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iTunes Match e redownloaded tracks, what about the quality?
Jedi82
post May 16 2012, 12:40
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Guys, i subscribed iTunes Match a month ago and i'm very happy with this service. I have all my music ripped and transcode in mp3 (vbr) except for a folder, the MISC one. In there, i put during the years lots of single mp3 songs that are very old and the quality is so bad (128,160....). So, i maybe can delete the song and redownload the AAC version of it but i was thinking: is this a true AAC version or maybe a bad transcode? I want to say, how the hell iTunes in maybe 10 second can find, download the high quality song to your mac and maintain the same name and tags? It's not strange? Did some of you made some quality test?

I'm afraid to delete all these songs and discover maybe that iTunes return me shit** version.
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Kohlrabi
post May 16 2012, 13:22
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As far as I know about iTunes Match, it identifies your audio files, and unlocks the respective audio track in your iTunes account. So you will get whatever version iTunes has of the track. The quality is as good as other iTunes tracks. Since I never used iTunes and/or Macth I cannot say anything about if or how iTunes will maintain metadata. Though it is hardly black magic to do so, essentially it will just copy over the metadata from the old file to the new one.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: May 16 2012, 13:22


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RobertoDomenico
post May 16 2012, 15:25
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iTunes Match will retain your custom tags
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Engelsstaub
post May 16 2012, 15:29
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OP: You will easily be able to tell if iTunes returned "the shit** version." If you look at "iCloud Status," as in this illustration, it will tell you a track is "Uploaded" rather than "Matched."



This *usually* happens in cases where there are multiple masters of the album you uploaded and iTunes only has one.

The matched music you get is the same as that which they sell. It saves them from having to store tons of everyone's music files on their servers. The more they can match the better...presumably.

For me, it normally just matches everything. Especially so with newer music.

Edit: you can also ⌘-I on the song and look at the Summary tab. Under "Kind" it will say "Matched AAC audio file" if it is the matched audio file currently on your computer. You have to actually download the iTunes version first in this case. If it was not matched, or it was matched but you still have the original file, it will just describe the original file.

This post has been edited by Engelsstaub: May 16 2012, 15:37


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Jedi82
post May 17 2012, 22:26
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So, i red a lot about the service and (i think) understand it very well. Now, about the matched one, i will never redownload them cause my files are from lossless source and made by myself in mp3 VBR and it's fine like this. In the other and, what i was asking is about the uploaded ones. I don't know why but i don't trust so much the redownloaded version of iTunes. Are they original and good quality AAC 256? If the answer is YES, then every person can download music from youtube in awful quality and just redownload in AAC...ummmm it's possible?

It's all about my MISC folder: being bad audio files (128 or 160kbps) it's ok if i redownload all of them in the new iTunes codec?
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kornchild2002
post May 18 2012, 00:16
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Your question was answered but I will take a stab at it. iTunes Match will do one of two things: either MATCH a track with one in the iTunes Store or UPLOAD it if a match cannot be made. Songs that are matched will be in the 256kbps AAC form, same as what Apple sells in the iTunes Store. The uploaded tracks are just that: uploaded. They are uploaded to Apple's cloud servers for access by you. The files are not altered in any way, shape, or form during the uploading process. So, if iTunes Match uploads a 128kbps Lame mp3 file to your iCloud account, that file will forever remains a 128kbps Lame mp3. It is not being transcoded. That also means that whenever you download the file, you are getting your 128kbps Lame mp3 version. Apple is NOT transcoding it to 256kbps AAC. The ONLY time iTunes Match transcodes files when uploading is when you have Apple Lossless versions in your iTunes library and iTunes Match cannot find them in the iTunes Store. Then it will transcode the ALAC files to 256kbps AAC. Any uploaded lossy files will remain intact in their original format whether it is 128kbps AAC, 192kbps mp3, 180kbps VBR mp3, etc. That is why you have to look at the iCloud status of each track.

You can obtain higher quality versions of your miscellaneous songs only if they were matched. Otherwise, if they were uploaded, you will just be downloading the same thing NOT transcoded to anything else.
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Jedi82
post May 18 2012, 08:41
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exact, thanks!!!! So, about my misc folder, i have tons of MATCHED songs so i will (and can) redownload them one more time but now in high quality! So, someone have made some test about that? About the "certificate" quality of the AAC 256kbps format of Apple on iTunes match when redownloading a song?
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Engelsstaub
post May 18 2012, 20:32
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I'm not understanding: are you A. skeptical that the matched song you've downloaded is not the same as the one you would purchase -or- B. are you asking about the quality of the encoder that iTunes uses?

A. There's no conceivable reason for iTunes not to return the matched files when you redownload them. It would be pointless and burdensome for them to try to fool people by storing tons of other files to trick you with.

B. Quicktime AAC, especially at 256 Kbps, is nothing to be dismissive of in terms of encoding quality. (Neither is a well-encoded MP3 of the same bitrate, but that's outside of the focus of your concerns.)

This is anecdotal but I'll offer it anyway: In my home stereo you'll find a decent turntable, a CD player capable of playing SACDs and DVD-As, and a pretty nice set of Polk Audio speakers. I listen to it constantly as I am right now. Do you know what my input source is over 60% of the time? My 64 Gb iPod Touch loaded with AAC files that were mostly matched from iTunes. I've never discerned one bit of difference between, say, my AAC version of Megadeth's "Peace Sells..." or the DVD-A. (My vinyl record of the same album is pretty obvious by virtue of its inherent surface noise between tracks.) My point is this: I enjoy music regardless of the format. My iPod is convenient and transparent to me. These are things you'll have to discover or confirm for yourself.


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Jedi82
post May 18 2012, 22:21
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I'm the B :-) so ok, i will delete The old and lowbitrate mp3 with the
iTunes ones
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kornchild2002
post May 19 2012, 00:22
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Just know that iTunes Match is not perfect. Out of the ~8000 or so tracks I had it replace, approximately 6 of them are corrupted. They just show up as MPEG audio files in iTunes. I cannot play them back, I cannot do anything with them. I have notified Apple multiple times that the songs are corrupt but they show no signs of fixing anything. 6 out of 8000 isn't bad but it still bothered me. Just keep on eye out on the songs that you are replacing. Don't delete the final copies until you are sure that you didn't download anything that is corrupt.

Otherwise, the songs that you do download and aren't corrupted, are just fine and encoded with the same standards as music sold through the iTunes Store. Except for known killer samples, I highly doubt you are going to come across any audio quality related problems.
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Engelsstaub
post May 19 2012, 03:23
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ May 18 2012, 18:22) *
...approximately 6 of them are corrupted. They just show up as MPEG audio files in iTunes. ...


Did you try redownloading them? I had one or two purchased songs that were corrupt but found out it was only because they hadn't downloaded correctly/completely. When I redownloaded them they were fine.

...give it a try if you already haven't.


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kornchild2002
post May 19 2012, 19:46
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I've tried about 20 times for each track. I even have a few older 128kbps DRMed tracks that actually refuse to re-download (I get an error). Each time I try to re-download a corrupted track, iTunes Match just supplies me the same corrupted track.
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encoder
post May 8 2014, 18:00
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What about albums that cannot be purchased from the iTunes Store but many people uploaded from the community. You upload you low bitrate version, delete it from your library then you can get back a version with a higher bitrate from the cloud? and will it be 256k AAC (which Apple officially does not sell from this album on iTunes ) or some best version others hav uploaded?

Theoretical question as iTunes Match is not available in my country. But interesting, though.
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jarsonic
post May 8 2014, 19:12
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As far as I know and have seen, if your source file is not "Matched" and is instead uploaded, you only have access to your own silo of uploaded music. If you download the file again, it will be the same version (and quality) that you uploaded. iTunes Match does not share around other people's uploads.
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encoder
post May 8 2014, 20:10
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QUOTE (jarsonic @ May 8 2014, 19:12) *
As far as I know and have seen, if your source file is not "Matched" and is instead uploaded, you only have access to your own silo of uploaded music. If you download the file again, it will be the same version (and quality) that you uploaded. iTunes Match does not share around other people's uploads.

What you have said only applies to music not available from the iTunes catalog, right?

Otherwise http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-itun...-audio-quality/
(and 1000 other articles of the same)
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jarsonic
post May 9 2014, 16:00
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QUOTE (encoder @ May 8 2014, 14:10) *
QUOTE (jarsonic @ May 8 2014, 19:12) *
As far as I know and have seen, if your source file is not "Matched" and is instead uploaded, you only have access to your own silo of uploaded music. If you download the file again, it will be the same version (and quality) that you uploaded. iTunes Match does not share around other people's uploads.

What you have said only applies to music not available from the iTunes catalog, right?

Otherwise http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-itun...-audio-quality/
(and 1000 other articles of the same)


Correct. When I said a source file is "Matched," it was implied that the corresponding file is available in the iTunes catalog. Otherwise, it is uploaded to a user's own cloud music "silo" at the same bitrate and quality as was originally provided by the user in the initial upload.

This post has been edited by jarsonic: May 9 2014, 16:01
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