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iTunes Match: discussion, experiences, issues, Split from ‘Amazon MP3 various settings’, topic 92670 / See also 89004
Engelsstaub
post Jan 2 2012, 18:07
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QUOTE (musicfan321 @ Jan 2 2012, 10:23) *
...iTunes Match...Is it worth the $25? ...


In my experience and opinion that's a most definite yes. It has some minor issues with not matching, but rather uploading, a small percentage of songs. This is not nearly enough to not recognize it for the bargain that it is. You could likely match all those Amazon MP3s...it did with all of the songs I had previously purchased from the Zune Marketplace.

...but it's only really a good value (IMO) if you use and like iTunes as I do. It's also dependent on what DAP you're using. The files play flawlessly on my iPod (obviously) but also on my daughter's Zune HD. I can't vouch for any others.

I don't think it's a waste of money or trivial to appreciate uniformity in your lossy collection.


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musicfan321
post Jan 2 2012, 21:15
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I just subscribed for iTunes Match, hope it was worth it smile.gif.

[Added:]
I'm currently in the process of upgrading my low-quality music with iTunes Match. So far everything is going well, but one thing doesn't seem right. Some of my songs are still uploaded instead of "matched", even though their on the iTunes Store (I checked). Therefore they are not upgraded to the AAC 256k. Anyone else experience this problem?

This post has been edited by db1989: Jan 6 2012, 22:21
Reason for edit: pasting relevant content from original thread
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musicfan321
post Jan 3 2012, 03:33
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Sorry for the double post, I found an issue with iTunes Match sad.gif.

This issue is happening to everyone, I did some research and apparently there isn't yet a fix for it. I have some music with explicit content in it (Eminem, B.o.B., etc.). I upgraded most of these since they were lower quality, and to my surprise, Apple gave me the censored version ohmy.gif. I thought maybe changing the metadata and having Match re-scan would work, but I researched and apparently Match doesn't even scan the metadata.

Apple needs to fix this ASAP, I'm glad I have a backup on my external hard drive smile.gif.
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Engelsstaub
post Jan 3 2012, 05:08
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QUOTE (musicfan321 @ Jan 2 2012, 20:33) *
...I found an issue with iTunes Match sad.gif...


I've never actually experienced that problem. I should have been more specific about "the small percentage that gets uploaded rather than matched:"

Something similar that happened to me is this: Matched albums with one or more remasters -- I would sometimes get some songs from one master and some songs from the later (usually brickwalled and/or louder) master. I found this incredibly annoying as I don't use Soundcheck. Luckily I had the CD or archived FLAC source material to revert to in every instance.

I had to do a little tweaking to get my iTunes library exactly as I liked it. It surely was not a "set it and forget it" situation. I'm pretty content with the results delivered for 25 bucks, overall.


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kornchild2002
post Jan 4 2012, 02:08
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I have experienced that issue along with many others. Had I come across this earlier, I would have told you to hold off on subscribing to iTunes Match for a little while longer. So far iTunes Match has randomly replaced Parental Advisory (PA) songs with the censored versions. I have one Static-X album where nearly every song is PA. iTunes Match was able to successfully match all songs. I then downloaded the matched versions and 4 of the songs were censored, the rest were the normal PA versions. So iTunes Match is messing up even within albums on a song-by-song basis. I even have one album where iTunes Match did the reverse. A loathsome uncle of mine purchased The Matrix soundtrack for my birthday one year. I asked him to buy it at K-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon, FYE, or Samgoody (a now defunct store). Instead he purchased the thing at Walmart so the album is edited. iTunes Match gave me the PA version of the album instead. I am not complaining with that but it is able to go both ways.

My iTunes library consists of my lossy and lossless songs. My lossless ALAC songs are stored next to my lossy ones. I listen to my lossy songs and, if I like one, I will rate it at 5 stars (which means the song will automatically be put into a smart playlist I created that looks just at the ratings). I only listen to my lossy songs on both my computer and various iDevices. Then, after I rate a lossy song, I will find the lossless version and rate that at 5 stars as well. That allows me to transcode the lossless song to any lossy/lossless setting I want (in iTunes) and still preserve the rating system I have going (which drives my entire music library). So, with my setup, I can have one album that has been duplicated: AAC and ALAC. iTunes Match was not smart enough to see the duplicated tracks so it would match/upload both versions (transcoding the ALAC to 256kbps VBR when uploading). That means that a 12 song album now consumes 24 songs on my iTunes Match account. About 80% of my music library is like this and I filled my iTunes Match account rather quickly. In order for me to match/upload everything, I would have to remove the ALAC files from my library since I can't specifically instruct iTunes Match to only look at certain playlists/songs. That is another issue I have with it.

One major issue, for me at least, is that I cannot setup my iPad or iPod touch (or even an iPhone 4S) to use my iTunes Match account and still sync audio and video content to it. All "syncing" has to be done through iCloud meaning that if I wanted to listen to a song on my iPad 2, I would actually have to download it first. That right there is another fatal flaw in the system and I don't really know why Apple decided to go that route. I should be able to have my iDevices setup for iTunes Match as well as using my computer to actually sync content over.

iTunes Match also has strange matching capabilities. I have one album that I purchased from the iTunes Store and, for whatever reason, iTunes Match tried to match the content. It was able to match all of the songs except for two. I don't know why it tried to match the album when it is already automatically being stored on my iCloud account but it did. 6 of the 8 songs in the EP were matched and two weren't, that is the other strange issue as those two songs are in the iTunes Store. I didn't edit the metadata, song length, or anything. Why would iTunes Match not be able to find songs that I had downloaded in the iTunes Store only a few hours prior to that?

I don't think iTunes Match was ready for primetime release but Apple still pushed it out due to them missing their self-imposed October release date. Right now I am only using iTunes Match for the purpose of going through and swapping out old tracks that I no longer have the source CD for. It has worked for the majority of content in that regards but everything else surrounding the service needs to be fixed. Even as an Apple supporter, I am not liking this product and, unless Apple changes something, I will not renew my membership in another year (especially since I will have a new iPhone by then and will want to use iTunes Match as an extension to its internal storage).
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musicfan321
post Jan 4 2012, 02:50
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Jan 3 2012, 04:08) *

Sounds like this new service still has some quirks, oh well, I've got hopes that Apple will fix this within my subscribed year. Until then, I'll just restore my backup.

QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Jan 4 2012, 01:08) *

That's more problems than I am having.

Although I've been experiencing some of your problems too. I have one lower-quality album that I lost the CD, and iTunes Match is only able to match 3 of the 8 songs. The album is on the iTunes store, so I am clueless as to why they can't match these songs. I have also ran into a couple of songs that are "corrupted" and unable to upload.

Just for kicks I ran these thru my foobar2k integrity verifier, and they were fine. I had to delete that corrupted song, then find the song's YouTube video and convert it to a mp3, then it was matched (yes, I legally own the song in the first place, therefore I don't think it was illegal).

I probably won't subscribe again for this service, since I really did this to upgrade my lower-quality music. The cloud service isn't of much importance to me, so if I keep buying high-quality music from now on, I should be good to go.

On the plus side I have a couple of old albums that were ripped to 192k WMA (had to convert these to mp3 for my iPod sad.gif), and they sounded terrible, probably ripped from a scratched CD. I was able to replace these with much higher-quality versions and I enjoy that music a lot more now smile.gif.

I realize that I've gone off-topic on this thread, sorry for that rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by db1989: Jan 6 2012, 22:37
Reason for edit: pasting reply to Engelsstaub from original thread; adding quote headings
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icstm
post Feb 2 2012, 16:34
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Overall how are people finding the matching service to non-iTunes acquired music?
As others have said this is most useful to music acquired 5-10 years ago.
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Engelsstaub
post Feb 2 2012, 17:04
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QUOTE (icstm @ Feb 2 2012, 09:34) *
Overall how are people finding the matching service to non-iTunes acquired music?
As others have said this is most useful to music acquired 5-10 years ago.


I've successfully matched every file that I acquired from other marketplaces (Zune, Amazon, etc.) I was actually pretty happy about this.


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Luperion
post Jun 8 2012, 06:27
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Feb 3 2012, 02:04) *
QUOTE (icstm @ Feb 2 2012, 09:34) *
Overall how are people finding the matching service to non-iTunes acquired music?
As others have said this is most useful to music acquired 5-10 years ago.


I've successfully matched every file that I acquired from other marketplaces (Zune, Amazon, etc.) I was actually pretty happy about this.


I have a question about how does iTunes match your songs.

Unless it has some way of scanning the waveforms of the song to determine if it is genuine or not (if that is even possible given the number of encoders multiplied by the number of ways of encoding a song) how does iTunes Match verify that your 10,000 song collection is genuine?

Metadata can be easily fooled. I could make ten mp3's of a dog barking and then use a tagging program to say 'this is an album by Beyonce'. I could even then use Windows Music Player Library to 'validate' each song and give it more metadata than I had provided. If this is all iTunes uses to validate your collection, it would be ludicrously easy to amass hundreds of thousands of songs that you do not own.

Is this known? Is it the Terrible Secret that nobody is willing to publically mention because everyone knows it and nobody talks about it?

Genuine answers would be extremely welcome.
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kornchild2002
post Jun 8 2012, 19:59
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It doesn't verify if the songs are genuine or not. iTunes Match doesn't care where the songs came from so long as they meet some unknown criteria for matching purposes. Apple has been up front about this from the very beginning and isn't trying to hide anything. They are the largest music retailer in the U.S. so the record companies can't really do anything about it as Apple would not be afraid to pull content from the iTunes Store if a beneficial deal could not be struck. I am not really sure what iTunes Match uses to actually match content though. I know it doesn't rely 100% on track tags. In fact, I recently imported an album without any track tags. Everything showed up without an artist or album and every track was simply labeled as Track 1, Track 2, Track 3, etc. iTunes Match was able to match the content as-is without any issues. I'm guessing it uses a few things such as track lengths and some 30 second portion of the track to match up with whatever Apple has in their database. The whole thing is a black box as Apple has not let out what goes on behind the scenes with their cloud computing setup.
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