More on iTunes Match's new ID3 tags

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.

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?