Will the metadata updates that result be managed correctly in iTunes Match?
While there have been reports of people having difficulty with updating metadata, the ones I'm most familiar w ith are those who tried to do it while a match sesssion was running, or who tried to update metadata for tracks that were in the cloud, but not local on in the iTunes library they were working in.
iTunes match does update metadata though.
I should have added that I've used Tuneup and my biggest issues stem from vinyl album rips where some of the songs are found, but not the actual album. if other services have similar issues, I'd just caution that in some cases they'll do what Match sometimes does - give you track specific information, but pull it from pretty much anywhere. This seems to be particularly the case for compilations.
Message was edited by: JiminMissouri
Looking further into this topic there are yet more contenders, such as:
- MusicBrainz / IEatBrainz ... and so on ...
What is the best route to a simply maintained and efficient library?
All indications seems to point to iTunes Match successfully sharing updated metadata across related libraries - is this definitely the case (allowing for Jim's example of those attempting update in parallel with matching)?
If the question is which one will work best with iTunes Match, I don't know that the fact that you're submitting altered metadata to Match really matters. People who have been using the apps you've mentioned have for the most part been using them for a long time, well before Match came out.
What matters is what service/app you personally think will give you the best results. Everybody has their favorites. My suggestion would be to take a look at each of the options you've identified, see if any of them can be ruled out based on the kind of information you want to be able to add (not all may give you BPM - Not all songs may have BPM out there to grab either, but that's something I've never dealt with).
I have experience only with Tuneup. I have mixed feelings about it, but it has resolved a few problems for me. Some people like it, some don't. My guess is that's what you'll hear about any of the others, so really you need to determine just what's important to you, see if an app will give it to you, then perhaps if there is a demo version, give it a try.
The observation is that many of the Metadata tags are empty. iTunes Match for the first time appears to provide a great way of keeping multiple libraries and devices aligned. Given that iTunes already has the facility to work with such data if only if were populated - what is the best tool to use?
The related question is associated more specifically with iTunes Match - if fields such as song title, album, bpm, cover art, lyrics, year of production and so on are populated for any given library using a selected tool, does the performance of iTunes Match support the distribution of such information properly?
So far my direct experience has been limited to Cover Art, here iTunes Match whilst not perfect is certainly helpful - specifically whilst some of the libraries did not immediately operate without issue, the level of manual intervention was dramatically lower - crucially once fixed, each library has operated well with iTunes Match in operation. Is this simply the case for Cover Art or can we expect similar performance for the remaining metadata fields?
While I have read postings stating individuals have had trouble with metadata in general, as far as my own experience, if iTunes has a field for it and data is entered properly into that field, iTunes Match copies all of the metadata.
The real question as you pointed out, is how well does iTunes Match use that metadata if it's used to create smart playlists. From what I have read, the overall experience has been mixed. From my own experience, while smart playlists work fine on computers using metadata they could only be getting via iTunes match, those same playlists either are empty on IOS devices, or are populated in a manner that clearly shows the metadata isn't being read properly.
Here are examples
(1) A smart playlist based on text I had entered in the comments field displays fine on the computer it was set up on, as well as computer #2. In both cases the playlist is reading the iTunes Match database, so songs that are local are mixed with songs available only in the cloud.
This smart playlist is displaying properly on my Apple TV, which perhaps not coincidentally, is the only iOS device that supports streaming.
However presently, this playlist is empty on the iPhone and iPad.
(2) a smart playlist based on BPM over 60 displays on both computers and as with (1), it is clearly reading iCloud. This playlist has not appeared on Apple TV as yet, so I don't know if it will behave identically to (1). However it, too, is empty on the iPhone and iPad.
(3) a smart playlist based on play count, set to show only 25 tracks displays properly on both computers and clearly is reading playcounts specific to each one. Display of this playlist on iOS Devices has no logic to it that I can determine.
Each IOS device does have what appear to be tracks that have been played on one device or another recently, but the list is over 1,000 songs. Setting the music app to display only music on the device will get the track count lower, but that seems simply to be based on how many songs are locally stored. The 25 track limit certainly isn't being honored here.
This issue has been documented by at least one other person who has posted to the board.
My guess is that at this time, play counts unique to each device are not being handled properly, that some sort of aggragate attempt is being made. That there are tracks displayed all all is encouraging though. Some sort of functionality for playlists based on play count clearly is there, just not working properly on iOS devices.
Based on my limited testing, Apple has built in support for playlists based on metadata that iTunes has fields for, but iOS is not currently capable of handling it properly. My guess it that it will at some point (people do use playlists extensively - for Apple to basically kill the functionality for people who "upgraded" by purchasing iTunes Match doesn't make much sense). However if a person were needing full functionality now in order to make a purchasing decision on a metadata "enhancement" app, well Match doesn't seem to be there yet
An answer in two parts:
Part 1 - iTunes Match
iTunes Match generally does a very good of managing metadata (data about the Songs in the iTunes library) across multiple libraries and devices. There are some issues with non-streaming devices, notably iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (these are covered well in Jim's helpful answer in this thread).
Part 2 - Helpful Tools
Following a close look at those listed and limited trials, the very simple Tagalicious tool from The Little Appfactory (http://thelittleappfactory.com/tagalicious/) does well for Album Art and general metadata update - it works on Mac and PC and is likely to be helpful for most.
Of the many other more sophisticated offerings they are definitely an acquired taste - unless you are certain that they have capability you really need going for the simple tool is likely to be a good option. At the worst, several of the more sophisticated applications have earned poor reputations and often hidden restrictions apply, for example: only working on a few Songs at a time, or only available for a single platform (Mac or PC, not both).
Please do update if there are other very good tools not included in this thread and/or great experiences worth sharing.
Agreed it would be much better were iTunes able to offer the service directly. So far our experience is good but we will monitor carefully - given the low purchase price the application can easily be removed if needed.
The closest similar that works on Mac and PC is Rinse - this also worked well but was more expensive for no clear advantage - many of the features highlighted are easy to achieve in iTunes without such a 3rd party application.
For those seeking a quick review of Tagalicious the reference I used initially was: http://www.tuaw.com/2010/09/27/tuaw-review-tagalicious-for-itunes-metadata-artwo rk-and-lyric/ .
The contact detail for Rinse is shown in my initial question at the start of this thread.
Used carefully and on small batches of Songs at a time such tools can save hours of internet searching and manual updating. None appear sufficiently robust to operate on large libraries without careful oversight.
As for all such applications that work with the Song data and iTunes library do ensure that you have a secure backup before you start a major editing session.
(Michael's point above is a useful reminder that many of the tasks completed by the tools can be achieved manually)
With the iTunes 10.6 update, the problem involving iTunes Match Smart Playlist based on text (such as Comments) not appearing in iOS devices (iPad2 in particular) has now apparently been solved. However, there remains the problem of the songs appearing in random order in the iPad2.
The problem involving Last Played and Play Counts not being updated accurately across iOS devices and Macs is still persisting. It is actually quite erratic. It takes about 48 hours for iTunes Match to deliver the updated metadata. Sometimes, it does not update at all.
Has anyone found a workaround for this?