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iTunes Match - Completing Library

2759 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Jan 12, 2012 8:17 AM by KeithJenner RSS
mracole Level 4 Level 4 (1,075 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 11, 2012 3:35 PM

Is there any way to complete the library by eliminating low bit rate tracks and uploads that should have been matches?


Having resolved ineligible tracks ( and inconsistent results ( there are two categories of tracks that would be great to resolve, notably:


(1)  Low bit rates tracks:  These are listed in a smart play list showing all songs with a bit rate less than 256.  Many of the tracks listed can easily be found in the iTunes Store, hence they should 'match' allowing a download at 256 - how can this be achieved?



Low Bit Rate Songs.png


(2)  Uploaded tracks: These are listed in a smart play list showing songs with an iCloud Status of uploaded.  The majority of these tracks are also readily found in the iTunes Store, several being exact matches for entire albums but for some reason iTunes Match did not identify the match - how can this be resolved?



Uploaded Songs.png


With these as the last two areas to resolve, iTunes Match will have successfully converted my full library.  Any suggestions very much appreciated?

iTunes 10, Windows Vista, iMatch giving inconsistent results
  • JiminMissouri Level 2 Level 2 (465 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2012 3:42 PM (in response to mracole)

    Low-bitrate tracks can be made eligible by creating an AAC version within iTunes.  It's not the ideal solution, but it does work.  Whether they will match and you'll get the higher quality versions, or upload is anybody's guess.


    As for tracks that uploaded - well there are plenty of people who believe that what they have is in the iTunes store and should be matched.  Sometimes, but not always, they are right (long story short, they think what they see in the store is exactly what they have, but it might not be the case).  Still, while you can always delete a track from your library and the cloud, then add it back in and see if Match will do a better job, the success rate for this seems pretty low.


    Edit: Sorry I misread your original question.  You started with the assertion that what you have is in the store and should match.  I understand you feel that way, but no, if it didn't match, it didn't match.  All you can do is what I outlined - delete tracks you want to try and get matched, add them back in, and try again.

  • JiminMissouri Level 2 Level 2 (465 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2012 4:10 PM (in response to mracole)

    What makes it puzzling is that the original source for many of the tracks concerned was the iTunes Store.

    That is puzzling, because if they were purchased from iTunes, they should show up as "purchased." I can think of only one reason why they wouldn't match. Is it possible a different Apple ID was used to purchase them than what you are using for the iTunes store today?  If you have the same iD, then the iTunes store has a record of those tracks being sold to you.  While I've not purchased anything via iTunes, it's my understanding that you wouldn't even need copies of the files in order to get previously purchased stuff.  Strike that - I have "purchased" free tracks from the free music Tuesday promotions and they all showed up as purchased when i enabled Match.

  • KeithJenner Level 4 Level 4 (1,020 points)
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    Jan 11, 2012 5:46 PM (in response to JiminMissouri)

    Actually, it isn't the case that all iTunes purchases will show up as purchased, or even match.


    I have a couple of hundred iTunes purchases which are not showing up as purchased, and in many cases not matching. The reason for all of these (other than 3 tracks which are a mystery) is that they are no longer in the store in the same format which I purchased them.


    For example, one of the biggest issues that has been identified is the "Complete Depeche Mode" which was available a few years ago. The vast majority of the tracks are still available to purchase, but this particular set is no longer available. As a result the tracks don't show up as purchased, and many don't match (I assume because they are not the same mastering as the albums on iTunes.


    Rather oddly, the "Complete U2" still shows as purchased, even though it is also not available.


    The other issue I have found are singles which you can no longer buy from iTunes and which don't show as purchased or, in most cases, matched.


    I assume that mracole's problem is that the issue of that album is no longer available and iTunes doesn't realise that the new version is the same album so doesn't recognise it as purchased. As it is not the same issue, not all tracks match.

  • KeithJenner Level 4 Level 4 (1,020 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 12, 2012 2:32 AM (in response to mracole)

    mracole wrote:


    This failure to match issue seems far too common to simply be a question of original albums being somehow re-released with some slight variation.

    I couldn't disagree more.


    The fact that the match issue is quite common is one of the things I take as proof that this is a major cause of the issue. There is barely a popular album which hasn't been remastered at least once, often many times. I suspect that you maybe don't appreciate how common this practice is.


    The reasons that I believe this to be the issue is:


    I am getting far better match results on more recently purchased CD's. I am a bit of a sucker for "deluxe edition" releases, and these are usually matching 100%, as they are usually the most recent releases, and the ones which are in the iTunes store.


    For older CD's, the ones I get the best results for (again, often 100%) are the less popular albums, which have never earned a remastering.


    The worst results are consistantly older CD's which I know there have been remasters of. In many cases I am getting almost no matches at all.


    Take the Beatles for an example. I have the 2009 reissues and they have matched 100%, as has been the experience for most people. Reports on this site of people trying to match the 1980's CD's have been very much less successful.


    I am absolutely convinced that remasterings are a major factor (probably the most important factor) in failure to match. If this is the case then it has two implications for you.


    Firstly, you are not going to be able to force a match for these tracks, as they are not the same as is in the store.


    Secondly, there is a major question as to whether Apple will do anything about it. In fact, the argument (which I would agree with) is that the matching is in fact too loose so that it is inadvertantly mismatching many tracks to the wrong mastering. This causes problems such as that found by people with the Beatles Mono set, and also means that peoples iCloud library ends up with a mixture of remastered and old tracks, which can be jarring to the ear at the transition between tracks.

  • KeithJenner Level 4 Level 4 (1,020 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 12, 2012 3:23 AM (in response to mracole)

    I don't know anything about Equinoxe, and what remasters there have been, but there is certainly evidence to suggest that the remasters issue isn't the only factor causing non matches, just a big factor.


    For example, whilst my results are far better with newer CD's they aren't perfect, and I still get the occasional unmatched track. This suggests that there are other factors at work.


    With older CD's you tend to get the sort of mixed results you are reporting, I assume due to the fact that some tracks are changed more than others, meaning that some still manage to match. My gut feeling is that is what is happening with your album.


    As for reporting to Apple, the best I can suggest is leaving feedback giving examples of albums which had particularly bad or unusual results. More important to me is reporting back on mismatched tracks, as I'm keen for Apple to introduce a force upload option to resolve those issues.


    As for your conclusion, yes, I believe that match will always be inexact (in fact it will always have a margin of error, it is just trying to make that error as small as possible). There is a strong argument that says that Apple was not clear on it's advertising and lead people to conclude that their tracks would match as long as they were in the iTunes store. The number of queries on this board confirms that many people were indeed expecting better results than I believe the technology will be capable of for a long time.

  • JiminMissouri Level 2 Level 2 (465 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 12, 2012 5:21 AM (in response to mracole)

    If you start from your premise, which seems to be that Apple has promised you that all tracks that you have decided are still for sale in the iTunes store in the exact same format as your copy (which without having both copies and performing some waveform analysis yourself I have to question) will match, then sure, the service isn't working as advertised.  So I guess you've answered your own question then.

  • KeithJenner Level 4 Level 4 (1,020 points)
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    Jan 12, 2012 8:17 AM (in response to mracole)

    I'd tend to agree. Overall Match is an excellent service, which is great value for money (as long as you aren't affected by some of the bugs reported elsewhere here). However I do think that the quote above would lead people to believe that if their songs are in the store in any form then they will get matched.


    I think that the matching is not all that far off as good as it will get, and it is easily good enough for my purposes. In this case it isn't the service that is wrong, but the wording does "over promise" on the matching success rate.


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