Is iTunes Match Worth Your Money?

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jknowlton

About the limit that people are overreacting about. Your iTunes purchases do not count against that limit. So if you are a music junkie and acquired them through iTunes, then those don't come into play.

Google's limit is 20,000 and Amazon is anywhere from 5GB storage for free; $20/year for 20GB and $1000 a year for 1TB. Songs bought on Amazon don't count against the limit.

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jknowlton

Streaming or downloading to other devices is great, but the most important thing to me, and I have explained this to others and then they say "oh that is great, now I know why its better for me to use".
For $24.99, I can download better copies of my library that I have ripped for the past 10 years. That alone is worth the $24.99 of one year. I have done 100's of albums that were ripped at 128kbps ten years ago, now upgraded.

Second most important thing, is having a full backup of your music stored not on your own system. Again worth the $24.99 knowing that I have all my music available for re-download if a catastrophe happened where I lost my computers and my backup drives.

Yes I can use Google Music and Amazon for free, but I like the matching through the Itunes store for back up, instead of taking weeks of uploading to their servers, Itunes just matches the song at a higher bit rate. My entire library including unmatched songs only two an hour or so.

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benbehr

I don't have more than 25000 songs in my library but I am a big fan of audiobooks. If I would include all of them in my iTunes library (and label them as music to get them in the cloud) I would easily beat this number. For instance Harry Potter 4 has a solid 1181 tracks all by itself, problem is each of them is about 1.2 minutes or so. Now for some of them I have gone through the trouble of composing them into chapters but that costs more time than it is worth in my opinion.

But in any case 25000 is a big number and in case of the Audiobooks I would just declare those to be music I am planing to here in the near future. But I guess apple could also say "A maximum of XGB is stored in the cloud". This way I could upload a considerable bigger amount of files.

My 2cents

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benbehr

I don't have more than 25000 songs in my library but I am a big fan of audiobooks. If I would include all of them in my iTunes library (and label them as music to get them in the cloud) I would easily beat this number. For instance Harry Potter 4 has a solid 1181 tracks all by itself, problem is each of them is about 1.2 minutes or so. Now for some of them I have gone through the trouble of composing them into chapters but that costs more time than it is worth in my opinion.

But in any case 25000 is a big number and in case of the Audiobooks I would just declare those to be music I am planing to here in the near future. But I guess apple could also say "A maximum of XGB is stored in the cloud". This way I could upload a considerable bigger amount of files.

My 2cents

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gribittmep

I've been using iTunes Match for a number of months and it hits a home run on the main selling point - all of my music is available on all of my iOS devices. I have a 16gb iPhone and a 16gb iPad and before Match I was constantly having to play around with what music I would have with me and what stayed behind. Not anymore, I have everything available just as the service intended. I work in an office building that was used by a military contractor in the 60's and 70's and is pretty much a bunker with less than perfect cell reception. The times are few and far between that I have to wait more than a couple of seconds to start listening to a track that is not on my phone which has to be downloaded. This is another great advantage of Match. Its not a streaming service, the tracks are downloaded so the next time you want to listen to it its stored locally. I'm assuming that it has some type of algorithm that it uses when the device is out of space to determine what tracks to remove to allow new downloads. This part is seem less and I never worry about out of space issues.

The ability to update all of my low bit-rate tracks to 256kbs is an added bonus. If you follow the widely available instructions on the web you can download the higher quality tracks into iTunes, replacing the low quality tracks that you have. And if you discontinue the service you're still left with the higher quality. They're not "in the cloud" to be lost. They are on your own system, that I assume has a well thought-out backup plan.

The one thing that I have to comment on is the supposed issue of the 25,000 non-iTunes purchased track limit. Come on, who really has this much music - legally. As the author points out this is about 2,100 albums. Assuming the low cost of $10 per that would be $21,000. Who out there has actually spent that kind of money on music? If you have more than 25,000 non-iTunes tracks and didn't pay for it then sing me a river because you're just a thief. No different than walking into a store and shoplifting CD's

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metalhaze

You state,
"So what happens when you try and use iTunes Match on a 3G connection? The short answer is that you wait. A lot."

But that raises many questions because I don't have this issue AT ALL with iTunes Match. Download the "Speed Test" app, run a speed test, post your results, and tell us where you live. Because after the initial load of the first song (which is NEVER as long as 10 seconds), I experience no waiting when listening to my music. iTunes Match works flawless for me, and I also used it in multiple locations (gym, and car) and multiple cities and towns.

You also noted,
"and it’s an exceptionally easy way to upgrade your iTunes library too." but that is only helpful if all your songs uploaded, if all your songs were matched, and if iTunes Match handled the upload of the PDF CD books (which it doesn't). You also cannot back up other media like ringtones, podcasts, etc unless you use a real dedicated back up service that backs up all the files on your HD. So, no, do not count on iTunes Match to back up your entire "iTunes Library".

You mentioned,
"There are other issues. Some people have experienced artwork disappearing from matched music, while others have seen explicit versions of their favorite songs replaced with the swear-free radio edits or found that iTunes Match reset their ratings and play counts." But Apple fixed these issues with the new iOS 5.1 update and their update to iTunes. Should be a non-issue now. (or so they say)

"The real draw here is threefold: iTunes Match makes it easy to share content between your various bits of Apple kit; it backs up all your music; and you can use it to upgrade all the duff tracks in your library, which in our case meant over 6,000 songs."

Um, how about HAVING ACCESS TO ALL 13,000 OF MY SONGS ON EVERY APPLE DEVICE I OWN. You know, some people just want to listen to their music wherever they are. Not to mention you can make playlists on the fly on the iPhone while still having access to all of your music. Invaluable. And you never have to sync to iTunes again! (as far as getting songs and videos on your phone.)

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gribittmep

The one issue that I do experience is missing artwork. Sometimes its for an album and sometimes not.

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