iTunes Match is live: Confessions of a cloud hog

iTunes Match is live: Confessions of a cloud hog

Summary: Apple rolled out its iTunes Match cloud service, and I signed up. This makes three cloud music services I use. I guess I am taking up too much of the cloud.

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware, Mobility
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Yesterday Apple opened the doors to the iTunes Match service, a bit late and with a few bumps for new subscribers. I wasn't able to get my subscription going until this morning, but it is now active and iTunes has matched my 2,700+ music collection and it is now available (mostly) to five devices running iTunes. This makes the third cloud music service I use, and as pointed out to me by Tom Reestman on Twitter I am now officially a cloud hog.

Parts of my music collection now reside on the Amazon Cloud Drive/Player and the Google Music beta cloud. I jumped on the Amazon service when it first appeared, and uploaded my collection to that service. I can listen to my music through Amazon's native app on Android, and through any web browser. The music lives in the cloud and is streamed to me on demand.

Google followed Amazon with its Music beta cloud service, and I signed up for it too. I wanted to try them both and see which one would be better, eventually becoming my one music service in the sky. It works much like the Amazon service, with an upload of my entire music collection first, then listening via streaming through either a Google Android app or a web browser.

So why did I pony up $25/year for the iTunes Match cloud service? The short answer is for the thousand DRM-infested iTunes songs that neither Google nor Amazon can play. I started my music collection years ago by purchasing music from iTunes, and those early purchases had the pesky DRM rendering them useless outside the Apple ecosystem.

When Amazon started offering music without DRM, I immediately switched like a lot of folks to free up my purchases. That music, along with my music I ripped from purchased CDs, is a library over 1,600 songs in size. Since there is no DRM on those songs, they can play on both the Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player services. They play on iTunes, too.

Those first 1,000 songs can only play in the iTunes world, and thus the need for the iTunes Match subscription. I can now listen to my entire music library of almost 3,000 songs, as long as I am on an iOS/iTunes system.

So various bits of my collection now live in three different parts of the cloud, which I admit makes me a cloud hog. Over the next year I expect that will change, and I will stop paying for duplicate cloud services. I will continue to use the three for now, and see which presents the best listening experience. That will determine what I eventually settle on long-term. Until then, I will remain a cloud hog.

A large part of my music collection is classic rock, those old songs by artists who are not still with us. It seems poetic that their music lives on in the cloud.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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11 comments
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  • Can't you?

    Pay your subscription for one year and replace all those DRMed copies with AAC DRM Free versions? Or can you only stream them from the cloud and not download local copies, to listen to offline?

    I haven't been following the iTunes Match that closely to know whether you can download or not, as I don't really listen to music.

    I think the last time I listened to music on my Mac was last year some time and I don't have any music on my iPhone or Android phone - I just listen to audio books and podcasts...
    wright_is
  • Also, since 2007 Apple started to offer DRM-free versions of the songs with

    ... higher bitrate -- your collection could be upgradable to that for $0.25 each song. If all of your 1000 iTunes songs are older than 2007 and hence have DRM in them, this upgrade will not be cheap, though: $250 to be paid.<br><br>However, these songs are the ones you love and want to own forever. So these $250 will play favourably if you consider that having iTunes Match service running for 10 years will match (sorry for the pun) this price. All years after this period will be your "profit" for owning the songs comparing to use of this streaming service.<br><br>Also, after this upgrade, you will be able to upload these songs both to Amazon's and Google's cloud music service.<br><br>As you see, owning songs in the long run turns out to be cheaper and more convenient comparing to use of streaming service.
    dderss
  • Don't forget that this is still beta

    You could pay your $25, have iTunes Match go down, and Apple will simply say "Tough, its beta".
    toddybottom
  • Quotas

    When Amazon rolled out their cloud service, it was way too small for "music lover" sized collections and I wasn't able to use it. Now Apple has done the same - released the product with a quota far too small for people with substantial collections - ironically shutting out the very people who would be most likely to pay for it). <br><br>Wondering if I was unusual, I posted a poll :<br><br> <a href="http://birdhouse.org/blog/2011/03/31/how-big-is-your-mp3-collection/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://birdhouse.org/blog/2011/03/31/how-big-is-your-mp3-collection/</a><br><br>Result: Around 30% of respondents have a library larger than the 25k song limit. I would love to pay Amazon or Apple for a service like this. Hope they raise the quotas to reasonable thresholds in the future.
    shacker23
    • RE: iTunes Match is live: Confessions of a cloud hog

      @shacker23 As far as I can tell, Amazon doesn't have a limit on the number of songs you can upload. They also wave the space limit for music if you pay for one of their Cloud Drive storage plans (which start at $20/year for 20GB). I currently have over 37,000 songs stored with Amazon's service.

      I did look at Google's offering and basically rejected it due to the limit on number of songs. I don't use Apple devices, so I haven't looked closely at the iTunes service.
      JeffGr
    • RE: iTunes Match is live: Confessions of a cloud hog

      @shacker23 JeffGr pointed out the solution it appears on Amazon and the actual topic of this blog is the answer to your quotas issue on iTunes. Any purchases from iTunes do not apply toward your quota and if you use iTunes Match then any songs not purchased through iTunes are "matched" from their library if possible and no longer apply to your quota as you know had a copy from iTunes.
      non-biased
  • RE: iTunes Match is live: Confessions of a cloud hog

    I should clarify - with Amazon, the problem is the astronomical cost of hosting large collections. A 250GB collection would cost $500/year to store on Amazon (see the poll/post I linked to above).

    So you're just paying $20/year for 37k songs?
    shacker23
    • RE: iTunes Match is live: Confessions of a cloud hog

      @shacker23
      Problem, not just with Amazon, is also the cap on bandwidth implemented by most ISPs. Music as such is not an issue, but when you add streaming video, etc, can eat up even the larger plans if there are teenagers in the family.
      wellcraft19
    • RE: iTunes Match is live: Confessions of a cloud hog

      @shacker23 I have question for you. I own an iPad but I don't want to pay for the cloud service, but when I try to download the music I purchased via iTunes to my iPad the area for download is shaded over thus I cannot get my purchases onto my iPad. Any solution?
      worldbfree4me
  • RE: iTunes Match is live: Confessions of a cloud hog

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    skyjones
  • RE: iTunes Match is live: Confessions of a cloud hog

    Have not really followed Match as I don't have very many songs but my wifes has a ton. If you sign up for a year of Match, what happens after that first year. Do you have to sign up for Match each year if you don't have any new songs from other sources than iTunes?
    non-biased