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iTunes Match Review: Pros and Cons, A Year Later

iTunes Match Review: Pros and Cons, A Year Later
Brendan
  • On 12/07/2012
  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108570879638461359497

Since initially taking the big leap with iTunes Match a year ago, I’ve scrutinized Apple’s product with a microscopic eye. Looking for flaws is something I do best. If there’s an issue I’ll find it. If there’s something wonderful about it, I’ll give it equal credit.

As we know, iTunes Match released on November 14, 2011 which works hand-in-hand with iCloud and more importantly hand-in-hand with iTunes 11 (See our review here). Now, a year later, iTunes Match has become an intricate part of my iTunes library. As a taste-maker of indie music, my library grows as quickly as my unread messages in my inbox. Keeping up with music is a large task, which is why I will support iTunes so long as it makes improvements to keep up with the ever-growing digital media I’m subject to. In my eyes, there is no better mass-storage program for music.

For more iTunes tips and tricks, visit our glossary of useful information to get your music library where it needs to be!

By the same token, while iTunes is my trusted ally and personal assistant when it comes time to create playlists or organize my favorite songs from the past month, week or even day, there have been plenty of gripes about iTunes in general and similar ones with iTunes Match. Don’t get me wrong, iTunes Match is a great product – the first of its kind. But there are still flaws that have been neglected which keep me from giving a completely glowing review. So, while I’d like to focus on the flaws, there’s much praise to be given as well. Please, add on to anything I’ve missed:

The Good

Come On, It’s Just $25

The price of iTunes Match isn’t a lot to chew. Especially when you consider the value of your library. Surely, $25 is just a drop in the bucket if you are serious about your music collection. What price can you put on taking your music with you everywhere? Would you pay $50? $100? Most likely not. The genius behind the price pointof iTunes Match makes it worth about two and a half albums purchased on iTunes; just high enough to justify it as a decision, but not enough to fret over. But more so than the price, the value in the iTunes Match product comes in as a multi-offering. Not only does it allow you to take your music with you, but it simplifies and enhances the experience. This leads me to my next point…

The Upgrade

The experience of using iTunes Match is like renting a Chevy Malibu from a rental agency but getting a last minute upgrade to an SUV. Undoubtedly for your library, aside from having all of your music with you at all times, the upgrade to iTunes Match is perhaps the biggest bonus for a mere $25. You can upgrade the sound quality of your entire library.

While you sound-quality geeks might be debating this, there are a few ways to look at it. 256kbps in AAC format is equal to the 320kbps in standard audio MP3s. In fact, if you’re getting your music illegally from another source, there’s a good chance that even though you’re getting a version that says that album is “320kbps”, the conversion tools used by that person could define it as 320, but you could be getting a lesser quality.

Placebo anyone?

itunes Match

The bonus with iTunes Match is you can match everything that is found in the iTunes store and get the copy they would essentially sell to a consumer. So that Dave Matthew’s Live at Red Rocks double album that you bought on CD and ripped to your computer? Yup, you can upgrade it to an iTunes Store quality version – the same one everyone else is paying for with their hard-earned dollars.

The benefit of the upgrade makes the value of iTunes Match well worth the buy by itself. But if you can’t sync your music with the store, you might want to read more about fixing your library first.

Lost Music And The Angry Exclamation Point

In terms of cutting off that fear-mongering attitude many software products offer, most products that offer to back up your large collections of pictures, videos or music now look like a bad insurance agent. “Don’t lose your data forever!” or “Why aren’t you backing up your computer?” might be a few of the questions asked when this comes to mind. But now with iCloud + iTunes Match, there’s no need soil your drawers when a song or album goes missing.

Why? For one, iTunes Match initially syncs with the cloud, or iCloud. While this invisible service seems useless to many, by using iTunes Match your data is safe, even if your hard drive failed and your songs start mysteriously disappearing. iTunes Match works as a backup mechanism, or a placeholder for your entire library. Everything in iTunes will be available, even if your kid sister or absent-minded family member deletes it all by accident. To me, I think of the $25 as insurance, were I to ever lose my library, 400+ playlists and hours I spent obsessively rating my music.

How does this work?

After going through the initial sync to iTunes Match, your library will be available on up to five devices. So you can basically log on to a new computer and just put your username and password in and viola! Your library is now on that computer – playlists and all.

Using iTunes Match basically means you can stream from the iCloud since you essentially sent your entire library to it. An example of how this acts as a placeholder would be that this past week I discovered my entire Band of Horses collection was somehow missing. For those who use iTunes, I’m sure you’ve seen the angry exclamation point next to the track that says “Bring me $1,000,000 at midnight or you’ll never see this track again”. Okay, it doesn’t say that, but if you’re without iTunes Match you either have to tediously hunt around on your computer or buy it again. Since I use iTunes Match, I simply selected all of those tracks with the exclamation point and deleted them. What?!?! Yep, I just deleted them, which in turn allowed me to download the track from the iCloud, which backed it up previously. iTunes Match saves the day.

The Ever Accepting iCloud

iCloud will take anything you give it. It’s like the dog owner who just can’t say no to that sad puppy face (Or a dog that will eat anything in front of it). iCloud will gladly accept everything into the cloud, so long as it first ran things by iTunes Match. If your computer is synced up with iTunes Match, your song will be in the iCloud, regardless of whether it’s the only copy of that song in the world or something you created yourself.

iTunes Match takes the exact copy of your song and holds it in the iCloud. The ‘match’ part of everything will only work if your song matches up to the same criteria in the iTunes store, which means you’ll have to have the album name, album artist and artist in sync via the ‘Get Info’ option.  Again, you might want to check out one of these two clean-up programs.

The Bad

We’ve been nice so far, but iTunes Match and iCloud aren’t perfect by any means. In fact, there are some items that make it downright frustrating to use, sometimes even useless on the road. Let’s get down and dirty.

iTunes Match Will Not Update Playcounts

There’s been a growing dissent with iCloud, despite its useful and willing nature to connect to your devices, whether they be a PC, iPhone or iPod. But some of the most frustrating out there is its lack of ability to update your playcounts via iCloud. For example, let’s say you’re going skiing one weekend and have all of this great music lined up in several perfect playlists. You hit the slopes, play your songs, then come home to find your iTunes library wasn’t updated each time you played your music. For those that live and die by iTunes, this can be immensely frustrating. Keep in mind, these smart playlists I created rely on playcounts to update themselves.

Go figure, “Last Played” isn’t updated either. In fact, it’s like you never played the song at all. For those who like to play with iTunes and manipulate their playlists to keep their music fresh, this is yet another pitfall. iTunes and iTunes Match just haven’t figured out how to sync themselves through the cloud just yet.

Skipped or Unplayable Songs

Perhaps one of the most frustrating items I’ve run into is when playing music from the iCloud on the go. One particular instance is when I bought a song on the road and began playing it. As I’m driving, I run into a bad network area. I can’t blame Apple for that bad reception, but I can blame the following: Once the song skips or stops playing midway through, it always will. This doesn’t matter if you purchased the song or got it for free somehow.

If you’re streaming music from iCloud via iTunes Match, watch out. There are two scenarios I’ve found:

Action: Your song is not fully downloaded and you decide to skip to a later part in the song.
Result: Your song will play the audio up to the point you decided to skip. The song will continue to play, but with no audio.

Action: Your song is loading, not playing and you decide to skip to the next song.
Result: Depending on how much of the song was downloaded, your song will immediately skip after playing up to that point.

This has been a documented problem on Apple forums, and there is only one sad fix to get it working properly again: Remove it. Remove your song completely from the Cloud, then add it again. For those who don’t know much about iTunes, you can simply drag the track to your desktop before deleting it, then adding it again by dragging it back into iTunes.

Update: I recently cleared all of the music data on my phone and was able to remove the skipping that occurred on the majority of my songs.  Once you do this, you will have the option to redownload the songs you deleted from the memory on your phone.  To do this, go to Settings > General > Usage, then wait for your ‘Storage’ details to show up and simply delete the Music Data.

In addition, I would frequently get the no-service circle (Verizon) that would show full bars but no data service.  This can be resolved by turning on Airplane Mode, leaving active for 5-10 seconds, then switching it off.  This will reset your data connection and force your phone to re-sync with any nearby cell towers.

The 25,000 Song Limit

There are two schools of thought on this. The first is the people who don’t understand any purpose for such a sizeable collection. The second is those who can grasp how such a large library is amassed and the purpose for it all.

As we know, Google Play a/k/a Google Music allows up to 20,000 songs. It’s free and pretty straightforward. iTunes Match offers 5,000 more songs in the cloud, but also a link to your iTunes account. For a paid service, the limit must be moved up. 25,000 is simply not enough for many. With the dropping prices in storage devices, surely this will happen down the road, but if a larger option cannot be offered right now, then offer a higher tier for serious music listeners. It is quite frustrating to no longer see the new music in sync with your device, particularly when there’s no further option to keep the iTunes Match product running in its full capacity. There should be no end-of-the-road option when it comes to media storage. Ever.

Losing Your Place

There are more instances of losing my place in a song than I can count on my hands and toes because of the iTunes Match + iPhone combo. If your device goes longer than 6 hours without continuing your last track, it resets the spot you left off in the song you last listened to.

This is something I know I can rely on my old iPod Photo to do, but such a modern offering can simply not pick up where you left off if the time elapses. That’s not to say it will never pick up where you left off. But who wants to keep their iDevice on a leash just so they can keep their spot in a song? As long as the battery is running, there is no reason my song shouldn’t pick up where I left off.

iPhone Only

When is iTunes and its iTunes Match product going to move to phones outside of Apple products?  Most likely never.  But the limited choice for phone selection is something nobody wants to deal with.  For the music-oriented, that means perhaps just going with Spotify and the phone of their choice.  Clearly, Apple needs to offer their product to other devices, just as they offer iTunes for Windows and Mac.

iTunes Sync Errors

No matter what you do, there’s just no way you can get your song to sync with iTunes.  For some reason, iTunes chooses to reject songs and cause sync errors.  There are limitations on what iTunes will and won’t accept.  But to my limited knowledge, I do know that very low-quality MP3s will not be synced with iCloud.  Otherwise, the errors uploading music to the iCloud is just frustrating

Wait, Then Add

If you move quick like me, you’ve probably tried to add a song not yet uploaded to iCloud to a playlist.  But slow down, cowboy!  You have to wait for the song to upload, otherwise iTunes will give you an option to delete the entire playlist you were working on.  There is no current way to add a song to a playlist unless it is uploaded to the iCloud first.  So wait, and wait you must before you can get productive again.

Now that I’ve gotten all of that off my chest, what are your experiences with iTunes Match or reservations from subscribing?

146 comments
Guest87634567
Guest87634567

As soon as I signed up for iTunes Match, most of my songs disappeared from my iTunes! It almost seems like they were deleted without informing me! Songs that I have downloaded over 10 years! What do I do?!?

CharlesVPresta
CharlesVPresta

@ronhowerd. They setup sites that point out all of the flaws in their services?

I doubt that you even have a sister. Go troll elsewhere.

@ everybody else..  Here is a benefit of iTunes Match that wasn't mentioned in the article.

If you have songs in your collection that are older iTunes purchases which contain their DRM, you can upload them to match, then delete the files from your computer, then download them from Match without the DRM.

Excellent service if you want to be able to copy those files to non Apple devices for playback. In my case, I had enough DRM songs to make iTunes match less expensive than purchasing the upgrades individually.

ronhowerd
ronhowerd

Just so everybody knows, my sister works at a apple pr firm and under some napa wine influence said they setup websites like this one that come up on the first page of a google seach to trick people from not disputed the 26 buck charge..  just fyi for you all.

WeymanHolton
WeymanHolton

mp3.com did this in 1999 and got sued out of existence...and you had to put the original CD in the drive...so 'first of its kind?' ... not really

Tom Davis
Tom Davis

Awesome review! Been debating the jump for some time.

Q: I have a 22,000 strong library all stored locally on iMac, can stream to apple TV and to other iOS devices on my network. My primary need would be to 'upgrage' bit rate of lower quality tracks, and then store them locally instead of my original copy. 

As you mentioned it has taken years to amass this quantity of songs, terrified of deleting about 60% of these songs on the promise that iTunes will then download about 14,000 high quality tracks to replace these lower quality copies.

Another interesting one - if doing this does all the metadata replace with the official iTunes tags? I have taken painful hours tagging and batch sorting metadata for the benefit of smart playlists and search purposes and not sure if I'd like apple to wipe this and replace with their own tags?

Sigil
Sigil

iTunes Match has issues with actually matching songs. Even songs purchased via iTunes. Music is streamed to your Apple TV, but not to iOS devices. The option to stream is unavailable to iOS devices. Music is played while downloading. No, it doesn't cache songs; it downloads them. If you are tight in space, well that is a limitation.

Alan Blank
Alan Blank

Do you think Apple will increase the 25,00 maximum for a higher price?

Smash1031
Smash1031

Hey Brendan,

Once I download tracks from the cloud onto my iphone, can use a third party app (djay 2) to play the tracks? Or will the native ipod player be my only option to play music? Thanks.

Miri
Miri

Hi Brendan,

Great post! I just signed up to iTunes Match and there seems to be an issue when adding songs to an existing playlist on my iphone (4S with IOS7). If the list was created on my computer then I add a song on my iphone, the songs does not show up on my playlist on the computer. However, if I create a new list on my iphone, it shows up on the computer. Thought you might know how to get around this.

Ramchi
Ramchi

Dont understand this service!!! I just opted this under the impression that it allows you to listen and download unto 25,000 songs (not necessarily in your phone or computer) for one year. But it turns out to be that I have to make separate purchase and this is only for streaming it through internet. It is like getting screwed for buying songs through iTunes or something like that….

daisy5278
daisy5278

My laptop's available HD memory is very low and the itunes music takes up about 70% of the hard drive space.  Will the use of Imatch help with storage issues on my computers/laptops?

Gbuckingham
Gbuckingham

Hi, is there one of those imatch for dummies books ? To be honest , I'm a total technophobe when it comes to iTunes, cloud and imatch.. I just recently bought an iPad and wanted to have my PC and laptop collection of music all in one place, so I signed up to imatch. My tech savvy eldest son also put about 40 tracks from his iTunes library onto my iPad. When I tried to go through the set up steps of match, I discovered that all the songs my son gave me from his iTunes library dissapeared from my iPad, after a bit of pleading he reloaded them onto my iPad. So my question is. I have my own iTunes library on my PC and lapto how can i get them all on match including the tracks my son gave me.

Angie
Angie

I'm thinking about subscribing to iTunes Match, but I am wondering if I will lose my existing playlists when I do? I've spent hours browsing for this info, and so far I can't find that specific answer.

Ross
Ross

Hi Brendan, as a DJ my iTunes contains tracks no lower than 320kbps or WAV. I'm worried that iTunes will match my songs and replace with 256kbps tracks? If I then want to download or burn a CD from my other computer, will I be able to download the 320 or WAV, or will it only give the option to download the 256 version?


Can you choose to turn off the function to match your songs, and just store your own songs?

ekohne
ekohne

If I have bought music from iTunes on other computers (years ago) that aren't my laptop, will they also be transferred to the cloud. Or will only the music on my current computer transfer.

DanWaite
DanWaite

PLEASE can someone answer this question:  

I have 10,000 songs on my imac at home, with the entire iTunes library added to cloud BUT PLAYING LOCALLY. (all songs are local). 

I have a macbook Pro at work which I listen to music all day on, and this is playing music from iTunes Match. (To clarify, the macbook pro has NO local music on it). 

If I delete an artist from iCloud on my macbook, then add it again (say with a full album instead of a few songs), then run the update itunes match function, what happens to the local copy at home? 

If I run "update iTunes Match" at home, would my iMac say "look, there is a CD thats been added today", and make it available on the iMac? 

Furthermore, because I like to have a 100% local copy of my collection on the imac, whenever I add more music to icloud on the go , I choose to download it onto the imac. But what happens to the local copy that I deleted out of iTunes Match?

migatica1
migatica1

I hate how music match will only keep the first customization of a song and will not update

Changes.for example you choose your own custom album cover and then later on decide you want to change it. Well it all seems good until you come back later on and see that the original customization is back in place of the new update and it will do this to all your devices over and over and over again unless you delete it from the cloud and then customize it all over again this is very frustrating when you customize hundreds of albums one afternoon only to come back the next day and all your work wiped out because the music match sync with iCloud does not update continuously it only saps the first copy so my advice is if you download a song and you want to do customization take the time to meticulously and make sure that is the way you want it to appear in librarary for good that way you will not have the problem of having to go over and over and over the same redundant delete  add again garbage


iRog
iRog

So as I understand it, iTunes Match will both upgrade the quality and complete the missing songs on a partially ripped album. But what I'd like to know is - does it do this just once when I first sign up
? - or will it continue to upgrade and complete partially ripped albums that I add later?


DeborahFaithThompson
DeborahFaithThompson

I am selling my macbook and I am not ready to get another device yet. I was thinking I would back up al my music onto a hard drive and then upload it to my new device whenever I get it. But then my bro suggested itunes match and I just don't understand how, if I get itunes match then wipe all the music from itunes and hand over my computer to its new owner, I would be able to access it all again on my ipad. I'm scared to lose all my music!!! 

MarkoRiezebos
MarkoRiezebos

Hi Brendan, are you really one of the lucky ones that got Match to work?!?!

I've trying to get it to work for 6 months now, and I have never made it past "Step 1: Gathering information about your iTunes library".

Just Google "iTunes Match problems" and you will see I am not the only one having major problems with just getting Match to work at all...


NickWeishampel
NickWeishampel

I was considering paying for Match, but I have more than 25k. So, if you have a library of over 25k songs, will Match simply just not work? I was thinking it was limited to 25k songs that it would match, but you could still have a library of any size, but I saw the "Your library contains too many songs, error in your article.

Mark Gilbert
Mark Gilbert

Great article, thank you.  One problem I have encountered is that if you want to change the media type in Itunes, say from "music" to "book" or from "movie" to TV, you must turn off Itunes Match to enable that feature within ITunes.  When you are done with your change over, you turn Match back on....but then there is a very long process of going through the match process again....any suggestions?

Bryce
Bryce

Last year 2012 I signed up for iTunes Match and cloud. I was renewing my computer to windows 7 as there was a terrible virus and couldn't get rid of it. So loaded my music etc on Match. Afterward when I went to retrieve my music I found that over 100 songs were missing. In particular I had several albums loaded on my computer one of which I had purchased from a nearby store. Many of the songs were missing from this album. I called Apple and got the stat answer that if they didn't sell it they won't save it. I joined Match because it offered to maintain my music as long as it was legal. Further I am wondering why some songs were available to me and others not? Can you advise?

muckpuk
muckpuk

Hi Brendan. 

You seem like a pretty normal person who uses normal language. Can you help? I am about to sell all my actual CD's at the carboot sale but first want to secure them all. So looking into backing up possibilities. I love the idea of iMatch, but before I get into that,  I would like to back up my itunes on a hard drive. Now I know this was not the initial conversation but when I look up on line how to consolidate my songs, itunes says:  Choose File > Library > Organize Library. Now it might be incredibly STUPID but where do I find the File to choose > Library to choose > Organize Library ????? Is it in itunes? I looked at the upper right corner menu but there is no File option to choose. I have a few more days to load all my cd's in itunes and back it up.  PLEASE HELP> 

Thanks

Otnorot
Otnorot

Question about iTunes match 25,000 song max limit.  If i delete songs matched from the iCloud, can i then add more to get up to the 25,000 song limit?


Otnorot
Otnorot

I've uploaded 4 songs as a test to the cloud, now how to i find the upgraded files?

Sigil
Sigil

I apologize for the typos. The input field doesn't allow me to view my typing after a specific point.

AndyThelwell
AndyThelwell

@Gbuckingham - If you're a technophobe then, honestly, I'd steer clear of iTunes Match for now. It's simply too buggy and unpredictable to be considered user friendly. I'm tech savvy (having worked in software for 12 years) and I still get confused and frustrated by it. Syncing is a nightmare and often things don't work how you expect.

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@Angie Look no further!  Your playlists will carry over.  I have over 400 playlists and would jump off a bridge if Match deleted them all!  Rest assured, they'll carry over without a hitch.  Cheers!

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@Ross Hey Ross - Great question.  As a DJ, it depends what kind of music you spin and what kind of equipment you use to play your tunes.  If you're going to a club to DJ dance music, you obviously want the highest quality but depending on what system the club has it could defeat the purpose of your HQ music library.  You more than likely mapped this out, but if the specs of the system render any subtle differences inaudible above 256kbps then it might not matter.

Its also important to note that the files are in 256 AAC format.  This is actually a quality equal to 320kbps, although its been heavily debated.  In the end, while sound quality can be debated until the end of time, the quality of the song breaks down to the original recording.  This again goes back to what kind of music you are DJing.  I wrote a bit more about it here: 

------------------

"While you sound-quality geeks might be debating this, there are a few ways to look at it. 256kbps in AAC format is equal to the 320kbps in standard audio MP3s. In fact, if you’re getting your music illegally from another source, there’s a good chance that even though you’re getting a version that says that album is “320kbps”, the conversion tools used by that person could define it as 320, but you could be getting a lesser quality. - See more at: http://musicunderfire.com/2012/12/itunes-match-review-pros-and-cons-a-year-later.html#sthash.IpQlzM5M.dpuf"

------------------

But your concerns about streaming elsewhere using Match are dead on.  Match will only stream 256 kbps if the songs are matched.  If your songs are not matched, it will stream the original version of the song that you have in your library.  I have lots of these at 320kbps that I just don't want to part with, but have found that over time the quality is just as good if not better than those HQ files and helps stream the songs much easier due to the compressed file size allowed by the file format.

A possible work around would be to slightly modify the details within your song so that it did not match when uploaded to the Cloud.  You might have to experiment, but the contributing factor for songs not matching is usually from the "Album Artist" field.  Note that I'm not talking about the "Artist" field.  Sometimes when you leave the "Album Artist" field blank, it will not recognize the song.

Hope this helps!

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@ekohne Interesting question.  I would recommend signing up, and if you don't get the result you were looking for - finding your old songs - then I would reach out to Apple and request a refund.  

Since Match works by uploading your songs to the cloud and pulling data from your iTunes store account, I would assume that if you bought songs through iTunes using the same Apple ID, your legacy information would be still in tact and you would have access to those songs.  The reason I say this is the same is true for Apps on the AppStore.  Even if you delete them from your device, they're available for future downloading.  

Let me know how this works out!

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@DanWaite To your first question:

If I delete an artist from iCloud on my macbook, then add it again (say with a full album instead of a few songs), then run the update itunes match function, what happens to the local copy at home?

I have a very similar set up.  What happens when you're deleting a song from the Cloud on your remote computer (one at work) is it will delete it from the Cloud on both computers (since Match essentially shares your library data).  But Match is only connected to the Cloud database it uses for your library , it is not deleting your local copy at home.  You'll still have the song, but will need to go into the location of your 'Music' folder to find it.  This is why it is usually best to add/delete songs from your main hub connected to your local files.

Your second question:

If I run "update iTunes Match" at home, would my iMac say "look, there is a CD thats been added today", and make it available on the iMac?

Yes, as Match updates everything you add from your home computer onto any other computer that accesses iTunes Match.  I even add stuff remotely and it shows up as downloadable from the cloud at home!  So it works both ways.

To your third question:

Furthermore, because I like to have a 100% local copy of my collection on the imac, whenever I add more music to icloud on the go , I choose to download it onto the imac. But what happens to the local copy that I deleted out of iTunes Match?

Once anything is deleted from iTunes Match via deleting the song locally and with the 'cloud download' symbol, it will be deleted everywhere else.  However, anything you delete locally on one computer will not be able to delete a local file on another computer since that is controlled solely by that operating system.

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

Match DOES NOT complete partially ripped albums. It will upgrade your songs perpetually however.

So if you keep adding ripped songs, you will always be able to upgrade them for the life if your match subscription. It will never add missing songs though.

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@DeborahFaithThompson They key here is to always back up your music regardless of using Match or not.  This protects you from doing something on your own accord, to which nobody else can be blamed for.  I've also heard of stories where not every song gets uploaded to Match for some reason.  That's not to say it might work 100%

One thing that raises a red flag about your solution is you said you would wipe all the music from iTunes'.  Wiping your library will update your iTunes library, so keep in mind that if have Match or not, by deleting songs within iTunes, you are updating your library file.

In the end, if your library is backed up (including iTunes files) and you subscribe to Match, you should be able to download your entire library (of under 25K songs) onto your new computer.  Just make sure that when you take iTunes off of your computer that you are not modifying your library file.

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@MarkoRiezebos I'm running Vista too...

Have you tried checking your network settings and any possible restrictions / firewalls that could be set up?  Step 1 only relates to 'Gathering information about your iTunes library" which is network-related.

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@MarkoRiezebos Sorry to hear you're running into issues.  Surely there are deeper issues if you can't get it run past 'Step 1'.  What operating system are you running?

All issues related to getting past Step 1 are connection issues.  If you're running a firewall or connected through a network, that may be the issue at hand.

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@NickWeishampel What will happen is it will match up the first 25K, then leave the remaining unmatched.  I believe that error message occurs once you reach the 25K amount of matched songs... Basically, your songs will match, but once it ticks from 24,999 to 25,000, then you'll receive the message.  Not upon initializing the match process.

Hope this helps!

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@Mark Gilbert Interesting question as I've ran into the same problem.  The issue lies in that iTunes Match has processed your media and is uneditable unless you reprocess that song.  

Your solution is the best one that I know of but there is one other work-around.  You can go to 'Get Info' for the song and 'Create AAC File'.  This will create a duplicate version of the song.  Once created, you can go in and modify the media type.  However, this is not optimal if you have playcounts playlists, etc. associated with the original file.

This is certainly something that needs to be addressed!

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@Bryce Hey there - the problem was most likely that the virus got into your music and any files that were affected were quarantined.  It would have been up to your virus protection preferences and any actions taken to remove the viruses that could have possibly deleted your songs.  I had something similar happen to me before.

With Match, what should have happened if all of your songs were synced is that the grey exclamation point would show up and you would simply have to re-download from the cloud.  Just because iTunes doesn't sell it, doesn't mean they won't save it on Match.

My last possible scenario is that your iTunes library file may have been affected by the virus and subsequently removed some of your music.

Best of luck getting everything back - reach out if you need more help!

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@muckpuk Hey there... hopefully you still have your CDs or were able to find a solution by now... But here goes for anyone else who needs help.  

iTunes 11 has the file button hidden.  So what you have to do is go and click on that half-dark, half-light square on the top left.  Then go to 'Show Menu Bar' and you should be set.

As a side note, consolidating my library was the best move I've ever done!  I had songs from all over my computer in different folders and never knew where my music was actually stored.  For that reason alone, I think iTunes is a great organization program.

Hope this helps :)

Rachelle
Rachelle

@BrendanM @ekohne I wonder if anyone has an update on this? When I got divorced, I bought a new laptop and added it as one of the 5 devices that could play songs bought on the account I shared with my ex. It has never worked properly, and I have over $600 worth of unplayable music purchased with that account (I no longer have the password for the formerly shared account). I am really concerned that I will lose access to more of my old music if I sign up for Match.

DeborahFaithThompson
DeborahFaithThompson

@BrendanM @DeborahFaithThompson thanks it's just as well i'm running a bit late sorting it all out or i'd have already done it! so if i just reset the computer for the next owner i don't need to delete stuff, is that right? and then my itunes library doesn't need to be touched.

MarkoRiezebos
MarkoRiezebos

@BrendanM iTunes is allowed through Firewall, all network settings seem alright; don't have any other network issues....


BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

Glad you are able to move forward now! Would be great to hear how your switch went when its complete.

DeborahFaithThompson
DeborahFaithThompson

Thanks. My bro suggested I do it while disconnected from wifi and then I just have to be careful not to reopen it while connected. I'll probs make it the very last thing I do before deleting that user.

Yeah I figured I should just be able to delete the app right? Rather than having to delete all the music manually?

Good point about deauthorising the computer for my apple ID. Although I can't imagine having more than one device for several months! Such is my situation for the next wee while.Anyway thanks heaps for the advice. I understand it is a unique situation, as I discovered when trying to google it! Haha. Hence this has been super helpful.Enjoying my new ipad mini as I type this. Marvellous!!!

BrendanM
BrendanM moderator

@DeborahFaithThompson @BrendanM I think that would be the way to do it, but I would test your library first.  You can always delete iTunes from your Programs folder and see if you can access your full library on another computer.  If it doesn't work, just restore the deleted files.  If Match works the way it should, you should have your entire library available in the cloud and available for download.  The trick part is just making sure you don't modify your library since Match will want to sync whatever you do.

Also - Be sure to deauthorize the computer you are wiping since you are only able to sync 5 devices to your iTunes account.  You can reset these devices once a year, but is easier up front.

This is a great question as there is hardly anything out there to document this type of switch related to Match.  I will definitely consider this for a future article with more detailed instructions.

Let me know how it works out.

Thanks!

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