10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 23, 2012 4:29 AM by billbir
billbir Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I see Adele 21 at £7.99 on iTunes and £4.99 on Amazon. If I download from Amazon, how does iTunes Match treat it. Do I still get the album converted to the higher quality promised by iTunes Match, or is that forfeited by purchasing from other than iTunes?


iMac 27" i5, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,785 points)

    Music added to your iTunes library from out sources (CD, Amazon, etc) will either be "matched" or "uploaded." If the tracks are "matched" then you may delete the original files from your library and download 256 Kbps, DRM-free AAC files. If the tracks are "uploaded" then whatever the format and bit-rate the track is in your library it will be the same when you download it.

     

    You may find the information on this page helpful <http://www.apple.com/itunes/itunes-match/>.

  • roebeet Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)

    This is a question that I'm surprised doesn't come up more.   The answer is "probably" -  and it's coming from someone who's been matching Amazon tracks, as well as other non-CD songs that I've purchased over the years (eMusic, Yahoo! Music etc).

     

    If the masterings are the same, then there's a good chance you'll get a 100% match - and since this is a fairly new album it's likely that it's the same mastering.  But there's always a chance that they are different so you are unfortunately taking a small risk.  There's even a possibilty that, even if the masterings are the same, one or two tracks may still not match due to the service itself and it's waveform analysis.

     

    If it helps, I've matched several Amazon purchases to iTunes Match and I've been 100% successful so far, but again it's not guaranteed.

  • billbir Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Roebeet and Michael,

    Thanks for your very helpful replies. I guess the only way that I can find out, is to buy from Amazon and see whether they are uploaded or matched. It seems to me that they should be, but if this is so it would be to ITunes disadvantage, which is odd for Apple to promote buying from Amazon at MP3 level and upgrading it to top quality AAC.

     

    Bill

  • mracole Level 4 Level 4 (1,085 points)

    Adele's 21 and 19 from Amazon both 'match' with no issue - this will generally be true for all new releases.  If you do find any Songs upload on other albums it should not matted since the Amazon audio quality is generally very good.

     

    Once matched you will need to select the Songs delete from library leaving files in place and download the 256 kbps AAC versions from the iCloud.  It is all very straightforward.

     

    The advantage of iTunes is simply that the Songs show as purchased and can be accessed for download again at any time in the future.

  • billbir Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Mracole

     

    Thanks for the reply. I liked the 1st part but did not understand ' 

    Once matched you will need to select the Songs delete from library leaving files in place and download the 256 kbps AAC versions from the iCloud.  It is all very straightforward.

     

    The advantage of iTunes is simply that the Songs show as purchased and can be accessed for download again at any time in the future.'

     

    I am confused as I thought everything uploaded to the clouds was always downloadable subject to you paying the iTunes Match subscription.

    Bill

  • roebeet Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)

    billbir wrote:

     

    Hi Roebeet and Michael,

    Thanks for your very helpful replies. I guess the only way that I can find out, is to buy from Amazon and see whether they are uploaded or matched. It seems to me that they should be, but if this is so it would be to ITunes disadvantage, which is odd for Apple to promote buying from Amazon at MP3 level and upgrading it to top quality AAC.

     

    Bill

     

    Apple is in the business of selling hardware primarily, so they still win out as long as you're buying an iPod or iPad to plays those files.    But as a consumer, you could definitely save a lot of money with an Amazon MP3 sale + iTunes Match combination.  It literally "pays for itself" for the year after five $5 albums, assuming they all Match 100% of course.

     

    And even though Amazon 256kps MP3's are decent quality, I would argue that 256kps AAC's are just a tad better as AAC's were actually designed to replace the antiquated MP3 format.  You'd really need to up the bitrate on MP3's to 320kps (which is what Google Music uses) to compare to a 256kps AAC.

  • mracole Level 4 Level 4 (1,085 points)

    OK to explain:

     

    The mid-para gives the steps needed to ensure that you have iTunes 256 kbps AACs to play, rather than Amazon's mp3.

     

    The final para highlights that in iTunes Store under Music tab the 'puchased' section to the right of the screen will given you access to all your purchased music to download again as needed - it does not require iTunes Match but does only apply to Songs purchased from iTunes.

     

    Hope the clarification is helpful for you.

  • billbir Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi,

     

    Just so I understand, I have checked my iCloud status of my music in iTunes and there appear to be 3 categories:- Matched-which signifies that iTunes had the exact album in their library, so no upload,and top AAC quality.

                       Uploaded- which signifies that iTunes did not have an exact copy so they have uploaded, at whatever quality, I gave them

     

                       Purchased- which presumably indicates that I have acquired the record through iTunes, and therefore, implicitly matched at top AAC quality.

     

    Bill

  • KeithJenner Level 4 Level 4 (1,020 points)

    Yes, that's correct.

     

    The only thing I would add is that uploaded tracks are sometimes converted by iTunes prior to uploading if your original is a high bitrate track (i.e. lossless).

  • billbir Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Keith,

     

    It does seem, that you cannot lose on quality, when moving to iTunes Match.

     

    Bill