More on iTunes Match's new ID3 tags

More on iTunes Match's new ID3 tags

Summary: I started matching my iTunes library at around 2pm Monday and let it run and it hadn't made a dent. Here's how to tell which of your tracks is matched.

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware, Mobility
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On Friday Apple released iTunes Match, its service that allows customers to store up to 25,000 music tracks on iCloud then sync them to all their devices for $25 per year.

More details are starting to emerge on the new service and Macworld notes that iTunes 10.5.1 -- which is required to use iTunes Match -- contains two new IDS 3 tags for viewing the status of your matched music:

  • iCloud Download
  • iCloud Status

The new tags can be displayed in iTunes by control-clicking on the field names at the top of iTunes (when viewing in List or Album List modes) or by going to View > View Options and then checking the two new options (below).

The new iCloud ID3 tags in iTunes 10.5.1

Once the new columns are exposed, they'll appear something like this in your iTunes library.

More on iTunes Match

Update: Apple has posted a useful table on how to understand iTunes Match's iCloud Status icons:

iTunes Match: Understanding the iCloud Status icons

Nunyabinez has posted some additional details on how iTunes Match works on the MacRumors forums:

  • You can't choose to exclude songs other than taking them out of your library.
  • If a song is matched, it becomes available to download in 256K AAC. If a song is not matched it is copied in its current format and bit rate up to 320K. If the file is Lossless however, it is converted (presumably by your computer) to a 256k AAC file and then uploaded.
  • Nothing happens to your local music when you run match. If you have a lower quality song that was matched you can remove it from your local library and then replace it with the 256k version. What happens is you delete the song, but the entry in iTunes stays, but a little cloud now shows up in a newly added column that shows you that you have a song that is in the cloud but not in your library. You can click on the cloud and it will download it to your local library, where again it is now permanently yours at the higher bit rate.
  • Match uses your meta-data. If you in an anal-retentive fashion have made lots of custom edits to your files, that is what gets copied to the cloud. Even if you replace your songs with the upgraded versions you keep your previous meta-data.

The full post is recommended reading if you plan to pony up the $25/year for iTunes Match.

I started matching my iTunes library at around 2pm Monday and let it run until around 8pm and it hadn't made a dent -- 1631 of 6371 items uploaded. I'll let it crank for the next couple of days and hope that it completes soon, although I doubt it.

What about you? Are you buying?

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Topics: Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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12 comments
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  • I thought this was a huge selling point of iTunes Match?

    "I started matching my iTunes library at around 2pm Monday and let it run until around 8pm and it hadn???t made a dent into my library ??? 1631 of 6371 items uploaded"

    Apple made a huge deal about how terrible everyone else's cloud music solution was because you had to spend hours uploading all your music. Your experience indicates that this is just as big a problem with Apple's service.

    It wouldn't be the first time that Apple accused others of problems that were just as prevalent on Apple's products.
    toddybottom
    • It is, sort of.

      @toddybottom
      Every time Apple releases a new iOS, or radically different version of iTunes, or new iTunes related service (like when videos first hit) there are a few days when the servers are hit hard, (and I mean HARD) by the early adopters. Given the size of the files being sent from Apple I hypothesize that this is a bandwidth problem that will resolve over time. I only have a few thousand songs in my iTunes library at the moment, but 90+% of them came from CDs or Amazon. If that's typical, then users with 10,000 songs may be trying to download 9500 (256KB) songs a piece. Multiply that by thousands of users of the service and that is a very high peak data flow. As the initial downloads are tapered off this should resolve. Also keep in mind that the "hardly a dent" represents 25% of Jason's library.

      If the situation doesn't improve in the usual 2-3 days after a launch, I will be sorely disappointed. As it is now I am only somewhat disappointed.
      use_what_works_4_U
      • But I thought this was the whole point

        From Engadget (which was quoting Apple):
        "That's done by scanning your library and matching songs to the versions Apple already has (a DRM-free 256kbps AAC file), rather than uploading everything -- [b]a process Apple notes takes "minutes," not "weeks"[/b]"

        This is clearly not the case.
        toddybottom
      • RE: More on iTunes Match's new ID3 tags

        @toddybottom<br>I believe the point macadam is making is the current inundated state of iTunes Match servers is what is negating the advantage. If you were to attempt this process in a week or more, it should only take the advertised "minutes"; whereas the Android/Amazon solution will take days regardless of when you attempt to implement...be it during the initial launch or 6 months from now.<br><br>From a pure physics standpoint, this is logical to assume. Scanning a song is going to be a minor percentage of the time to download the song.<br><br>/
        pairof9s
      • Yes, exactly

        @pairof9s
        Thanks for summing it up so neatly. That is, in fact, what I meant. Of course toddybottom hates all things Apple and will continue to ignore the realities of supply vs. demand (in this case for bandwidth). This article(http://mashable.com/2011/11/14/itunes-match-now-available/) on mashable suggests that the performance issues are directly related to demand. If that's the case, then we should see an improvement fairly soon. I hope so, anyway.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • The first defense of the Apple fanatic

        "Of course toddybottom hates all things Apple"

        Anyone who holds Apple to the standard they have set for themselves can't be right because they hate Apple? I've noticed this with you Apple fanatics. Your first defense to anyone who isn't an Apple fanatic like you is that they must hate all things Apple. Why do you do this? Seriously, I'm curious. I own an iPhone, an iPad, and a MacBook Pro. I don't hate Apple. The difference between you and me is that I don't think Apple is perfect. You do. And the only way you can possibly convince yourself that Apple is perfect is to dismiss anyone suggesting otherwise as being someone who is only saying the "awful" (awful = anything that suggests Apple isn't perfect) things they are saying because they hate Apple. You should grow up. The real world doesn't work that way. I can like Apple products without believing Apple is perfect. Too bad for you that you can't. It seems to be a personality flaw that you share with a few others here at ZDNet.

        The truth is that the process is not working the way that Apple promised. They said this process would take minutes and they were extremely critical of others for having a process that took "weeks". Well, Apple should be critical of themselves because it is not working as advertised. Of course, that's fine because it is currently in beta. I wonder if I can pay for this service with beta dollars or if I have to use production dollars?

        Right now, iTunes Match is failing to live up to the promises that Apple made. They might fix it, they might not. After all, this is all a beta, right?
        toddybottom
      • The ridiculous implausibility of a shill

        [i]Seriously, I'm curious. I own an iPhone, an iPad, and a MacBook Pro. I don't hate Apple. The difference between you and me is that I don't think Apple is perfect. You do. And the only way you can possibly convince yourself that Apple is perfect is to dismiss anyone suggesting otherwise as being someone who is only saying the "awful" (awful = anything that suggests Apple isn't perfect) things they are saying because they hate Apple. You should grow up. The real world doesn't work that way. I can like Apple products without believing Apple is perfect. Too bad for you that you can't. It seems to be a personality flaw that you share with a few others here at ZDNet.[/i]

        That's utterly ridiculous. Do you think anybody believes that childish crap?

        Your reaction to Apple isn't about whether somebody else believes they're "perfect" or not. Your reaction is [b]downright hostile[/b] and I find it hard to believe that someone with that much hostility towards Apple would even own their products to begin with. Which make anything "expert" you say about them a complete an utter lie.

        I'm calling you out, troll.
        ScorpioBlue
      • RE: The first defense of the Apple fanatic

        @toddybottom<br><br> "The truth is that the process is not working the way that Apple promised. They said this process would take minutes and they were extremely critical of others for having a process that took "weeks"."<br><br>You obviously didn't read or address any of the points I made in my reply to your original post on this matter. So I have to agree w/ the others, you're merely posting to attack Apple regardless of merit.
        pairof9s
      • RE: First defense

        @toddybottom
        Actually, I criticize Apple fairly frequently. I just don't do so rabidly. I have <b>never</b> seen you post anything positive about Apple, but you are one of the most vociferous when it comes to high criticism. That's why I believe you dislike them and their products.

        As I stated, I am disappointed. That isn't me defending them, it's me criticizing for their lack of preparation. The reason it's a mild disappointment is that I live in a reality based existence and apply both logic and a knowledge of history to my thought process (hence my first paragraph).

        Chill out, dude. I started off by saying that I agreed with you "sort of" and gave my reasons why the disclaimer. I normally don't state my opinion about other posters but in your case the history of your histrionic remarks against Apple leads me to believe that you will ignore the reasoning I presented. Indeed, by attacking me rather than commenting on the realities of demand versus bandwidth you have fully lived up to my expectations. Thanks for hating!
        use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: More on iTunes Match's new ID3 tags

        @macadam

        Remember that other guy who used to claim to own Apple products and trolled the Apple blogs in order to post disparaging remarks about Apple? Ever wonder where he went?
        msalzberg
  • RE: More on iTunes Match's new ID3 tags

    My library of almost 10,000 songs was uploaded in little over 1.5 hours. In my mind, that's incredibly fast. Granted I'm using FIOS, but still I've had no issues. Even when I clicked the iTunes Match tab and it warned that Apple was not taking new subscriptions due to server overload, everything worked just fine. This is the first new service that Apple has launched that, to me, works almost better than advertised.
    skl1981
  • RE: More on iTunes Match's new ID3 tags

    "I started matching my iTunes library at around 2pm Monday and let it run until around 8pm and it hadn???t made a dent ?????1631 of 6371 items uploaded."

    I do not think that 'dent' means what you think it means. That's more than 25% of your library -- certainly more than a dent, just not as much as you would have liked. A little less hyperbole please.
    Boltarus