correctly label them?

    • Danny Walker /

      Obviously I mean “Sound Hound” above, not “Sound Cloud”.

      • Yeah I’d love to know the answer to this too – Will it fix up incorectly labeled songs if it finds a match?

      • It feels as if God has restored the joy of my saltvaion having taken in this new project from Israel and New Breed! I can’t stop playing it,,.day in and day out. its refreshing, renewing and full of life and above all LOVE! A new sound for a new place in God in the earth. Many thanks to all of you for hearing from heaven. Many will be healed, delivered & set free from this project.

  16. Thanks for the great article. I’m in the process of having the service match up my zillions of songs and thought “Hey! What the hell am I doing?!”

    Thanks for the breakdown of features, flaws and fun. I laughed pretty hard at the Eno/Beatles thing too. Great post, thanks again! Cheers.
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  17. thanks for posting, this is really helpful information.
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  18. Claudia /

    If I don’t have my music on my computer and I have it only on my iPod.. Can I transfer all my music to iTunes with iTunes match?

    • No. Music must be in your iTunes Library in order to be matched initially. Once it is, you can keep all your music on your iPod and use the Match service to download tracks to your computer as you wish.

      If you have all the music on your iPod, you should be able to transfer it to your computer using any of the available utilities for doing so (senuti for Mac is one example).
      DM Cook recently posted Google Search + Your World: What You Need To KnowMy Profile

    • I’m afraid that there aren’t any free games for the iPods on iTunes other the the apps avbaliale for the touch.From your question, it sounds as though you already have a touch, so I’d say take advantage of the great free apps for that and use your nano solely for music.

  19. Claus B /

    We have 4 iphones at home with individual Apple IDs.
    Is match relater to Apple ID, or hov

  20. Hi. That was a great reading.
    I must say I doubt iTunes Match will match all the LP’s I manually ”mp3ed” 7 years ago ( Underground rRsistance music, which is partly available in iTunes now).
    Do to have experience on this, or will I go for the beta test?

    Read you soon, from France

  21. Redwingsfan /

    Thanks DM for the great info.
    My iTunes library currently is referenced from a NAS and a Mac mini doing media server duty will download whatever purchases I have made on my iDevices onto the Mac mini. If I sign up for the service and redownload my library is it stored on the Mac mini or are files replaced in their original locations? If the former,doesthismean that if I want everything on the NAS that I have to move tracks from the MM to NAS, overwrite the originals and then delete/add them to the iTunes library again?
    Also for songs that are not tagged properly (I got sick of TuneUp’s temperamental nature) will ITunes match put in the proper tags?
    Thanks again

  22. My wife and I share an iTunes library from two different iMacs. I’d like to point my iTunes library from my shared folder on my iMac to an external drive (HD is full.). Do I need to do this before I turn on iTunes match or could I do it after?

    We do a lot of genius lists. Do these work with ITMatch? On computer, devices or both?

    What about playlists? Im confused about how they work. Are they accessible from the cloud or only from computers?

    Since you said you can turn ITMatch on some computers and devices and not on others I might give it a try on my iMac and iPad but wait on my wife’s computer and iPhone.

    Thanks for all your info.

  23. Anthony /

    Is there a way to get my songs to match with iTunes match? A majority of my songs aren’t matching, but I know that they’re in the iTunes database under other albums. I’ve wound up buying TuneUp because I saw it recommeneded as a good way to tag files automatically. I was hoping that the new tags would help it be matched, but now I’m thinking that it won’t really help because the audio footprint will be the same… I was also thinking of MusicBrainz based programs. Unfortunately, that winds up with a lot of manual searching…

    Any advice would be deeply appreciated. I have tens of thousands of songs I need to match >_<

    • DM Cook /

      Sorry for the late response, Anthony. Have you had any luck with this? I think there may be a “noise floor” ceiling in terms of file quality. Essentially, iTunes may not match files that are, say, mo3 at 96kbps. Is it possible your files are particularly compressed?

  24. Thanks so much for all the information. I’m a bit behind with all the products being offered. This article definitely helped me learn a little bit more about iTunes Match.

  25. Kelley /

    I have an older classic iPod with all my music on it which are essentially stuck on there. Will iTunes Match give me the ability to put those songs on my Macbook iTunes?

    • DM Cook /

      Kelley, iTunes Match can’t do anything for files that aren’t already part of an iTunes Library (since the matching process happens on a computer). Essentially, it’s for people who have a large library and want to download songs “a la carte” on their devices when they’re out and about.

      BUT – here’s something you should check out. If you have an iPod with music “stuck” on there, you need a software tool like Senuti (DiskAid is better for those of you on an iPhone/iPod Touch). There are other alternatives such as “Pod to Mac”, but I haven’t used them. Senuti does cost money, but it is far and away the best software for this kind of thing. Once your music is OFF the iPod and on a computer, you can do whatever you want with it– including moving it to other devices, sending it to the cloud, etc.

  26. Hello there…. thanks for the helpful post and Q&A …. I’m still confused a bit …. when you do this, what actually changes on your hard drive where the physical music is stored? If you have old 128k ripped cd’s or downloads, will those old files be physically changed so that if you stop subscribing to the service, you have the higher quality 256k song files in the computer? Is there a way to not just have access to the higher quality files in the cloud, but also to update files in the computer hard drive such that you are able to keep these improved and updated files irrespective of whether you continue to use the match service? Thanks a lot for the help….
    Bob M recently posted 5 Reasons iPad 3 Is Bigger than You ThinkMy Profile

  27. Hello again …… just to be clear with my question, I am not talking about music that you download from the cloud to a device (ipod or ipad or whatever) but rather the music stored on the hard drive itself of the primary computer …. let’s say for example I have one album (one one) on my main mac computer and it is in 128k format … i sign up for itunes match and it matches the new 256k AA higher quality version of the album that is in itunes …. then if I want to play that album from my actual computer itself (not a device), then presumably I will be downloading the file into the computer? Does that mean I would have both the old and the new version of the same album physically on my hard drive of the computer, or once I have downloaded the version from cloud to play on the computer, would that newer higher version physically replace the older version of the album in my hard drive such that going forward the version on my drive would be the better one (even after the subscription were to lapse, if it did)?

    does this make any sense?

    thank you

    • Hi Bob!
      Good news: iTunes Match is set up in such a way that it doesn’t really force you into anything.

      Say you match a 128k mp3 file to the Cloud. Now, if you were to use a device to “play” that song over iTunes Match, it would download the high-quality version to your device. But on your computer, nothing changes at all. You have the same file as you’ve always had.

      To get the newer, higher-quality file, all you need to do is delete the file from your iTunes (from within the program itself; don’t just delete the file on your hard drive). iTunes asks you if you want to delete it from your computer AND iCloud, or just your computer. Say “just my computer”. When you do this, the file is moved to the trash, and iTunes shows a Cloud icon next to its name (the song remains present in your iTunes library.) Just click the Cloud icon to download a higher-quality version which gets put right where the old one had been. If you quit the Match service tomorrow, that file would still be there.
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    • I came, I read this article, I coeqrnued.

  28. Hi there …. very helpful response …. thank you

    One more question if you don’t mind …. the program has finished running (took about 2 days to finish) and the result is a bit odd in that with a very large number of albums that were ripped from CDs, I find that some songs are matched and others are uploaded (within the same album) … often there is just one or two songs in an album or 12 or whatever that is uploaded and the rest are matched …. this seems odd in that where you are sure the song is part of the original album and the song is spelled correctly, it is odd that it would not be matched but instead uploaded? Is this something you or others have experienced?

    I suppose in the end it does not really matter too much so long as you get it into the icloud somehow, but I was just curious why this would happen and whether you can tell the program to search again to fix it?

    Best regards and thanks again

  29. I’m about to leave for college and the schools internet services don’t let you use their internet if your using it for “illegal downloading” i was wondering if the iTunes match still did the iCloud thing even if you were connected to different wifi’s if you had home sharing set up

  30. Luis /

    Okay so I’m wondering could I delete all the songs locally off my iPad but still be able to listen to the iCloud versions on my iPad as long as I’m connected to 3G or wifi even though none of the actual song files are actually on my device??

  31. Shane /

    Sounds like a service I might be interested in… One question:
    Do I have to upload my entire library to the cloud at one time? I have my music collection stored in MP3 format on many, many DVD-ROMs. So in order to use this service, is it possible to re-import one disc at a time to my iTunes library, upload that music to the cloud, then delete it from my local library and proceed in similar fashion with the next disc in order until it’s all in the cloud?
    See, I’m short on HD space.

  32. hi,i got my ipad 2 not more than a month now, i enjoyed using it but until now i don’t haev an idea how does itunes work and how am i going to use it, how does it worki with a computer? and im going to sync it to itunes on a computer does it has to be same brand, apple laptop?? Honestly speaking I’m seeking for assistance from someone i don’t know personally coz its a bit ashame to ask from my friend, they might think im too ignorant with it, I hope someone can assist me.. thanks guys

  33. Hello, i just want to say that i have this service and it just awesome, i have my iphone, ipad, home PC, Work pc, all with my music thanks to this service without doing the cd rip we did before with itunes, i think it was a great idea from Apple

  34. Ketakko /

    Something went really wrong today so I am trying to make of this the less painful situation.

    I use an external drive to store my itunes music, somehow it stopped working today not a lot but around 95 GB of music some 19800 songs the list is still on the itunes but it wont find the songs on the hard drive, I am trying to scan it but the question is If I activte Itunes Match would it work just with the list if it doesn´t take the sample?

    HELP

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