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mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

I just noticed that a few of the tracks matched from the 2009 stereo CDs are now MONO, believe it or not. iTunes Match "matched" the tracks, and previously would serve the stereo version but now serves mono. This is evident only when it is streamed from iTunes (i.e. if the file is still in your library it will play there version you loaded, but if you delete it and play the iCloud version it plays the mono track). It also happens when you stream from an iOS device or Apple TV. So far I've found the following affected tracks:

 

Please Please Me: Chains, Twist and Shout;

 

With the Beatles: All My Loving, Don't Bother Me, You Really Got a Hold on Me;

 

A Hard Day's Night: And I Love Her, Any Time at All.

 

Very strange.... This also begs the question: Are they soon releasing the mono albums on iTunes, because they obviously now have at least some of these tracks in mono?

 

Any other iTunes match users experiencing this behavior?


iPhone 5, Windows 7
  • lithograph Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    I just checked a few of my tracks, and it's doing it to me also. "And I Love Her" is still the stereo version on both my computer and iPhone, but the others are definitely streaming/downloading the mono version through iTunes Match. My Beatles (2009 Stereo) are uploaded from CDs. I had the Mono version uploaded also (from CDs), but ended up taking it off my library because iTunes kept matching it with the stereo versions (on the tracks it didn't upload). Now it seems it's a mix. SUPER frustrating. I'm not sure how it handles the collection if it was purchased from the iTunes Store. I *assume* it will match properly.

     

    It astounds me that the Beatles catalog is STILL messed up through iTunes Match, and Apple supported the Beatles catalog with TV ads and everything.

     

    iTunes Match is SO CLOSE to being a great service, but the inability to either force selected tracks to upload, or be able to point at which song you want to match with is absolutely infuriating.

     

    ...........

     

    RANT TIME:

     

    I have many albums that have been remastered, and iTunes Match will "match" some of the songs to non-remastered versions, and in some cases "clean" versions of songs. This makes a few albums essentially unlistenable if you're a music lover. The difference between a remastered song and a non-remastered song can sometimes be a huge difference in volume levels.

     

    My favorite album is "The Downward Spiral" by Nine Inch Nails, and iTunes keeps matching my remastered version with a mix of the 1994 original release, the remastered "Deluxe" edition from a few years ago, and in the case of "A Warm Place", it's seemingly matching it from the Natural Bown Killers movie soundtack! WHY!? In addition, the Deluxe version of that album contains slightly different starting/stopping points for some songs. If I stream the album on the iPhone, the songs don't seam toegher like they're supposed to because they're matched from different versions of the album.

     

    I even have songs (such as Black Sabbath's "Paranoid") that show as "matched", and they're not even available in the Store!

     

    I'm at my wits end on this issue. I've been a subscriber since November '11, and they still haven't fixed this issue. I've contacted Apple Support more than once, but no answer. I'd be satisfied just hearing that they KNOW the issue is out there in the first place.   /Rant

     

    *deep breath*

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    OP here...re lithograph's response above and some additional thoughts on Match in general-

     

    More oddities: I discovered that there were a few Beatles tracks that played in stereo from iTunes on my PC and mono from the iPhone ("What You're Doing" from Beatles for Sale, for example).  When I deleted and re-added them to the library in iTunes they were again in stereo on my iOS device.  However, nothing I did could get the tracks I noted above to match to the correct stereo tracks.  (I didn't mess around with the ones on A Hard Day's Night after it appeared that it was an issue that couldn't be resolved by deleting and re-adding them to the library, but perhaps it would have helped with And I love Her since you still had it in stereo).  I wound up just purcahsing the affected tracks from iTunes (about the 4th or 5th time for each of those probably between records, tapes and CDs) and those are indeed stereo as they should be.

     

    Even more oddities: I've got The Early Beatles from the Capitol Box Set in my library, and the stereo Chains and Twist and Shout from that disc are shown as "uploaded" but also play in mono!  It appears it actually "matched" them to the same incorrect mono tracks as the Please Please Me versions.

     

    There are some larger implications here for Match...It seem as if Match has updated some tracks and "matched" them, even though it may still show as uploaded in iTunes.  Perhaps this happened with the recent upgrade to iTunes 11.  Also, as I noted above, perhaps they are getting ready to release the Beatles Mono box set on iTunes, as they apparently now have some of those tracks.  As you note, I've had other tracks match that are not in the US store...like most of AC/DC Back in Black before it was available (though of course it now is) and some that were available in non-US iTunes stores (like UK).  An example is All I Need is a Miracle by Mike & The Mechanics.  I've also experienced the issues of "matching" different releases of tracks on the same album (remastered vs. original), and issues with gapless albums.  The latter issue is sometimes fixed by deleting the entire album from iCloud and re-adding it to the library, which seems to recompute the gap lengths.

     

    Overall, I am generally pleased with Match, as it has matched many rather poor quality MP3's to much better sounding version available on iTunes.  Since iOS6 you can also stream tracks without downloading them to your device, which saves a lot of memory on your device. Plus, it's so convenient to have your entire music library on every iOS device without having to manually sync them with iTunes. There are a lot of positives here, but it's clearly far from perfect.

  • lithograph Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    I'll try what you said about how you fixed the live albums. I've got a few albums that refuse to play gapless through Match but they do fine when I play straight from the Mac. I'll delete and re-match them tonight and see if it works. The AC/DC issue you had was one I also experienced (same album).

     

    I've been all over the internet for months and months trying to find a solution to the mismatching problem regarding the Beatles, which is a solution that I could hopefully apply to many other albums/tracks. The only workaround I found was a pretty intense way of "tricking" the store to upload tracks, but we (the customers) shouldn't have to do that.

     

    I get that Apple doesn't want a "force upload" option, because they don't want all their customers uploading 25k songs to their servers. I'd be happy with having a "force upload" option with maybe a 3-5k song limit.

     

    Also, the idea of "guiding" the store to match the track to the proper Store track would be great. That option would solve 98% of my problems.

     

    I think what bugs me the most is the lack of acknowledgment. I waited anxiously for iTunes 11 hoping it would fix it (even though I admit I never saw any rumors about Match being updated), and even renewed my Match subscription. Unfortunately, the issue wasn't addressed. I'm going to continue on a daily basis to keep an eye out for any info on how to fix the issue without having to resort to trickery.

     

    ……….

     

    But anyway, I'm not trying to derail the thread. Regarding the Beatles specifically, it bugs me to no end that I can't listen to a few of their albums straight through without experiencing the stereo/mono/stereo, etc. issue. I considered paying for a few specific tracks to ensure a proper match, but honestly, those box sets (I have the stereo and mono!) are expensive. I've spent quite enough on the Fab Four.

     

    The funny/sad thing is that I actually *prefer* the mono recordings. I added those to my library first, but then when I matched them they matched to the stereo versions, so I ended up taking the mono versions out of my library since they were (in most cases) duplicate tracks as far as iTunes Match was concerned. I just listed to those on CD now, which defeats the purpose of the mobile service of course.

     

    ........

     

    I feel I should also point out that when iTunes Match works, it works GREAT. Other than what I've mentioned in this thread, I'm very happy with the service. Unfortuantely the issue I'm having is a major one.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I agree with everything you've said.  I've had all the same issues, including indiscriminantly failing to match some songs that are in the iTunes store, and matching others to the wrong track (or a different version). Overall, I like Match, but it would be great if Apple could focus on working out some more of the bugs.

     

    I also removed my Beatles Mono set from my iTunes library for the same reason.  One way to possibly "trick" Match into uploading the mono albums is to join the tracks together. Before importing the CD, select the tracks you want to join, go to Advanced -> Join CD Tracks.  I haven't done this myself, but I'm pretty sure it will work. If you want to listen to the album all the way through it's not a bad route to go. If you try it let me know.  I suspect the mono box will ultimately be released on iTunes, at which time the tracks may finally match.  I've had much better luck matching other artisits' stereo/mono mixes where they're available on iTunes, like the Rolling Stones and Beach Boys.

     

    This is really OT, but you're right ...in many cases the Beatles' mono ablums are preferable.  Especially with PPM and WTB, which have all the vocals on the right.  Also, for some reason Rubber Soul's stereo mix has all the vocals on one side or the other, even after it was remxied in 1987 for the first CD release (I also like how the mono CD gives you the orignal 1965 stereo mix of that one).  BFS and AHDN sound better in stereo I think, as they are properly mixed with the vocals in the center.  Other mono LP's have certain tracks that sound better, like "She's Leaving Home" which appears to be at the correct speed in mono and "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and "Baby You're a Rich Man" which have the flanging/phasing effects not present in the stereo mixes.  There are many more examples, of course.  I presonally just like having all the different mixes available.

  • ozmosis82 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    If they are planning on adding the mono versions to the iTunes store, I'd wager they'd be part of the Mastered for iTunes initiative, since their main push on it is, "Music as the artist and sound engineer intended," and it's long been known that the mono versions of the albums are the definitive versions. (The Beatles being present during the mixing sessions for the mono, and the stereo mixes being an afterthought.)

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

    I would love for the iTunes Store to add the Mono mixes of the Beatles albums since that is the boxed set I purchased. Then, hopefully, correctly match those tracks in my library and upload all the Capital Boxes tracks instead of matching some of them.

  • comfortably_nick Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Since having the correct mono/stereo versions seems to be important to you, you may want to try the workaround I posted to force iTunes Match to upload:

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/20401295#20401295

     

    With a little ingenuity, I now am able to force iMatch to upload anything I want, including Beatles mono/stereo, Dylan mono/stereo, needledrops, unique masterings, etc.  Let me know if it works for you!

     

    Nick

  • Richard Decola Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    These problems are exactly why I did not renew my iTunes match subscription after one year. Amazon allows you to upload tracks that are already matched so you can hear the version you want to hear. Their app is available in the iTunes store and works perfectly on my iTouch. I'll never sign up for iTunes match again.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Nick:

     

    That's an incredible write-up. I've noticed many of the same things about how Match works, but the discovery that you can trick it into uploading a different file is rather ingenious. I will give that procedure a try and report back. Thank you.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I've done some experimenting with Match, but so far no luck getting it to force upload a track.  I did get some very interesting results though.  I'm trying this on iTunes 11.01.12 with Windows 7 32 bit.  I haven't tried any of this on my iMac yet.

     

    I tried Nick's method on one track so far...I Saw Her Standing There from the PPM Mono remastered CD.  When I imported the CD to iTunes it "matched" every track.  Interestingly, Chains, Please Please Me, There's a Place and Twist and Shout matched correctly to mono.  The rest matched to stereo (except Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You, which are mono either way).  I then deleted all the files from iTunes and iCloud and stored them in another folder.  I used your method to convert I Saw Her Standing There in "reverse" with dBpoweramp.  I then added that file back to iTunes and added it to iCloud.  When I got the message "matching..." I copied to correct file to the folder in Windows and overwrote the "reversed" track.  Match indicated the files was "uploaded."  However, when I played it on my iPhone with Match enabled, it played in stereo.  Back on my PC, I deleted the file in iTunes so that it would stream from Match...it also played the stereo version.

     

    I decided to experiment further. I now added the "reversed" I Saw Her Standing There track to iTunes and added it to iCloud.  Guess what? It actually matched, and played the stereo version once I deleted the file from the library (but kept it in the cloud).  It also played the stereo track on my iPhone. 

     

    I've also gone back and played some other tracks in my library that indicate "uploaded" and found that they are actually now matched, for example stereo Twist and Shout on "The Early Beatles" from the Capitol Box Set, which indicates the track is "uploaded" but plays the mono version when on an iOS device or when streamed.  It appears there must be some additional activity once the tracks are stored on Apple's servers that tries to make further matches --and occaisonally does -- even though your local copy of iTunes indicates the tracks are uploaded.

     

    In conclusion, unless somebody figures out another way, I think we'll have to wait until the Beatles mono tracks are available from iTunes to have them served correctly from Match, and even then it may require buying some tracks again from iTunes even if you have the CDs, as was the case with the stereo PPM mismatches documented in my first post.

  • comfortably_nick Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi mrsnork,

     

    Can you describe what process you followed?  Were you using the CD?  If so, I've noticed that I may not have enough time to follow my procedure before it starts attempting to match, so I turn match off, rip the CD, make edited copies of those files, then turn match on after I've replaced the good files with the garbled ones.

     

    I'm sure I can help you figure out how to do this.  I can verify that I have been able to get this to work on 100% of my tracks, with a little trial and error.  I have hit a few snags here and there but overall it's worked great. I even went back and edited all of my Beatles mono discs to make them the same volume as the stereo, and re-uploaded every one of the albums.  That was last month. 

     

    One other way you can do this is by opening your library on another machine, or create another (blank) iTunes library on your current machine.  Sign into match so that you can see the "cloud" version of your library.  This will allow you to delete something ONLY from iCloud, and once your main library sees this change, it will say "Removed."  Once you have the new files ready to try again, just right click and add to iCloud. I have found the "second library" trick to be quite helpful.  It will allow you to delete tracks and re-add them to icloud without losing your ratings, play counts, etc.  It will remove from standard playlists though for some reason.

     

    If you follow my procedure exactly, I can guarantee that it will work.  One thing to keep in mind though is that each "edited" file is only good one time.  For instance, after iTunes has gotten the audio fingerprint of the reversed "I Saw Her Standing There," it appears that it will always remember that and match it to whatever it did before, or match it to a track you previously uploaded but deleted.  You may have to get more creative with the editing.  With dbPoweramp and the plugin I described in my write-up, this is a trivial matter.  I have been able to upload the same album 10 times in one instance (tweaking the EQ of a favorite album).

     

    You can have your mono in the cloud now.  The fact is, even IF the mono Beatles tracks become available in the iTunes store, you will still have some mismatches.  Bob Dylan's mono albums are available but I did not get them all successfully matched, so I uploaded them all.  It works.  In the case of mono, there is also a size advantage if you rip 1-channel audio, so your streaming size will be less.  Unfortunately, if you care about a specific mix or mastering (remastered, original CD, audiophile mastering) then the only way to be sure is to upload your track.  The good news is that it's entirely possible to do so.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Nick:

     

    Maybe I need to try again.  It is odd that it will "match" a garbled track, and that "uploaded" tracks appear to actually have been matched.

     

    The process I used was to import the CD in Apple Lossless format with Match turned on, but delete the tracks before they load to iCloud.  I moved the deleted files from recycle bin and stored them in another folder.  I then took just the one track, made a copy, garbled it with dBpoweramp, added it to the iTunes library, manually right-clicked "add to iCloud", and when I got the message "matching tracks..." I pasted the correct mono file using Windows explorer, overwriting the garbled track.  iTunes intiaited the upload, and indicated the track was uploaded, but it actually matched it to the same wrong stereo version when I played it on my iPhone.  The mono version played in iTunes (as expected), but when deleted (but kept in iCloud) it played the stereo version. 

     

    Am I missing something from your procedure?

     

    Thanks.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Just tried again with Do You Want to Know a Secret...same thing.  It reads "uploaded" and the file in my library is the mono version, but it still serves the incorrect stereo version when streamed.  This time I tried the copy/paste a bit sooner in the sequence...when it reads "sending information to Apple."  Perhaps it is because I have that version elesewhere in my library (even though the album name is different)?  Any suggestions? 

  • comfortably_nick Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, there must be a step missing or something because it definitely should not be the wrong version but showing "Uploaded."  I'm not sure how this happens except for the audio fingerprint of the garbled file being the same as a previous upload.  I have also never tried this with Apple Lossless.  I use AAC 256 (stereo) or 128 (mono) VBR.  Here is what I would try:

     

    • Insert CD that is not in library or in iCloud and rip to AAC or MP3 (mono)
    • Allow iTunes to attempt the matching.  It may upload some files, and in that case, you shouldn't have to do anything with those
    • Access your library from a second computer, or create a new iTunes library on existing computer and sign into match
    • You should see all tracks in the cloud.  Highlight any tracks that were matched and hit delete.  This will delete them only from iCloud but leave the file on your computer.
    • The iCloud status should change from "Matched" to "Removed" in your main library. 
    • Use dbPoweramp to edit the files in your iTunes Music folder, but create a copy of the original files
      • (I have two folders set aside for this.  I use dbPoweramp to convert the files from my iTunes music folder and to create those files in another folder.  Then I make a copy of the unedited files and put them in another folder.  I keep these two folders open because the switch has to be done fairly quickly.)
    • Paste the edited files into the album's folder in your iTunes library and overwrite the original ones
      • (If done correctly, iTunes will still think those are the files from the CD and won't know the difference)
    • Personally, I then copy my backup files to get ready to put them back.  On Windows 7, I go ahead and initiate the paste back in the music folder (as we've just done with the garbled files).  It should bring up a box that asks whether to replace or create a copy.  I leave that screen ready so all I have to do is click "replace" when the time comes (and check the box to do the same for all files).
    • So now we have the garbled files in the iTunes library, and the original clean files ready to be quickly pasted with one click.  Now, highlight the files that say "Removed" and click "Add to iCloud"
    • As soon as you see "Sending information to Apple..." it is safe to paste over the files.  iTunes has done the scanning and should now be unable to match those files.  Click "replace" and let all the files paste in time.

     

    That's usually all there is to it.  Try that and let me know how it works.  Also, how are you editing the files?  Just using the "Reverse" DSP will work the first time, but you will have to get more creative if doing it more than once.  Let me know how you make out.

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