Same problem here. Although iTunes Match made it to 7299 of 7340 songs, it hangs on Step 3 every time now.
iTunes Match only matched 20% of my library...almost all mainstream music ripped from CD's.
It crashed iTunes eight times in the 10 hours I've been trying to get iTunes Match to complete. OS X 10.7.2 on a newer iMac. Restarted, rebooted. I give up.
My iTunes library is a mess now.
After continual hangs on iTunes Match Step 3 (crashing iTunes, etc.) I was finally able to get iTunes Match to complete late last night.
To help diagnose the problem I added two columns to my iTunes library, "iCloud Download" and "iCloud Status". iTunes > View > View Options > check both items. This allowed me to see exactly what was matched, uploaded, waiting, etc.
After reviewing all of my songs I found that there were about 40 that displayed "Waiting". No matter how many times I force-quit iTunes and tried to get iTunes Match to complete, those last songs in the wait-state would not budge. I finally deleted all of them (they were odd, non-mainstream songs and albums that I can live without plus I still have the original CD's).
Once I deleted the the "Waiting" songs iTunes Match finished instantly.
I'm not sure why those particular songs were causing trouble, but I was glad that it was finally able to finish. I eneded up missing a lot of cover art and also resolved that. More here...
So I've tested iTunes Match on my iPad, my Apple TV2, etc. and it seems to be working okay now...but what a nightmare it was to get there!. This was not a good Apple-like experience.
I have the same issue, but itunes locks up and I cant even exit the program it also uses a lot of cpu usage making my whole computer unstable. It's really irritating it says 898/899 songs checked as well. I tried deleting a lof of the waiting songs with weird meta data but I don't want to delete them all and it didnt help. I also tried uninstalling and reinstalling and that did nothing. Every time I terminate the app I have to sign out and re-sign back in again as well and as soon as itunes starts trying to finish again it locks up!
Sounds like me last night. On the first try I got about 3/4 of the eay through Step 3, then iTunes hung up. At least now I have about 7300 matched songs in the cloud to play with. On subsequent tries I got about 2/3 of the way through Step 2 and iTunes keeps locking up and 'not repsonding', so I 'force quit'ed. After a few tries at that I got good at hitting the 'Stop' button on Match before it locked up, then exiting iTunes cleanly so when I restarted it would not automatically start Match again and lock up. I'll try it again later and try to delete the songs marked 'error' and see it that does any good.
Really frustrating to have my formerly solid iTunes now freezing on me after 10 seconds. Definitely un-Applelike software.
It has failed on me now 5 times in a row over the past 4 days. It always gets to around 6 or 7 thousand out of around 13 thousand total that I have. Each time is freezes on a different number though. Each time I wait hours thinking maybe it is just a really long song. But then give up and start over. Then it freezes again. Very disapointing.
Macworld has published two very good articles. The first covers iTunes Match basics and the second some troubleshooting tips for those that might still be having issues (most have been discussed here, but it's nice to have them in one place).
How to Fix Step 2 and Step 3 Errors in iTunes: Music Media Formats, and Checking Firewall
This solution assumes that you do not have corruption in your iTunes library database. To fix that follow the steps in Apple Support KB ht1251 above.
Step 1, 2, or 3 Hangs: Problems with Media Formats.
If you have heterogenous media formats in your music files, some of them will FAIL iTunes match, causing it to hang. This is a software error in iTunes match, which should mark the files as "Not eligible" instead of remaining stuck in an endless loop. These errors never occur if all the songs in the music library are unprotected AAC 256 kbps music files encoded by iTunes 10.5.1.
There are two basic ways to upgrade your song media formats to iTunes 10.5.1 AAC encoding - encode all of them at once, or do them selectively. In either method, you must delete the original version from iTunes and your file system. If you previously loaded them to iCloud, get rid of them there also.
You will be able to see a hung file in OS/X under Activity Monitor -> iTunes -> Inspect Process -> Open Files and Ports. In Windows you will have to use standard Task Manager inspections.
In my iTunes library, I found that certain AAC (m4a) files which were encoded in before 2011 were stuck, and m4p Protected AAC files. I had already fixed the encoding of MP3s, so I was suprised that music previously encoded by iTunes was hanging up.
You may convert all files which were not encoded at 256 kbps AAC with a right-mouse click. Find them:
1) individually in iTunes as you discover them in Open Files and Ports trace, or
2) by creating a sort smart playlist that matches their pattern. For example, a playlist with bit-rate < 256k.
After converting them, you MUST delete the previous file(s) from your iTunes library. I suggest you move the actual file to trash, and delete the trash. Archive the files if you wish. If any of them were already matched to iTunes Match, you must delete them there also.
After getting rid of older media formats, re-run iTunes match. Step 2 should complete, and your Open Files and Ports window should no longer show any music file open in your iTunes library. If it does show, convert it and remove the old file from your library.
If you have converted your music library and Step 3 is still stuck, it is likely a Firewall problem. Check the last line in Open Files and Ports, and use the information in the last rows to check your firewall settings. The upload port is shown in this form, 192.168.1.1:53089->126.96.36.199:https. If you see this type of row, but nothing is being uploaded, a firewall or other issue is blocking that port.
In my case the block was created by my broadband modem settings. Check with the installation guide for your modem - typically they can be managed by a http:// address such as http://192.168.1.254. Change the firewall settings as needed.
Thanks for all the tips. Since I could not keep iTunes running long enough to delete the songs that were causing the problem, I ended up creating a new library under a different login account, but using the same itunes music folder, and fixing a couple of the songs I could tell it was having a problem with. Then I turned on iTunes Match in that new library and it went all the way through with no problem. Which served the purpose of getting my music into the cloud, and also let me download the higher quality versions of the songs I had ripped at low quality years ago.
Everything seems to be working fine now. Maybe if I had waited a couple of weeks to do the process it would have worked right the first time.
Show the status of each song in your iTunes library by selecting View --> View Options then check "iCloud Download" and "iCloud Status." Delete any songs in your library that are still "Waiting" or have an "Error". iTunes Match should then work perfectly. I reommend following this procedure BEFORE you spend hours and hours doing anything more complicated. Someone else in this forum recommended this procedure and the credit is all his (or hers). Thanks a bunch!