13 Replies Latest reply: Mar 2, 2012 2:00 PM by tarkin
tarkin Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

I have a cd box set ripped into iTunes at 128kbps.  The title of the set is  "Album Title(Disc 1)"...."Album Title(Disc 2)"...etc.  iTunes Match has completed uploading my iTunes library.  I have tried downloading this set to get the 256kbps version but it downloaded the 128kbps version again.  I assumed the problem was the (Disc 1)...(Disc 2).. suffix I added to the disc titles so I deleted it.  Still no luck.  What steps do I need to do to get the upgraded versions of these discs?

iMac G5 20, Mac OS X (10.5.8), 20 inch 2.1 GHz G5 iMac
  • KeithJenner Level 4 Level 4 (1,020 points)

    Metadata has very little, if any, affect on the matching process. If it hasn't matched then there is very little you can do about it.


    However, if it is in the iTunes store and it hasn't matched any of the tracks then that would be quite unusual.


    What is the box set?


    One thing to be aware of is that match does retain your songs in the cloud for a while after deletion, so if you deleted and re-added it will just have restored the deleted files. If you want to try. Rematch then you have to leave it. While before re adding it.

  • tarkin Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Thanks for your response.


    The set is "Bruce Springsteen-Tracks."  Since posting this I've done some checking and quite a few of my previous CD rips seem to be having this issue of Match not matching them.


    When you say "if you deleted and re-added..." what are you referring to?  All I did was change the Album title and re-Matched my library.  What steps would I need to do to delete and re-add the tracks?


    Thanks for your help.

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

    You are not going to get everything matched, even if things are in the iTunes store. Depending on your library, anything over about 80% is respectable.


    Can you confirm that none of the tracks on these albums are matching. If you have whole albums which don't match but are in the store then that is unusual. If some tracks on albums are matching and some aren't then that is as I would expect.


    When I talk about removing and re-adding, this is the only way of getting iTunes to attempt a rematch. Even if metadata was a factor (personally I don't believe it is) then changing it wouldn't make it match, as iTunes won't try it again.


    The only way to get iTunes to attempt a match again is to delete the song from your library (making sure you keep the file and that you delete it from the cloud) and then re-add it after waiting a few days to ensure match has forgotten about it.


    If you do have a number of complete albums not matching when you believe they should then this may be worth trying, as there may have been problems during our initial match. If it is just odd tracks then I think you are just going to have to live with it.

  • tarkin Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I see,  OK.  I'm going to pull this set and a few others out of my library and put them on a thumb drive.  I'll resync iTunes Match and wait a few days and try again.  I'll report back and let you know. 


    I gotta say though if iTunes Match is only going to match 80% of the music that is in both the iTunes Store and in my library that's disappointing.  I'm better off dragging out my CD's and re-ripping.


    Thanks again for your help.

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,785 points)

    To follow up on Keith's excellent advise, you also need to turn on the iCloud Status column in the iTunes Browser by pulling down View > View Options, select "icloud status" and click OK.


    My advise... if you want these tracks at a higher bit-rate.... re-rip them from the CDs. Right now, at 128 Kbps the waveform of the tracks is just too different from the version on the iTunes store. That's why they didn't match. A track encoded at 128 Kbps, and a track encoded at 256 Kbps have very different amounts of information in them. And depending how long ago you ripped the tracks, the ripping engine in iTunes has gone through several improvements, so this can affect whether a track is matched or not as well.

  • tarkin Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    But Isn't one of the major selling points of iTunes Match that it's a way to upgrade your existing "low-fi" music files?  Most of my library was ripped at 128kbps when I ripped my CD collection years ago (I'm thinking at least 6 years) in iTunes.  Is there anything from Apple suggesting re-ripping like you suggest?  I read a MacWorld article that mentions tracks less than 96kbps but nothing higher than that. 

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

    A major selling point of Match is that songs which are matched are available in the cloud at 256kbps.


    They were quite careful, in my opinion, to avoid explicitly promising that you can upgrade all your music like this. That possibility was picked up on by blogs, etc.


    In my opinion, given different versions that are available of most CD's, it is pretty well impossible to get matching accurate enough be able to upgrade everything. I re-ripped my collection late last year at 256kbps whilst in the knowledge that match was coming. I was never expecting it to be accurate enough to be able to rely on. If you have to check every song is the correct version it is quicker to re-rip.


    By the way, that 80% plus figure is the total you should expect from your whole library. The proportion of songs that are in the library and match is generally significantly better than that.

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,785 points)

    I'm just going to second everything Keith said.


    There are a lot of factors that can affect whether a song is matched or not, so it is difficult to say just why the tracks from that cd might not have matched. But if you want the best quality, then, really, the best course of action will be for you to re-rip the tracks from the CD.

  • tarkin Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Man, this is really going down a rat hole


    This is text from Apple's website:


    How iTunes Match works.

    iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to iCloud for you to listen to anytime, on any device. Since there are more than 20 million songs in the iTunes Store, chances are your music is already in iCloud. And for the few songs that aren’t, iTunes uploads what it can’t match (which is much faster than uploading your entire music library). Even better, all the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality.

    Now, after I found that on the iTunes Match main page I did a little more digging on Apple.com and came up with this little gem, "certain quality criteria will not be matched or uploaded to iCloud."  Although I can't find what that criteria actually is.

    So, it appears you are correct.  I have also found a work around to having to dig out my hundreds of CDs from storage which suggests converting the offending tracks into 256kbps AAC files and re-syncing with iCloud.  I'm testing it now.  I'll let you know.

    Thanks for your insight into this.  It's been very helpful!

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,785 points)

    This KB article will tell you more about the "quality criteria". http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4914


    lso, take a close look at that second highlighted sentence in the marketing language you copied. It says " ...all the music iTunes matches..." "Matches" is the important word and nowhere does Apple ever claim iTM will match 100% of tracks. Thats why the upload feature is there. So, since those particular tracks did not match (for whatever reason) they will not be available in 256 Kbps DRM-free tracks from the iTunes store.

  • tarkin Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    But my concern is about tracks I ripped from CDs that are also in the iTunes Store.  That's why I originally posted about the box set in question.  It wasn't matching tracks I know are available in the Store.

  • Michael Allbritton Level 6 Level 6 (16,785 points)

    And the short answer is, as Keith and I have tried to explain, that not all tracks will match.

  • tarkin Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Yup, even though they are in the store.  It's imperfect.