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iTunes Match Launched in UK

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Posted

It's been out a few days, but hadn't noticed myself until last night. $25 in the States transfers to £21 here for a years subscription... I'm just glad that the involvement of everyones friends the PRS didn't mean it got delayed into next year or end up costing more than that.

So whats it do (for those who kinda know it exists but no more) -

Your money essentially gives you cloud storage for 25,000 of your songs, regardless of where they were sourced from. You let it do its thing, it analyses your library then flags each song saying whether it has a match already, or if it needs to upload the song in order to store it. The upload bit seems to take a damned long time, I'm just using my MB Air at the moment and not my main library, but it took ages. I'm not looking forward to importing 20,000 odd songs but maybe it'll be faster when I'm home on my cable line.

The bonus is your 128kbit mp3 rips from 2003 get swapped out for 256kbit AACs if they already have the files, which should be a decent quality boost. I notice you might get 9 matches out of 10 songs on an album, so they have to upload one of the songs. I'm hoping you can rescan this later down the line and get the final match needed. It doesn't look like there's any scope for accidentally matching the wrong song either which is neat.

What's it useful for?

My iMac holds my main, big MP3 library while my Air tends to have latest stuff on it and I use home sharing between the two so I can listen to whatever I want. Not ideal. The Air doesn't have a big HDD so storing lots of songs on here isn't the best idea. When I unite the two libraries and match across the cloud, I'll clear the Air out of music completely except for a handful of records I listen to loads. I can then stream or download on demand the stuff I want to listen to whenever and wherever I am.

I usually have my iPhone synced to selected albums from the iMac, which was always a pain if I wanted a new album I had on the Air but hadn't copied across. Not an issue now, and it means I don't have to have 40gb (compressed to 20gb) of music on my phone all the time, I can just download albums as I need them from my entire collection, wherever I am.

It's pretty cool. Anyone else thinking of signing up?
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Posted

Bump of an old thread. I want/need to replace a shed load of files (some 10 yrs+) that are 128kbit rips. Ideally, I'd like to have the files rather than just be able to access them from the cloud (to burn to CD, use in a player other than itunes)

 

If my quick google research is right then itunes match is only cloud-based. But there is a suggestion that if, once a file is matched, I delete the original lower bit rate file the new 320kbit file will become available to download.

 

Is this right? Has anyone done this?

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Posted

Unless anything has changed since I last had Match, that should work fine. Check that the tracks you want are in the iTunes store and it should match them pretty well.

e: in case it makes a difference to you, I believe the replaced files are 256kbit AAC not MP3. Might be wrong on that.
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Posted

Thanks Jay. The AAC thing won't be a problem if they are DRM-free. Google research on that is throwing up conflicting information, but I think they will be DRM-free.

 

I'm going to take the opportunity to clean out and edit the mess that is my music library too. Not looking forward to it...

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Posted

Apple dropped all the DRM from music ages ago, can't see there being any problem. Can blame the music publishers for that one.

Yeah library cleanup is a massive hassle. I've had automated tools to try wade through it before and they don't even do the best job unfortunately. I found Match would get 8 out of 9 tracks on an album then not the last one for some reason, but this was right at the beginning of launch. It might've been worked on since.

I use smart playlists for my library these days, using ID3 tags I'd never use to categorise things together. I use Grouping to put the month/year I acquired something (then have smart playlists for each month so I can see all stuff I got together in one go) and Composer for labels so I can group those together too. Why there isn't an ID3 tag for Label anyway is beyond me. It's such a dumb thing to be missing.
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