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Apple releases iTunes 10.5.1 with public launch of iTunes Match

post #1 of 109
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Apple on Monday publicly released iTunes 10.5.1, marking the first time that users can access the new $24.99-per-year iTunes Match service.

The new version of iTunes is now available for download on both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. Upon installing, users can access the iTunes Match service, where they can subscribe and receive the ability to re-download songs on other devices like an iPhone or iPad.

After installing iTunes 10.5.1, users can subscribe to iTunes Match through the iTunes Music Store. A link is available on the right side of the screen where iTunes Match is highlighted with a blue icon that reads "new."

iTunes Match gives users the benefits of iTunes in the Cloud with songs that weren't purchased from iTunes. Built right into the iTunes software and the Music application on iOS devices, it lets users store their entire collection, including music that was imported from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes.

At a cost of $24.99 per year, iTunes will determine which songs in a user's collection are available on the iTunes Store. Any music that is matched is automatically added to iCloud.

Any songs that can't be matched are uploaded, allowing users to access their entire collection, including any content that may not be available for purchase on the iTunes Store.

When a user's music library has been uploaded and matched to iCloud, it can be re-downloaded on other devices on the go. Apple also offers users the ability to upgrade their songs to 256Kbps AAC DRM-free quality files, even if the original copy was of lower quality.



The public release of iTunes 10.5.1 comes only a few days after Apple supplied developers with a third beta of the software. Developers have been privately testing the iTunes Match service prior to its public launch.

The launch of iTunes Match is officially a few weeks late, as Apple originally promised that the service would debut by the end of October. But while in beta testing, iTunes Match had a number of problems scanning and matching some users' libraries, prompting Apple to conduct numerous resets to iron out the kinks.
post #2 of 109
I posted this in a few places so it might help with the inevitable questions that will show up here.

Been working with Match for a few weeks and thought I would post a FAQ type response here to what I see people asking over and over again.

1. When you enable Match it goes through a three step process. Analyzing your library, matching songs, uploading non-matched content. It does this for your whole library. You can't choose to exclude songs other than taking them out of your library.

2. If a song is matched, it becomes available to download in 256K AAC. If a song is not matched it is copied in its current format and bit rate up to 320K. If the file is Lossless however, it is converted (presumably by your computer) to a 256k AAC file and then uploaded.

3. Nothing happens to your local music when you run match. If you have a lower quality song that was matched you can remove it from your local library and then replace it with the 256k version. What happens is you delete the song, but the entry in iTunes stays, but a little cloud now shows up in a newly added column that shows you that you have a song that is in the cloud but not in your library. You can click on the cloud and it will download it to your local library, where again it is now permanently yours at the higher bit rate.

4. Match uses your meta-data. If you in an anal-retentive fashion have made lots of custom edits to your files, that is what gets copied to the cloud. Even if you replace your songs with the upgraded versions you keep your previous metal-data. This includes lyrics.

5. Your limit is 25,000 songs and purchased from iTunes don't count, but matched does. Again if you have personal recordings etc. they won't match (obviously) but will be copied to the cloud in their current format (see above for Lossless exception)

6. Songs below 100k (I couldn't tell if it was below 128K since I don't have any at 100k) are listed as ineligible and nothing happens with them.

7. iTunes runs match on any new material that is added. I.e. when you rip a new album it is matched or copied to the cloud depending on how the match worked. Also, when you change meta-data, it immediately moves that meta-data to the cloud. So, if you correct a name on your iMac, it fixes the name in match. However, if you already had it downloaded on your phone, it would not be changed. But if you delete if from your phone and download it again you would see the new information.

8. iTunes match is not an amnesty program. Because there is no way to prove that matched songs came from a legitimate source, you can't claim you "own" the songs simply because you have a matched version. The RIAA might still prove that your IP address downloaded a file and sue you. Also, since meta-data is preserved if there is a comment like "ripped by mega-thief" it's still going to be there, unless you clean it manually. This does reduce the likelihood that they could prove it was illegally obtained because it had say a specific bit-sum, but it was never a crime to be in possession of files if it couldn't be proven that you up or downloaded it. So, be aware, this does little to protect you from the RIAA.

9. You have reasonable control to get songs off the cloud that you don't want there, but if you keep it in any iTunes library that has match enabled, it will re-upload it when you update the library.

10. I still have a good number of non-obscure albums that end up with 9 out of 10 songs matching. So, when I download to my phone I end up with 9 256K AAC songs and 1 128k MP3. I don't like that.

11. You can't stream to an iPhone. It begins downloading and you can listen to it while downloading, but it is on your device now. But, you can stream to a Mac. Instead of clicking on the cloud icon, you just hit play and it plays the song. What it appears to happen is that is still downloads the entire file, but it goes to some cache rather than your library.

There are probably more things that people are asking, but hopefully this helps relive some of the FUD about match.
post #3 of 109
I found iTunes Match to be rather weak. I don't have a big music library, close to 1100 songs, but it found several songs that weren't eligible for the service. I don't know why they weren't eligible since I was under the impression that if iTunes can't match it, it would upload your copy. Also, since I disagree with some of the genres that iTunes assigns some of the music I have, it duplicates it with their version listed under their genre. I am also very picky about album art and while it did upload them and shows it listed when I tap on the album, it doesn't display it when I play a song.

This goes back to my issue with iCloud itself. No way to manage it that I know of. There are songs I bought and don't want anymore and it shows up under iTunes match.

For me, this isn't a service I will be renewing. I may look at it from time to time and see if it addresses a few of my compaints, but until then, I'll stick to offline music.
post #4 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyabinez View Post

4. Match uses your meta-data. If you in an anal-retentive fashion have made lots of custom edits to your files, that is what gets copied to the cloud. Even if you replace your songs with the upgraded versions you keep your previous metal-data.

7. iTunes runs match on any new material that is added. I.e. when you rip a new album it is matched or copied to the cloud depending on how the match worked. Also, when you change meta-data, it immediately moves that meta-data to the cloud. So, if you correct a name on your iMac, it fixes the name in match. However, if you already had it downloaded on your phone, it would not be changed. But if you delete if from your phone and download it again you would see the new information.

Lots of good info. Question about meta-data: what about changed artist/album names? Will it alter those across devices if you redownload? Example: I remove a swear word from an album title on my computer. Does the song have that word removed every time I redownload it? Basically, do I need to ensure all my song metadata is correct, even on matched songs to prevent corrupting the correct (original iTunes cloud) info?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyabinez View Post

9. You have reasonable control to get songs off the cloud that you don't want there, but if you keep it in any iTunes library that has match enabled, it will re-upload it when you update the library.

In practice, how do you remove a song from your cloud library?
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post #5 of 109
If you want to really see what is going on with your library in the cloud, set up another machine, VM, or separate user account on you machine and install iTunes with no songs in it. Then you can see exactly what is there. You get a pretty good idea with the new iCloud Status column, but you can't see some of the edge cases clearly, like when you have two copies of a song in the cloud.
post #6 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

Lots of good info. Question about meta-data: what about changed artist/album names? Will it alter those across devices if you redownload? Example: I remove a swear word from an album title on my computer. Does the song have that word removed every time I redownload it? Basically, do I need to ensure all my song metadata is correct, even on matched songs to prevent corrupting the correct (original iTunes cloud) info?



In practice, how do you remove a song from your cloud library?

Yes, if you change it one place that change will be uploaded to iCloud. If the song is already downloaded to a device it will not change it. But if you delete and re-download it takes the newest information.

Two ways. When you delete a song from iTunes that is in the cloud there is a checkbox that lets you delete from the cloud at the same time. The other way is that if you have deleted a song locally and it is in the cloud, you will still see an identical entry but with the little cloud download symbol. If you delete this entry, then the file is removed from the cloud. See my suggestion post above for a way to see a "pure" version of your library in the cloud. This makes it really easy to delete anything you don't want without messing with your local master.
post #7 of 109
What does it do with Playlists (and can one stream by playlist)?
post #8 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I found iTunes Match to be rather weak. I don't have a big music library, close to 1100 songs, but it found several songs that weren't eligible for the service. I don't know why they weren't eligible since I was under the impression that if iTunes can't match it, it would upload your copy. Also, since I disagree with some of the genres that iTunes assigns some of the music I have, it duplicates it with their version listed under their genre. I am also very picky about album art and while it did upload them and shows it listed when I tap on the album, it doesn't display it when I play a song.

This goes back to my issue with iCloud itself. No way to manage it that I know of. There are songs I bought and don't want anymore and it shows up under iTunes match.

For me, this isn't a service I will be renewing. I may look at it from time to time and see if it addresses a few of my compaints, but until then, I'll stick to offline music.

If your songs were ineligible it is likely because they were below 100k bit rate. Here's a hint. Create a higher bit rate version of it in iTunes. Yes, I know that you can't add any actual quality, but it will make it eligible for iTunes to match. Then you can replace it with your matched version.

Genres are not changed by match. If you change it locally it will change in the cloud, in fact it almost does it in real time and there seems to be some process monitoring changes.

You can delete from the cloud, it is not as pretty as it could be, but there are tricks to make it really easy to carefully manage your cloud.

Even purchased songs can be removed from iCloud, but they are still in your purchases list.
post #9 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyabinez View Post

4. Match uses your meta-data. If you in an anal-retentive fashion have made lots of custom edits to your files, that is what gets copied to the cloud. Even if you replace your songs with the upgraded versions you keep your previous metal-data. This includes lyrics.

so anal-retentive + meta-data = metal-data? ;-)

great info (seriously). thanks.
post #10 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyabinez View Post

If your songs were ineligible it is likely because they were below 100k bit rate. Here's a hint. Create a higher bit rate version of it in iTunes.

These were songs purchased on iTunes awhile ago. So no, that below 100k theory doesn't apply here.
post #11 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyabinez View Post

Yes, if you change it one place that change will be uploaded to iCloud. If the song is already downloaded to a device it will not change it. But if you delete and re-download it takes the newest information.

Two ways. When you delete a song from iTunes that is in the cloud there is a checkbox that lets you delete from the cloud at the same time. The other way is that if you have deleted a song locally and it is in the cloud, you will still see an identical entry but with the little cloud download symbol. If you delete this entry, then the file is removed from the cloud. See my suggestion post above for a way to see a "pure" version of your library in the cloud. This makes it really easy to delete anything you don't want without messing with your local master.

I think I found a way to fix all my Meta-Data w/ iTunes info (Not random things in my comments box, or weird genres). Let me know if this works:

Example. I have an Album- it doesn't have the tracks listed, and isn't in order or tracks. Half of the Genres say "pop" the other say "Rock". The comments says "000384892":
Upload Album to iTunes Match- it then matches it. I delete the "Master" from my computer, and download the iTunes/Cloud version. Will this have the correct Genre, No comment (or correct comment), tracks listed, etc? Or is it just a mirror of the unorganized crap I just uploaded?

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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post #12 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple on Monday publicly released iTunes 10.5.1, marking the first time that users can access the new $24.99-per-year iTunes Match service....

More people in the world than just USA.

You might want to mention that this is a USA only situation at the moment. At least that would be the polite thing to do.
post #13 of 109
does anyone know if there's a way to see what the match results will be before subscribing (and paying the $24.99)? i.e., how many matches, how many uploads, etc.?
post #14 of 109
I had hoped that by the time it was released, iTunes Match would find a solution for libraries over 25,000. I have over 138,000 items in my library. When trying to sign up, you're simply told that your library is over 25,000 and you can't get iTunes Match. Very disappointing.
post #15 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

More people in the world than just USA.

Unproven.....

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #16 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

These were songs purchased on iTunes awhile ago. So no, that below 100k theory doesn't apply here.

Maybe they are not available on iTunes anymore?
But still would be strange if it then would not upload your own copiers....
post #17 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What does it do with Playlists (and can one stream by playlist)?

Yes, you can stream from playlists. Additionally, you can create playlists on your idevices that show up on your PC.

You can also edit those playlists as well(on your computer and idevices).
post #18 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

More people in the world than just USA.

You might want to mention that this is a USA only situation at the moment. At least that would be the polite thing to do.

I'm an American living abroad. I have a US account and have complete access to the US iTunes store. Will this work for me or will I be excluded?
post #19 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

I think I found a way to fix all my Meta-Data w/ iTunes info (Not random things in my comments box, or weird genres). Let me know if this works:

Example. I have an Album- it doesn't have the tracks listed, and isn't in order or tracks. Half of the Genres say "pop" the other say "Rock". The comments says "000384892":
Upload Album to iTunes Match- it then matches it. I delete the "Master" from my computer, and download the iTunes/Cloud version. Will this have the correct Genre, No comment (or correct comment), tracks listed, etc? Or is it just a mirror of the unorganized crap I just uploaded?

I don't think so. For example, I bought some songs from Rhapsody. In the comments field it has that info. iTunes matched it and I downloaded it to another machine. The comments are still there. What I might try later is to remove all the meta-data and see if iTunes tries to replace it if it is missing.

This sounds strange, but some reports say that there is some kind of sound hound type analysis going on. Otherwise I could just put the meta-data for any song that I wanted on some random track and it would come back with a matched version of a song that I didn't even have.

So, I wonder if I have almost no meta-data would it be filled in? I'll have to try it later when I have some time.
post #20 of 109
Just for the record, songs not found on iTunes will be uploaded to iCloud. For example, several of my voice memos created on my iPhone were uploaded. I went back to iTunes and added artwork so that it looks nice in "cover flow" on my devices.
post #21 of 109
No iTunes updates showing in the UK at the moment - I know the match service is US only at the moment, but is the iTunes update itself US only too?
post #22 of 109
Is it safe to say that for tracks where iTunes currently does not find artwork for, they will not be matched with this service?
post #23 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by manny805 View Post

Is it safe to say that for tracks where iTunes currently does not find artwork for, they will not be matched with this service?

This is a question I have as well, because iTunes does a horrible job at finding cover art if you have even one iota of meta-data it doesn't recognize.

If it does the same job matching to iCloud/Match as it does for cover art, it's a fail. If it does a better job than cover art matching, why don't they make cover art matching work???
post #24 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post

No iTunes updates showing in the UK at the moment - I know the match service is US only at the moment, but is the iTunes update itself US only too?

Probably. since it's a point update and the only thing new is iTunes match.
post #25 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What does it do with Playlists (and can one stream by playlist)?

Playlists are synced via Match, sounds like all playlists show up on all devices.
post #26 of 109
Has anyone tested out how iCloud and match interact with AppleTV yet. I'm hoping that I can stream from the cloud without having one of my laptops open.
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post #27 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

This is a question I have as well, because iTunes does a horrible job at finding cover art if you have even one iota of meta-data it doesn't recognize.

If it does the same job matching to iCloud/Match as it does for cover art, it's a fail. If it does a better job than cover art matching, why don't they make cover art matching work???

Why is it a 'fail'? It still uploads your music and allows you to access it. Aside from the initial upload of music (who caresleave the computer on unattended if you like) that's no big deal. As for its ability to match album artwork (and perhaps your music) this will probably depend on the music metadata. If you want content to match the iTunes store (for example, to get album artwork) you can adjust the relevant metadata to better match the iTunes store (e.g. album names). Most people have some pretty sloppy music libraries so there are going to be plenty of mismatches in this regard. I have pretty good luck matching the iTunes store as long as my metadata is in order (though there are occasional 'huh?' moments).

And it is entirely possible that they've improved matching abilities or performed some other upgrades (I read about one person who has found more of their music being matched through various stages of the beta) so that could be nice too.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #28 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokolosh View Post

I'm hoping that I can stream from the cloud without having one of my laptops open.

That's exactly what it does.
post #29 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokolosh View Post

Has anyone tested out how iCloud and match interact with AppleTV yet. I'm hoping that I can stream from the cloud without having one of my laptops open.

Works great! Not only does iTunes not have to be open, but your computer doesn't even have to be on.

And this works across all of your devices: Apple TV, ipad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
post #30 of 109
Question: after you have turned on iTunes Match and matched your music in your library the first time, does music that you add into iTunes automatically get matched or do you have to tell iTunes to match your music again?
post #31 of 109
Not working correctly for me. Updated iTunes, subscribed and payed for Match, and now when its in the process of matching files, iTunes reports a problem and needs to close. On my third try now...
post #32 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by groovylounge View Post

I had hoped that by the time it was released, iTunes Match would find a solution for libraries over 25,000. I have over 138,000 items in my library. When trying to sign up, you're simply told that your library is over 25,000 and you can't get iTunes Match. Very disappointing.

Take some of your free content out of the Itunes folder and put it in a different folder and match that way.
post #33 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingNewMedia View Post

Question: after you have turned on iTunes Match and matched your music in your library the first time, does music that you add into iTunes automatically get matched or do you have to tell iTunes to match your music again?

Automatic, happens immediately.
post #34 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

More people in the world than just USA.

You might want to mention that this is a USA only situation at the moment. At least that would be the polite thing to do.

On that note, what happens if you switch music stores between two countries (one being the USA)? I have purchased songs from both USA and Canada. Will my Canadian purchased content be included in the matching process? Or will I only be able to match one country at a time?

I know that Apps purchased from one country will not update when I am using the other country's music store.

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post #35 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by hface119 View Post

Not working correctly for me. Updated iTunes, subscribed and payed for Match, and now when its in the process of matching files, iTunes reports a problem and needs to close. On my third try now...

Not much information to work with, but if a range of other people aren't experiencing this issue, I would suspect that you might have some kind of file in iTunes which is somehow causing a crash during the matching process. If that were the case it would probably be crashing at the same point each time. Any odd formats or junky music you can clear out?

Worth mentioning again, though, that this early on it is just a shot in the dark.

Edit: During the matching process it tells you which song out of x it is currently matching. If this corresponds to your overall library you might be able to figure out which song is causing a conflict—again, if it is quitting at a certain point, and again, if it is a song which is actually the problem—by reviewing your library around that point. This would only work if, say, the matching order is based on something like an alphabetical list. If it is instead iterating with some kind of song ID, or through another less obvious means, this might not help.
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post #36 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

Why is it a 'fail'? It still uploads your music and allows you to access it. Aside from the initial upload of music (who caresleave the computer on unattended if you like) that's no big deal. As for its ability to match album artwork (and perhaps your music) this will probably depend on the music metadata. If you want content to match the iTunes store (for example, to get album artwork) you can adjust the relevant metadata to better match the iTunes store (e.g. album names). Most people have some pretty sloppy music libraries so there are going to be plenty of mismatches in this regard. I have pretty good luck matching the iTunes store as long as my metadata is in order (though there are occasional 'huh?' moments).

And it is entirely possible that they've improved matching abilities or performed some other upgrades (I read about one person who has found more of their music being matched through various stages of the beta) so that could be nice too.

If iTunes Match does as good/bad of a job as it has in the past for cover art, it is a "fail", in my opinion, because it is extremely inefficienct.

It is in Apple's, and the consumers' best interest to match as many titles as possible with this service because it means fewer personal versions of tracks being uploaded to the cloud. In many peoples' libraries, this equates to massive amounts of bandwidth (ours and Apple's) and storage (mainly Apple's). It seems pretty dumb, at least to me, on Apple's part to have thousands of copies of the same song replicated on their servers, thousands of times over, because it failed to see they are all really the same track.

My question still remains... IF they have improved matching because of this service, will it make it's way to users of iTunes who do not subscribe to the Match service for the purposes of matching cover art?
post #37 of 109
Thanks to all for the great information in this thread. Does anyone know if matched music will then show up as purchased content? I have some CD's that I imported have iTunes LP available on the iTunes store. Just wondering if this would allow me to take advantage of that.
post #38 of 109
If I have multiple libraries, one at home and one at work on my laptop, can both of them add to iTunes Match?

Or will you be locked into the first library you sync to?
post #39 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

On that note, what happens if you switch music stores between two countries (one being the USA)? I have purchased songs from both USA and Canada. Will my Canadian purchased content be included in the matching process? Or will I only be able to match one country at a time?

I know that Apps purchased from one country will not update when I am using the other country's music store.

You will have to pick one country or the other for content if you use iTunes match.

Accessing content from a store not in your country is not technically legal and you need a second ID anyway. Apple has already said that it won't combine ID's so you will likely have to choose.

This is the main reason why iTunes match and iTunes in the cloud is useless to me also. Most of my stuff is from multiple countries/continents etc. and won't be available in the store for matching.
post #40 of 109
Arstechnica is reporting that if you have more than 25000 songs in your library you are declared ineligible to signup. iTunes Match does not yet support accounts w/greater than 25,000 songs.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...-not-apply.ars
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