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RRedline
Rated R
Premium
join:2002-05-15
Williamsport, PA

[iPad] iTunes Match Questions

I have a music library on my PC consisting over over 3,000 songs, all in MP3 format (mostly 320 kbps). I am the type of person who likes to manage the song info manually in tags, and I scour the net for high resolution album art (within reason...generally no higher than 1500x1500). I am able to fit all of my music on my 64 GB iPhone and my 64 GB iPad, but I have a 32 GB iPod Touch that I have been syncing all my music to by having iTunes re-encode to 256 kbps AAC (not a good idea to transcode from a lossy format, I know).

Anyway, this past weekend a friend of mine who is a music junkie showed me how he uses iTunes Match to take his much larger music collection with him on his iPhone. His library is close to 20,000 songs.

Even though I have a reasonable way to sync all of my music even to my 32 GB iDevice, I wanted to give the service a try just to play around with it. I signed up for the service last night, and to my surprise, iTunes matched more than 90% of my songs. All the rest were uploaded, and I didn't get any errors.

My plan was to enable iTM on my iPod only, and just play around with it. At first, I was blown away by how well the whole process worked. Then I got to tinkering, and now I am confused. I changed some of the ID tags on a few songs within iTunes on my PC. I did this for some matched songs and for some uploaded songs. I re-ran the whole iTM thing, but nothing happened. I was expecting iTunes to upload the changes I made to the ID tags to the versions of the cloud, and then broadcast that to my iPod, but it didn't. Even after deleting the songs on my iPod locally, then re-downloading them by pressing the cloud icon, the OLD info still showed from when I originally turned on iTM on my PC.

Am I wrong to expect that changes to the ID tags (art work, genre, artist corrections, etc.) that I make on my PC should be sent up to the cloud, then rebroadcast down to my iPod? How do I make this service work the way I expect it to?

I realize that there are workarounds to this problem (like deleting the song from my library and cloud, then adding it back to the library and have it matched again), but I really expected this to just "work." Is this a bug in iTM, or have they not yet implemented this feature? I certainly hope that they expect to support this because it doesn't seem right that changes made after the match process is run, wouldn't get persisted back to the cloud?

This one issue alone is enough reason for me not to use this service. I do like the fact that I can download 256 kbps AAC versions of over 90% of my songs, though, for a mere $25.
--
One nation, under Zod!



skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
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·Verizon FiOS

4 edits

Some of my import albums for which there are no matches in the US store, iTM uploaded the artwork and tags too. Whatever it shows (tags, artwork etc) in the library of the uploading machine is what I get on my other Macs, iPhone, iPad etc.

Sometimes it takes a while to actually bring down the artwork. So on my iPhone, I'll have songs that don't show artwork for quite a long while, then it will pop up after I assume it had been fully downloaded. Sometimes it won't show the first time until I leave that album (play another album) then come back.

Once an album is uploaded, to change it I have to delete it from iCloud and reupload it. If I don't delete, I'll end up with a duplicate (2 different tags it thinks is 2 different tracks on occasion). It doesn't (at least that I've seen) resync an existing track that iTM thinks is already in the cloud. The only thing I have seen it sync on the fly is playlists.

EDIT - I take that back. I just changed a tag on an album and it did change it in the cloud. My other Macs saw the change, but not my iPhone. I think the iPhone caches the information or something and doesn't refresh until forced. When I started playing the song, it showed the new information (an album cover change) but not until I started playing it.



RRedline
Rated R
Premium
join:2002-05-15
Williamsport, PA

said by skeechan:

EDIT - I take that back. I just changed a tag on an album and it did change it in the cloud. My other Macs saw the change, but not my iPhone. I think the iPhone caches the information or something and doesn't refresh until forced. When I started playing the song, it showed the new information (an album cover change) but not until I started playing it.

I hope that it's just a timing issue. I can live with a delay. I will spend more time playing around with it tonight. I just want to make sure I know exactly how it works before I commit myself to it.

One thing that I like about it is how it doesn't do ANYTHING to your local library automatically. Signing up for the service and running the match process will not delete or alter your local files in any way. I was very concerned with that before I started. You just have the OPTION to delete your local copies after matching them, then downloading from the cloud to get it back (if it was matched, then you get a 256 kbps AAC file!).
--
One nation, under Zod!


RRedline
Rated R
Premium
join:2002-05-15
Williamsport, PA
reply to RRedline

In case anyone cares...I did some more testing, and it appears that the service DOES update the way I was expecting it to. I think maybe the reason it wasn't working for me last night is because it was uploading artwork and unmatched songs on my PC while I was doing it. I think now that it is finished matching (I let it run while I slept), it is working in real time.

As a test, I started playing a song on my iPod, then I opened iTunes on my PC and started making arbitrary changes to THAT song. I actually saw it almost immediately change the name, artist, album art, etc. on my iPod. It works with both matched and unmatched songs. I also turned WiFi off on my iPod, then made a bunch of changes in iTunes, then turned WiFi back on later on my iPod, and it picked up all of the changed I had made earlier.

I have to say, I am impressed with this service so far. I realize there are some limitations still, but for a service this young, it sure is nice. I know people love to hate Apple, but when it comes to music, they are kicking ass and taking names.

And again, it is worth the $25 as a one time deal just to delete your matched local songs and then download the 256 kbps AAC version from the cloud. You can even keep your old versions backed up somewhere if you are paranoid. From most of the reading I have done, 256 kbps AAC is at least as good as 320 kbps MP3 (better in most cases).
--
One nation, under Zod!



Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

Yep, it's near realtime updating for me as well on my iPad/iPhone and various Macs.

The biggest issue I have with Match is the annoying crappy and buggy interface on the iPhone. If you lose wireless service while trying to play a song from Match, god help you. Your entire library could be screwed for days.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


Daemon
Premium
join:2003-06-29
Berkeley, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast
·webpass.net
·AT&T U-Verse

said by Thinkdiff:

Yep, it's near realtime updating for me as well on my iPad/iPhone and various Macs.

The biggest issue I have with Match is the annoying crappy and buggy interface on the iPhone. If you lose wireless service while trying to play a song from Match, god help you. Your entire library could be screwed for days.

That and it often takes more than a minute for a song to start playing if you are on AT&T 3G service
--
-Ryan
I use Linux, OS X, iOS and Windows. Let the OS wars die.