I suggest that you open iTunes and hold shift key whilst signing out of match. Now close iTunes and reboot computer.
Launch iTunes and then turn on match. You will be asked to add this computer. Do so. Let match process complete.
Once process completed close iTunes. Now relaunch iTunes. What happens? If working correctly you see clear cloud symbol next to music - to left corner.
Unless you are managing storage space on a number of iOS devices, in reality the benefits of IiTunes match on your Mac are limited.
All your music files and the links remain on your Mac by default.
All it does is copies your itunes.itl file to the iCloud server where its compared and linked to the iTunes store versions of your songs. Only odd ball tracks not available or recognized in the iTunes store are uploaded (Taking up part of your free 5GB iCloud allowance).
To actually use the iCloud matched track on your Mac requires you to delete the locally stored track from your iTunes application and your Music folder on your computer.
Your can then re-download the matched version from the iTunes store free of charge - just as you can with linked iOS devices.
Oh and once scanned from your Mac/PC you can turn off Match on these devices.
The linked iOS devices will continue to be able to access the iCloud based Match folder over the air (High quality 3G/LTE or Wi-Fi).
The only side effect is if your install further music on your Mac obviously that will only become available directly to your iOS devices when/if you turn ITunes Match back on re-sync and update (A task found under the Store Menu when running Itunes on your computer)
If you have no iOS devices its a waste of money to even subscribe - just use an alternative backup method.
There are a number of inaccuracies in your post.
Match does NOT copy itunes.itl file to icloud server. It scans your library and either matches or uploads tracks that qualify for match. Tracks uploaded do NOT take up part of your free 5GB storage - this is a different product.
You do not need to do anything with Matched tracks unless you wish to upgrade to the matched version where you delete tracks from your library and computer and redownload upgraded version.
Redownloading is not strictly free of charge as you pay an annual subscription for this service.
Itunes match requires the use of a computer to manage music and future subscriptions. Why turn it off?
Match should not be relied upon as a back up service https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-4112.
Actually yes it does that file contains all that's necessary for the matching process.
The graphic is just for show !
Second uploaded tracks (Those not available in the iTunes store) ARE copied using storage space to be made available to iOS devices - such tunes are marked as Uploaded in the Match status on you master ITunes application on your PC/Mac
Status column shows one of the following:-
or a cloud with line through and ineligible.- these may be PDFs, Movies or non standard formats (Such as third party plugins for OGG etc.....)
Like I said your Mac iTunes remains linked to your local Music folder by default.
Agreed re-downloading is part of the paid for service - Should have used un-restricted downloadable whilst subscribing.
Why turn if off well the op has seen the problem as I have I of wanting to re-scan for no reason and does slow down an already slow to respond app that of iTunes on your Mac/PC.
This service as only backup point - Quite agree.
That sad its certainly one of the services best features if you ever do need to recover your entire iTunes library after a casathrophic HDD failure !
Files that contain the .itl file extension are database files that are used by the iTunes media software application. These files are used by the iTunes software to organize the music files in a user's iTunes music library. The ITL file contains a log of the songs in the user's iTunes library as well as the user's playlists, any comments the user may have created for a particular track and the user's song ratings.
While the ITL file does reference the song's on a user's hard drive, it does not contain any actual media data in and of itself.
There for match needs to scan the individual files.
Uploaded tracks do not use up storage space Specifically for IOS devices!! You can access/ stream from non IOS devices i.e. computers
Icloud Status column shows tracks have been "matched", "purchased", "uploaded", "duplicate", "Error", "Waiting", "Removed" or "inelligible". It does not have a cloud with a line through it. Symbols are used in the icloud download column.
Turning off match is not a solution unless you no longer want to use match. First step is to see if problem can be solved.
Yes match can help for a hard drive failure but this does not remove the need to have adequate backups.
I do have multiple devices. IPhone, ipad etc so Match is very useful indeed and not something I would want to turn off. The Mac keeps my source library (I also hve a Sonos system so that uses the library too). In reality the itunes library is on a Nas drive.
Okay so I tried the suggestions and still the bloody thing matches the entire library everytime. It never used to but have been for the last month or so!
Any more ideas??
(oh and I backup through Crashplan too )