iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

Summary: iTunes Match is cool, but is it twenty-five bucks a year cool?

SHARE:
TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware
21

Yesterday Apple finally released the iTunes Match service, and legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier.

Note: While I'm going to be talking about 'pirated' music here, don't take that to mean that I'm OKing the practice or in any way condoning it. I don't.

iTunes Match is a new $24.99 a year cloud music service from Apple that makes your iTunes library available to you everywhere you go (as long as that everywhere has an internet connection). It works by scanning your entire iTunes library and duplicating this up in the cloud server. Duplicating your tracks is handled in three ways:

  • All your iTunes purchases are already in the cloud waiting for you
  • Any songs that you've ripped from CD or acquired via other means (naughty-naughty ... but Apple forgives you!) are scanned and matched against Apple's catalog, and if a match is found, Apple gives you a free, DRM-free copy to do with as you please, no questions asked
  • Any tracks that iTunes doesn't recognize (such as those from your Tuvan throat singing collection) will be uploaded to the cloud

Now, the cloud part of iTunes Match is cool, but I'm not sure if it is twenty-five bucks a year cool, but that's based more of subjective rather than objective reasoning on my part. I carry my tunes with me on my iPhone and iPad and I don't really need cloud access. But for those who have a large collection of tracks from a variety of sources (legal or otherwise), then a one-off payment of $24.99 just to legitimize that collection does indeed sounds cheap to me.

Heck, even if your stuff is all legal, then $25 is a small price to pay to get it all organized. A few years ago after I'd imported my music collection into iTunes I bought a lifetime subscription to TuneUp to sort through my mess of (legal) rips and fix all my labeling and cover art problems ... that cost me $50.

There's obviously a lot of interest in iTunes Match - enough for Apple to have to temporarily put a stop to new subscriptions - but I wonder how many of these subscribers are only interested legalizing their music collection, s opposed to those folks who actually want a cloud music service. Those interested in a cloud service will likely pay up next year, those only looking for a free pass more than likely won't (unless they keep adding to their collection).

What do you think of iTunes Match? Is it a service that is of interest to you?

Topics: Mobility, Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

21 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

    Again, I don't think it allows you a "free, DRM-free copy to do with as you please". Yes you can stream it. But, you will not be able to download all of your songs back to your HD should you decide to end your Cloud servitude.
    Bodazapha
    • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

      @Bodazapha
      According to many reviews, yes, you can download back the content. Fully documented procedures describing how to perform the operation easily with playlists are available.
      Therefore, it becomes a very effective way to legalize your "not so clean" music files.
      TheCyberKnight
      • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

        @TheCyberKnight & Bodazapha, <br>'Re-downloading' should be moot for those that have copied/backed up their music before submitting it to potential inconveniences. Maybe I am misunderstanding. I do like the idea of having a personal mobile jukebox for a low cost.
        opcom
  • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

    Honestly, I'm going to put my vote in the "Using it to stream" column, simply because the pirate will continue to pirate even after "legalizing" all of his illegal music. There's fundamentally no difference between the file that you ripped from your cd and downloading the rip from somebody else. The end file is the same, it's the act that's illegal.
    Aerowind
    • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

      @Aerowind Since when is ripping from your own CD for your own use illegal?
      bmeacham98@...
      • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

        @bmeacham98@... <br><br>According to Jennifer Pariser, head of litigation for Sony BMG:<br><br>"When asked if it was wrong for consumers to make a single copy of music they've purchased, she responded, "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a song you bought is "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy.' "

        Sad, but that's how the RIAA et al see it.
        rtk
    • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

      @Aerowind Ripping my own CD to my iTunes library is illegal? What a load of crap!
      thetwonkey
      • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

        @thetwonkey +1

        -> For all the sony/bmg/riaa spouts and touts: It is called a backup. I reserve the right, regarless of the industry's wishes, to back up the objects I am licensed to use. I reject the quaint notion that should the original media be rendered useless through physical damage or technology progress, that my license (to listen to the music or watch the video) is terminated because of that event. It is obvious the industry would like to see a highly controlled pay-per-play world. Maybe that is why they do not like /are afraid of backups. They can spout off and spin all they want about it but that does not make it any more true than the vehement streetcorner dissertation of an insane individual - it sounds good but it is wrong.
        opcom
  • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

    Why do you refer to this as legalizing your music? I am not aware of it doing anything of the sort.
    SleepyBob
  • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

    I'll stick with my locally-stored collection of MP3s taken from my own CD collection. I get to control the bit rates and create the stored album information according to my own preferences. Apple has a history of leaving users in the lurch when it comes to their cloud services. Just look at all of the complaints on their forums about iDisk disappearing with no replacement.
    BillDem
    • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

      @BillDem I'm doing the same, will keep original music files and create a new Apple only library. It will all fit in 250 gb hard drive..
      Hasam1991
  • But is it worth it?

    Looking at this "feature" I had to ask myself two questions:
    1. Is it worth it as all of my music is legal
    2. If I upload does this feature replace my version with the iTunes version?

    Then I also added the data streaming aspect of this whole thing.

    In the end I found it was not worth it for me.
    For a cloud streaming / storage / download function I have Amazon and that works very well for me on all my devices.
    rhonin
    • I agree, no iTunes Match for me

      @rhonin
      All of my music is legally ripped from CD in lossless AAC format. The thought of paying $25/year for the privilege of losing audio quality and paying extra data charges on my cell phone plan isn't a good value proposition.
      toddybottom
  • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

    Apple Match is pretty cool in that it lets you both download or stream the content you purchase from the iTunes Store or have ripped from CD. However services like Spotify that have a monthly fee and let you download or stream a huge variety of artists to your devices, without having to purchase individual songs or albums, may prove to be the future of music in the cloud. It would probably be an easy thing for Apple to move towards offering a similar service technologically speaking, we'll have to see if it's something their willing to tackle from a legal and copyright standpoint however.
    IrishDionysus
  • How RIAA sees ripping your own CD's for your own personal use is irrelevant

    The inane prattling of Jennifer Pariser should be filed under "Ways I wish I could control the world", and nothing more. If she tried telling me to my face that what I do with my own CD collection for my personal use is stealing, I would immediately sue her lame butt off for defamation. And, of course, should they try to litigate against me for it, they would be some of the sorriest creatures that ever trod dirt.
    thetwonkey
    • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

      @thetwonkey After spending tens of thousands in legal fees, you'd lose. Nothing to gain and lots to lose.
      rtk
      • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

        @rtk Well, then, I could just pimp-slap her into a whimpering heap on the floor.
        thetwonkey
      • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

        @thetwonkey

        Yup, you definitely could... it'd be relatively cheap as well! ;-)
        rtk
  • RE: iTunes Match - Legalizing your dodgy music collection has never been easier

    What is great is that iTunes Match is getting music pirates to PAY for their music, even if it is $25 a year. It is still money that goes to the music industry.
    jameskatt
  • NO NEED

    I don't think that is so useful.If you have a device that allows use a SD card with a good amount of memory (32 gb or more),you don't need the cloud.Maybe Apple should realize that.And something I don't understand is that they seem to think that only the music purchased in Itunes is legal.CD's,Amazon,Spotify?HELLOOOO!
    anto31