iTunes Match: Dummies Guide…

Apple recently switched on iTunes Match in Europe.

What is it?

1) It allows you access to your entire music collection on your iPhone or iPad over WiFi or 3G (make sure your 3G data plan can handle it if you use 3G!)
2) It upgrades any tracks you have in your library to 256kbps if they are curently less than this.
3) It allows you to delete your entire music collection from your Mac/PC to save hard-disk space
4) It will update/fill in the great majority of your missing Album Art.

It does this by scanning your iTunes library and comparing it to the tracks available on the iTunes store.

– If the track is available on the iTunes Store then it will be available to you at 256kbps.
– If the track is NOT available on the iTunes Store then it will be flagged and uploaded from your machine to Apple servers. (These tracks will be available in iCloud but only at the bitrate at which it was uploaded)

To subscribe to iTunes Match go to iTunes/Store/Turn on iTunes Match. (You can only do this on your computer not mobile devices)

When the scanning/uploading process starts, a small cloud icon appears next to your Music Library in iTunes indicating your music will be available in the iCloud.

Go to View menus/View Options and tick iCloud Status and iCloud Download. (This will add two new columns to your iTunes library.)

– You will see “Waiting” next to your tracks waiting to be assessed.
– You will see “Matched” next to tracks which are matched against the iTunes Store library and are now available in the iCloud.
– You will see “Not Eligible” next to files such as Voice recordings or Digital Booklets which of course are not music tracks.
– Some tracks may say “Error” in which case try again by right-clicking on them and Add to iCloud.
– If you see “Duplicate” then you have a duplicate track so this track was ignored as it is already available to you in iCloud.

During the scan you will see (on the left hand side of iTunes) “iTunes Match” with a spinning wheel showing it is processing. Here you can see ongoing progress and the total number of tracks available to you in iCloud. This may take some time.

Note: Tracks that are Matched are still on your hard drive at the original bitrate.

– If you wish to download it to your computer at the higher bitrate then just highlight the Matched track and press delete. (An iCloud icon with a download arrow will appear next to the deleted track, indicating that it is now available to download at 256kbps.
– You can just double click the track and stream it straight from the iCloud at 256kbps

Thus you have the option of downloading any matched songs locally OR you can delete all your tracks to save disk-space and stream them direct from the iCloud.

Mobile devices.

On your iPhone/iPad go to Settings/Music/
Turn on both “iTunes Match” and “Show All Music”

Go to your Music App – In a few moments you will see your entire music collection.

Tracks in the iCloud will show the cloud icon next to them.

Click any track to play as normal.

iTunes Match doesn’t exactly STREAM your music to your device, it downloads the entire track but allows you to listen to it after is has buffered sufficiently.

You have the option of downloading entire albums with one click too should you so wish.

(You can swipe to delete a track/album after you have listened to it.)

Enjoy your entire music collection on your devices at 256kbps DRM-free without concern for storage limitations. 🙂

iTunes Match is just £21.99 a year subscription.

Any questions please ask.

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish...