1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Aug 1, 2012 2:29 AM by MM1010
MM1010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

With the advent of "Mastred for iTunes" last month, I've been wondering whether iTunes Match subscribers would be able to upgrade their collection to these (allegedly) superior sounding albums. 

 

Yesterday, I had to redownload a song from iCloud I recently purchased and, after redownloading, I noticed the "Mastered for iTunes" logo in the summary section of the song.  Since I had other albums that are now mastered for iTunes, I thought I'd redownload them in hopes of the same results.  However, there was no logo that appeared.  The albums I tried to redownload were Elton John's "Madman Across The Water" and "Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy" and it seems I merely redownloaded what I had. 

 

What's strange is that the "Mastered for iTunes" versions of these albums are the only versions now available on the iTunes Store, so I'm puzzled why I would not get those copies, instead.  If anyone has any insight as to how this would work, that'd be great. 

 

Thanks! 


MacBook, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • 1. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,710 points)

    You need to enable the iCloud Status column to see if those tracks are "matched" or "uploaded." If they are "uploaded" then, no, you won't get the iTunes Store version; you actually are downloading just what you had.

     

    Enable the iCloud Status column by pulling down View > View Options, selecting the "icloud status" option and clicking OK.

  • 2. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    MM1010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your reply, Michael.  Perhaps I should have been clearer.  Of these two Elton John albums I own, one was purchased through iTunes, while the other one is 100% matched from the CD. 

     

    So my question is: given this, and given the "mastered for iTunes" version is now the only copy of these albums available on iTunes, wouldn't it follow that when I redownload these albums, the "mastered for iTunes" version should be what I get?  And if so, then why does it not signifiy that with the "mastered for iTunes" logo that appears when you purchase such an album? 

     

    Any insight to this would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks! 

  • 3. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,710 points)

    Ah, I see. Then the previously purchased album is not "matched," it is "purchased" and since bought the album before the Mastered for iTunes version was available then you will get what you originally purchased, not the new version.

  • 4. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    MM1010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Gotcha.  That makes sense.  But then, shouldn't my "matched" album that wasn't purchased through iTunes get the new version? 

  • 5. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,710 points)

    I would suppose it would, but I guess it would also depend on when you originally matched the files and when the remastered version of the album showed up on the store. We also don't know what is the store DB that we can't see.

  • 6. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    MM1010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Very true.  After doing a bit of research through the support articles, it appears I have my answer, which is that iTunes Match does not cover "Mastered for iTunes" songs: 

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5156?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US# 

     

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around how you're not able to upgrade your songs to the "Mastered for iTunes" version when some albums only have that version in the store.  Although, as you said, it's probably able to do this through the store DB we can't see. 

  • 7. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,710 points)

    I was talking about that topic with someone not long ago. What I think that means is if someone has already purchased an Album from the store than a remastered version (Mastered for iTunes) shows up, the original album can not be upgraded for free to the new version. The new version of the album would have to be purchased. This is reasonable, in my opinion.

     

    If using iTunes Match, though, and a ripped CD matches to a Mastered for iTunes album then in theory it should be possible to upgrade the "matched" tracks. But not "purchased" tracks.

     

    That's how I believe that works.

  • 8. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    MM1010 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    That would make sense.  However, after doing some testing today, I think there is a hidden database iTunes is using to prevent a "Mastered for iTunes" match. 

     

    Today, I imported Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" to iTunes, which it fully matched.  Afterwards, I deleted the album and redownloaded the version from the iTunes Store.  I then did an A/B comparison on my studio monitors between this version and the 90 second "Mastered for iTunes" samples for this album.  As I feared, there is a definite difference in sound quality, with the 90 second samples sounding superior with more dynamic range and a bit more spacious overall.  Definitely different versions.  I also tried this for a couple of other albums with the same result. 

     

    Alas, it looks like there's no way to upgrade, though in the future, I would definitely welcome another iTunes Plus type of system for this (actually, my dream would be to just have the 24/96 masters available).  But, for now, re-purchasing the album through iTunes is the only way, regardless of whether it's an iTunes purchase or match. 

  • 9. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    roebeet Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)

    Thanks for the link -- this was a good "tag" to confirm if a Match track would get the MFI logo, so I just tested it on my "Ringo 2012" digital download that I had matched a month back.   I verified that the version in iTunes is now MFI so I re-matched, re-downloaded and this is what I see in info:

     

    ringo.JPG

    Looks like I got the MFI version.      This makes sense for new albums at least, as the MFI version may be the only version available.  For older albums being re-issued as MFI, that may be a different story.  But at least we know what to look for.

     

    EDIT:  "Superior" recording to the non-MFI is definitely a big question mark.  Possibly "different" as the mastering itself may be different, but not sure if it will be better or not.   As I re-match more albums, I'll have to consider keeping a "MFI" version as well as a non-MFI version, if they are in fact different sounding.

  • 10. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,710 points)

    Interesting. I downloaded the "matched" copy of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here and do not see that MFI logo on any of the tracks.

  • 11. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    roebeet Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)

    ...and I just tried AMLOR and I don't see it either.  So I'm guessing that older albums with at least two versions (MFI and non-MFI) may be linked to only the non-MFI version in Match.  But new albums ie. stuff from Feb 2012 or later, like Ringo's, have a better chance of matching to the MFI version.

  • 12. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,710 points)

    I hope you're not right because if my 2011 remasters of Pink Floyd's albums are actually matched to the pre-remaster versions of the album I'm not really going to be happy about that. I'm hoping it is just a case of the tracks not having the logo specified in the metadata.

  • 13. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    roebeet Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)

    I don't own the 2011 remasters (yet).   Still a bit pricey for me, as I'd want them on vinyl.  

     

    I don't know.   If the remasters are different enough, I supposed that they could have both versions as available for matching and their process could match to the right master each time.   But it's also possible that they only allow for one version to be matched regardless of the master of the source.   And if so, which one would they use?

     

    Had another MFI failure -- this time Macca's "Kisses on the Bottom".  I own the Target store CD and my Match attempt doesn't have the MFI logo on it.  So there must be two versions in their database and I'm matching to the non-MFI one.

  • 14. Re: Does iTunes Match Cover Albums "Mastered For iTunes"?
    Mike Connelly Level 4 Level 4 (1,785 points)

    Weird that you see MFI on a matched track, I have a couple new albums that were MFI on first release but don't say that.  For remasters it might make sense for them to keep both versions, but are they really starting brand new albums with an MFI version and one ripped from CD just for those on Match?  Seems like that would be pretty dumb.

     

    Has anyone tried taking a purchased MFI track and having it matched?  Does it match a MFI version or downgrade it?

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