Apple Music shifting to iTunes Match 'acoustic fingerprinting' method of song ID

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited July 2016
Changes are being made behind the scenes to iTunes Music's library matching and streaming algorithms, allowing for more accurate determination of what songs the user owns, and preventing inadvertent destruction of music libraries.




Apple's rollout of the acoustic fingerprinting to Apple Music subscribers started on Monday. The new method of determination eschews the tag-based matching that Apple Music used since launch in 2015, in favor of how iTunes Match has always performed track identification.

Starting shortly, iTunes will look at the user's library again, and will re-match incorrectly matched songs with the correct song, assuming it exists in Apple's iTunes catalog. As always, unmatched songs will be uploaded to a user's iCloud account.

Apple Music will not replace songs that have been downloaded to a device, correct or not, so if a user has an incorrect song in a library, it must be manually deleted for the match to take place.

According to Jim Dalrymple from The Loop, Apple will be migrating between one and two percent of its users of Apple Music over to the new method of identification per day. With the the addition of acoustic fingerprinting to Apple Music, subscribers need not also pay for the iTunes Match service.

Apple Music's matching feature was widely criticized after launch for replacing live tracks with studio recordings, as well as possibly deleting large swathes of user's music sourced from CD. The same problems never manifested with the earlier iTunes Match feature, as it used acoustic fingerprinting to identify users' tracks, and uploaded music that wasn't readily identifiable as being able to be streamed from Apple-hosted sources.

An acoustic fingerprint is a digital summary of a larger audio signal, similar to a checksum, that can be used to uniquely identify an audio sample. Acoustic fingerprinting algorithms are compression-independent, meaning that it is not dependent on the method of encoding of the file, and uses the music itself as the source.

in 2011, iTunes Match debuted with the acoustic fingerprinting technology, which allowed users to "store your entire collection, including music you've ripped from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes" according to Apple. A "separate but complimentary" system to do roughly the same thing, deployed alongside Apple Music, with many refinements and revisions along the way responding to user complaints.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Why wasn't this the case from the start? Cost?
    latifbp
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Why wasn't this the case from the start? Cost?
    Not sure, but I have my own pet theory. I think the people at Apple are in their own bubble and aren't used to acquiring music from places other than iTunes. Almost all my live music from bands I enjoy are purchased from 3rd party sites as the bands released them. They probably didn't know this would be a problem until it was a problem.
    latifbp
  • Reply 3 of 9
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 862member
    Why wasn't this the case from the start? Cost?
    Not sure, but I have my own pet theory. I think the people at Apple are in their own bubble and aren't used to acquiring music from places other than iTunes. Almost all my live music from bands I enjoy are purchased from 3rd party sites as the bands released them. They probably didn't know this would be a problem until it was a problem.
    It's a big world. It is difficult to unearth problems like those without large numbers of dedicated testers. 
    latifbp
  • Reply 4 of 9
    I've given up on iTunes for now and waiting to see the changes in Mac OS Sierra and iOS 10. The co-mingling of Apple Music/Music Match and my own ripped music library became a nightmare to manage. I now use Audirvana Plus as my player and library manager. I use iTunes only for Apple Music.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,861member
    I'm quite happy with the latest Apple Music + iTunes Match combination especially with iOS 10 because you can tell it to automatically download the tracks you add to My Music. I believe Apple should simply bundle iTunes Match directly into Apple Music instead of treating it as a separate add-on, if simply to consolidate the billing models. My only complaint about Apple Music w/Match is that it leads to mass storage depletion on iDevices. The 256 GB devices delay the inevidable a bit longer, but with so many choices at the buffet it's hard to stop filling your plate. The iOS 10 music storage optimization feature should be a pretty good solution that will work well for users with good streaming connections but who still want to keep a minimum music storage allotment on their device for situations when they have no connectivity at all, like on a plane lacking WiFi. Early indicators from both iOS 10 and macOS Sierra seem to show much more attention to detail from Apple's software development community. I think they got the message this time around. The quality gates seem to be a bit more stringent and the improvements show even in the beta releases. Very encouraging signs. 
    fastasleeplostkiwipscooter63latifbp
  • Reply 6 of 9
    normmnormm Posts: 531member
    dewme said:
    I believe Apple should simply bundle iTunes Match directly into Apple Music instead of treating it as a separate add-on, if simply to consolidate the billing models. 
    That's what they've done.  Everyone with Apple Music will also have iTunes Match, once the transition is completed.
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 7 of 9
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,518member
    Why wasn't this the case from the start? Cost?
    My guess would be scalability, which in some ways is the same thing. 
  • Reply 8 of 9

    This should really help guys who collect live shows (RoIOs) . Apple Music/ iTunes Match would sometimes change the tags to match the studio song with the same name, by the same artist, while the actual song was the live version. In some cases, it would replace the live song itself with the studio version.

    Hopefully this should be mitigated soon.

  • Reply 9 of 9
    matt_smatt_s Posts: 299member
    "preventing inadvertent destruction of music libraries"

    You mean that there's music libraries being destroyed on purpose?

    These corporations need to be forced to respect USER DATA, not their applications or "eco"system. There should be stiff monetary penalties for destruction of any user data.
Sign In or Register to comment.