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redpola Level 1 Level 1



So I have lots of music ripped from my huge CD collection. I was incredibly impressed with iTunes Match when it was released. Sure, it was slow, but it did indeed add lots of music to the cloud and find lots of my CD music. Very impressive.


But here's the problem - after all this time I still have around 10% of my library unmatched. And not unmatched as in "error" or "ineligible". Unmatched as in "waiting". Waiting for what?


This has been the case for months. There is no consistency in file format, artist, length, bitrate, date added, release date, etc etc. I even have some CDs where some tracks are available in iTunes Match and some are not (usually stuck in "waiting" state). I even until recently had music I'd bought from iTMS that was unmatched!


Having songs randomly missing from albums on my iPhones and iPods and iPads is ruining my music experience. I have now lost count of the number of times I've thought "Oh! I've not listened to ALBUM for ages!" only to find it either not available at all or not available fully in iTunes Match.


Is everyone having the same poor experience or is it just me? I mean, iTunes Match is a revolutionary and brilliant concept, but because it's so unreliable it's usefulness is dramatically reduced (as in, it can't be relied on, making it largely pointless).


Sorry to be so negative but iTunes Match needs to work 100% to be replace traditional syncing for reliability.




PS Please do not try to diagnose a problem with my setup. There are none at my end - I've tried re-encoding to MP3 or AAC and adding those to get a match, all without success. I've tried pretty much all the stuff suggested on here and still am 10% short. I have 1990 "waiting" items of 21693 items. That's a huge gap.

Reply by redpola on Sep 8, 2013 11:29 AM Helpful

Ok, so another update. After at least a year of frustration and pain, I've made some progress AT LAST.


As far as I can see, there are several bugs in iTunes Match. Let's see if I can note down my observations.


1) Some files simply stop everything. iTunes Match doesn't like them and that's the end of it. Weeding them out is difficult.


2) There is no consistency in which files / encodings iTunes Match will and will not match. I have albums with 10 tracks, all encoded at the same time and in the same way and one will not match and goes into the magical "Waiting" state. There is no use guessing or filtering to try to work out which will and won't match.


3) When the magical "waiting" state is entered, *the file has been added to iCloud*. Yes, this means any subsequent attempts to add it will be seen by iCloud as "Well, we've got it matched and are waiting for it to be uploaded! Probably! - move on". I suspect the iTunes app then fails at uploading it, which holds everything up.


4) Uploading is glacially slow. Really so seriously slow it's incredible. Those who have followed my predicament will know I have to match 10% of my library which is failing. Right now I'm doing A, then B, then C in artists to get it matched. So of those 10%, I'm doing 1/26th (obviously not evenly distributed) at a time. A took 24hrs. B looks to take the same time. so 1/260th of my library takes 24hrs. Ouch.


5) There are still some files which will not match and will not re-encode to AAC. Why? No idea. Buggy AAC encoder, presumably.


6) deleting music from iCloud takes a long time also, certainly for these ghost files that iTunes Match thinks are in iCloud already but are not.


So the progress I've made is that I can now match/upload a good chunk of the remaining 10% of my library. Here's how.


1. Re-encode the problem files as AAC using default settings. (select them, right click, choose "create AAC file")

2. Delete the originals. Check "Delete from iCloud". Move them to the trash and EMPTY THE TRASH.

3. Wait a bit. Actually, iTunes Match should start automatically.

4. If not, select the files and choose "Add to iCloud".


The first "add..." might mark them all as "Removed from iCloud". That's fine. Just do it again. The files will probably be Uploaded or some might even Match.


Those that need to will start uploading. Very slowly. Boring boring boring.


I'm almost at the point where I think iTunes Match is worth the money - now I can fill in some of the gaps in the CDs I've been dreading to listen to.

All replies

  • redpola Level 1 Level 1

    Just to be absolutely clear - my question is "Is everyone else seeing this kind of failure rate and do they find it acceptable?". My question is not "How can I fix this?".

  • ear2ear Level 1 Level 1

    Yes, after 3 months I seem to be stuck with 15k songs available, while 7k songs seem to hang at "uploading remaining songs and artwork..." status. I am thorough disappointed with the service. The idea is brilliant, but the execution certainly is not.

  • redpola Level 1 Level 1

    Wow, 15k out of 22k is a worse success rate than me. Sympathy!

  • Murahachibu Level 1 Level 1

    I'm having the same issue. Basically 11,000 of 15,000 were matched. I have been trying to upload the remaining 4,000 tunes for 1-2 weeks. You are right that the match algorithm needs work. For CDs I ripped myself the service will often get matches for like 9 out of 12 tunes.  Other things will get zero matches even though I see the albums in the iTunes store.


    FWIW, I have about 700 more songs to go. I too have tried every suggestion I found mentioned in the discussion pages but nothing really works. The upload speed I am getting to apple is incredibly slow in spite of the fact that I have a high speed fiber optic Internet service. Max upload speed is like 100kbs/sec, but average is like 30/40kbs which slips to zero after a while. I have to manually sign out of iTunes match, shutdown iTunes, and log back in for it to resume uploading. There was one day that it magically uploaded over 1,000 songs overnight, but most days it's like 100-300 per day, sometimes much less.


    The service is not ready for prime time I'd say.

  • redpola Level 1 Level 1

    What I find most upsetting / frustrating / annoying is that I have so few complete CDs of music. So many albums I've grown up with and consequently have expectations of play differently on my iPod now, because some tracks are simply missing.


    What I'm saying is that of my 1616 albums, it would only take 1616 missing songs to ruin my experience completely. As I said, I have 1990 songs missing. That's more than one missing song per album on average, and, although it definitely doesn't affect every album, it hits enough to be a really disastrous experience. That I've paid for.

  • mracole Level 4 Level 4

    There are a series of hurdles to hop with iTunes Match - several including routes through most of the items above are found at 'The Journey So Far' now shown under User Tips in the forum.


    After serious persuasion it is possible to get very good results.  All of my Songs are now sucessfully matched or uploaded.

  • redpola Level 1 Level 1

    Where? Can you tell me how to access this secret information?


    The bottom line is that the service is not as described. As described, I turn it on and all my music is in the cloud. The reality is that that is far from the truth. Of course there are technical difficulties (and by this I mean problems with the technology of matching / authorising- I don't accept failed uploads or other Internet-related stuff as difficult) but these can be handled by transparency and expectation management.


    That you have all your songs matched gives me hope. Can you add some quantitive information? How many tracks? How many artists?


    Right now my genuine opinion of iTunes Match is that it's unusable because it cannot be relied upon. Every time I think "I'll listen to THAT SONG that I haven't heard for a while" and find it an omission in my iCloud because it's still stuck at "waiting" in iTunes I am disappointed.

  • redpola Level 1 Level 1

    I watched an iTunes Match update tonight. It got to 18000-odd tracks in the cloud, explicitly said how many tracks were in iCloud, and then said "Uploading (the correct number of missing) tracks....".


    It told me how many songs were in iCloud.


    It told me the correct number of "missing" songs it had to upload.


    It said it was uploading those songs. A progress bar filled up way too quickly to indicate actual network upload traffic.


    When it had finished those songs had not uploaded and I was no further ahead.


    It seems to be simply not uploading songs when it says it is.


    Why is that? It sounds like just a bug, and it can't be too difficult to fix either. How can it have persisted for months and months? It's an absolute direct showstopper for actual paying customers. Confusing that apple should behave this way.

  • mracole Level 4 Level 4
  • redpola Level 1 Level 1

    I wanted to update this with two changes.


    Firstly, my iTunes Match service renewed without me doing anything. This caught me by surprise, but I wasn't upset as I intended to renew anyway.


    Coincidentally, iTunes Match seems to be working better for me. I was away for the weekend and when I returned and turned on my machine it now appears to be trying to upload the remaining missing songs! It's glacially slow (300 in about 15 hours) but something appears to be happening.


    Another weird thing which may be helpful to someone:


    When it first started uploading my unmatched songs it was going quite fast. I expected all 1800 to be finished by morning. Strangely my screensaver didn't seem to kick in quite as soon as it normally does, but I thought nothing about it. I checked the total of uploads before going to bed and still expected all to be uploaded by morning. But this morning only 300 have uploaded.


    The strange thing is that when I turned off my screensaver (to view the total), it sped up again.


    My point is that I've disabled my screensaver now to see if there's a subtle defect where these upload faster without the screensaver enabled. I know. Weird.

  • Tom Lockwood Level 1 Level 1

    I had the worst time with iTumes Match for about 4 months. It only matched about 80% and I never could get the rest to upload. It would upload a few then I would get an error. Tried everything and put a lot of hours into getting it working to no avail.


    THIS SOLVED IT FOR cable company (Comcast) had a special offer on a higher speed service. I went from about 1-3mbps to 30-35mbps download and a huge increase on my upload speed.


    My iTunes Match finally was able to upload the missing songs and artwork and it has worked flawlessly since.

  • connoleg Level 1 Level 1

    I am getting TOTALLY fed up with match, I have 18k songs and 100Mbits connection and I just get error 4002 all the time. I have tried switching off and on match which resolves the problem temporarily. The error messages are ridiculous.

  • GaryMCook Level 1 Level 1

    I have very similar, very frustrating problems with iTunes match.  I have reasonably fast 802.11n WiFi and fast low latency internet connection... 10-30 ms...  55-75 mbps down, 10-12 mbps up.  I have the same results when not using WiFi.


    I have a large collection of songs that have been remixed that are not in the iTunes store.  These cannot be matched and are therefore uploaded.


    Yesterday I uploaded an 88 track Razormaid! remix compilation, 11 tracks at a time from 8 CDs.  I encode AAC.  I would run match after each disk import until each disk was successful.  It often takes iTunes match MULTIPLE match passes on each disk to successfully upload each track.  Occasionally some tracks get flagged as ERROR in the iCloiud status column and I need to manually flag the track to update in iTunes match.


    These 88 tracks use 5.52 gb in iTunes.  I have 6154 tracks total using 62.34 gb. 


    Uploading these 88 tracks was almost an ALL DAY process and seems to require lots of supervision.  I have managed to get ALL of my tracks uploaded but it takes a tremendous amount of patience.


    Now I'm finding that dowloading these uploaded non matched tracks to my devices is extremely slow.


    ALSO... super frustrating... if you ever change your cover art... iTunes match may not let that occur.  I have had my cover art revert back to the original art I originally uploaded AND revert it back in iTunes... overwriting my more recent change to the iTunes master.  Process:  I change the art then manually run the iTunes match update....  Sometimes the art takes... sometimes it doesn't.... sometimes it updates the devices, sometimes it doesn't.  Arrrgggg....


    They need to smooth out the upload process for unmatched songs....  When the upload process fails it shouldn't have to start the entire 3 step process over....  Improve the speed for downloads...  Fix the cover art update process.


    Fix these and it will be a teriffic service!

  • mracole Level 4 Level 4

    This is straightforward to resolve, of course by choosing not to remedy the resultant gaps would be extremely irritating - why not simply fix it?

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