I Need a Bigger Cloud

I Need a Bigger Cloud

Summary: I’d really like to use iTunes Match. But Apple won’t let me. Apple limits the number of non-iTunes, store-bought tracks to 25,000—a number I passed many years ago.

TOPICS: ÜberTech

I like clouds and I consume a lot of media, mostly music.

Listening to music, I have a few modes:

  1. Pop on a CD or LP on my stereo at home to enjoy some focused listening. (Yes, I still buy CDs and even vinyl.)
  2. Stream playlists to my HiFi via Apple TV (or to my Logitech BoomBox in the kitchen) for background music.
  3. Put myself at the mercy of my carefully crafted smart playlists (similar to this) on my iPhone while commuting, which ensures I get a mix of new, old and neglected tracks.
  4. Use a few select iTunes playlists at work when I need to block out the background buzz of the office (especially when I need to focus on writing). These tend to be mostly the early symphonies of Philip Glass.

Theoretically, it should work perfectly. Practically, there’s a problem. I need very different playlists for 2, 3 and 4, and space is limited on my iPhone. Even getting a model with larger storage isn't going to help much.

At home, I keep my music is in a network-attached storage (NAS) device. When I last looked I had:

  • 4,456 artists
  • 3,164 albums
  • 38,305 songs

…which amounts to 129.2 days of music, and 364.39 GB of data.

So no matter how big an iPhone (or even iPod) I get, a mobile device cannot hold all my music. (Steve Wozniak looks to have a similar challenge finding a suitable tablet which can store all the media he wants to access.)

To compound the issue, I've increased the bit rate I use to rip CDs from my original 128kbits/s to today's Apple Lossless as hard drives have gotten cheaper over the years. To get great sound, you have to take up lots of space.

And as I slowly re-rip my collection at higher bit rates, my storage challenge will only get worse.

I thought my problems were solved when Apple announced iTunes Match. It seemed built for me. Now I could pick and choose exactly what I was listening to at work—or anywhere else with a WiFi connection.

Unlike other services, it rather cleverly checks first if the track is already in the iTune's cloud. If it is, then no need to actually upload the track. Which saves the massive upload to the cloud, and more importantly for all my tracks ripped at lower bitrates - I get an instant upgrade in audio quality.

Then I tried to use it.

iTunes Match

Apple limits the number of non-iTunes store bought tracks to 25,000—a number I passed many years ago.

iOS 7 was exciting. OSX Mavericks is interesting. But what I'm waiting for is the removal of this 25,000-song cap.

I’m no thief. And I know I’m not the only music lover barred from the service. Please take my money.

If it helps, I can send photos of all the CDs.

Topic: ÜberTech


Diarmuid Mallon is the Director, Global Marketing Solutions & Programs – Mobile, which includes the SAP Mobile Services division and SAP Mobile solutions. He has worked in the mobile industry since 1996. Follow him here at ÜberTech and @diarmuidmallon.

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  • its not a bigger cloud you need

    You just need an iTunes upgrade/replacement.

    Now as for all those songs, etc. I'm sure you paid for all of that right. I mean you wound want to become a target of the music industry or anything... :-)
  • Have you tried to do it in multiple passes?

    Because my understanding is that the iTunes match replaces your non-iTunes song with the equivalent iTunes track, meaning you can remove your non-iTunes original.

    So, take out half of your non iTunes tracks, run Match, delete the originals, re-add the half you took out in step one, the run Match again, then delete the originals (or archive them outside of iTunes).
    • What if they're not available on iTunes?

      I may have about 200K songs that are not available on the iTunes store. Even if I use match like you said on my music, the number of non iTunes tracks will still be 200k witch explode the 25k limit. I think we need a real playlist cloud sevice for real audiophile
      Pierre-Marc David Caron
      • Get rid of your pirated tracks. Because there is no

        way in this world you're going to get me to believe you've spent $150,000 + on music.
        • In fact it's way more than this ...

          It's a 50 years old + collection started by my grandfather. I'm spending most of my incomes just to keep it up to date.
          Pierre-Marc David Caron
          • The real reason for "match"

            The REAL reason for "match" -- which is absolutely BRILLIANT -- is it saves Apple HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. One million users with say, 2500 songs each that are already on iTunes? That's 2.5 BILLION songs. Let's say they average 4MB each. So that's TEN BILLION MEGABYTES of storage.

            "Gee! Out of the goodness of our hearts we'll automatically upgrade you to 256k."

            Hmm ... 2.5 billion songs times maybe 100 bytes each for an internal database link ...
          • Bull. 200,000 songs over 50 years would require

            the purchase of 4,000 songs a year or 11 songs a day every day for FIFTY YEARS.
      • Keep in mind this is a MASS CONSUMER service ...

        not a service for what is essentially a museum-size collection. If you wanted to rent a storage locker for books, you couldn't expect them to lease you storage space for 200k books for the same price as a 7x7ft locker.

        You should seriously consider donating most or all of them to a museum or university. Obviously you could never listen to even a medium-sized percentage of the total.

        If you do decide to do that you should consider instead a "permanent loan" type situation so they can't put them in storage and when the facility needs funds stick them out on a "public sale" rack for 10-25 cents each or even just throw them away.
  • How about using 2 accounts?

    If you really NEED to upload more than 25k NON-iTunes audios, how about just using two accounts?

    But realistically, it seems you should be able to cut down and just put a portion of those in the cloud and keep the rest on your NAS. My iPod Shuffle cratered years ago and I have a cheapie SanDisk. When I buy something on iTunes I just convert it from MP4 to MP3. Yes, a bit more work but nothing major.
  • build your own then.

    Cloud is such an overused term. It's storage abstracted by whatever technology the company chooses to implement.

    At the end of the day it is files on a disk, nothing more.