If your collection is small enough to fit everywhere you want to listen to it (in addition to movies and anything else you might want), then there's no reason to have iTunes Match. The number to keep in mind is that each step in memory on an iPad will pay for 4 years of iTM, by which point you'll probably want a new device anyway.
Basically, if you have one computer and one device that can hold all your music, then there's no need for iTM. If you have a big collection and several computers and devices, it's very handy.
In my case, my collection is 50 Gb. That won't fit on my phone. It will fit on my iPad, but that won't leave much room for movies, and I travel a lot. I also listen to music on my work computer, and don't really feel look duplicating my entire collection there.
I consider $25/year a very good investment for the convenience I get from Match.
I did that for years but several times a month I'd find myself frustrated for one of several reasons: 1) I had meant to restock my iPhone/iPod but forgot so I had to spend another day/weekend with the old music. 2) while out and about I heard a song which reminded me of something I hadn't heard in a long time. Naturally that song/artist wasn't on my iPod. 3) a song popped up that I hadn't heard in a long time and I thought it would be nice to listen to more from that artist. Naturally I had only a couple songs from that artist at the moment.
For me, iTunes Match is worth what Apple charges.
I too have a VERY large music collection but was thinking of mainly just making up playlists of my favorites at the moment and then adding or deleting if and when. I guess it's something to consider if if this saves you from the hassle! Thanks for your advice!
I did that before Match came out. It worked, but I found that no matter how much thought I put into what went on my iPhone, there was always one song or artist that I wanted to listen to *right that moment* that wasn't there. Swapping movies on and off a device is pretty straightforward, because there aren't that many of them, but I found it took quite a bit of time to sift through all my music to put together playlists.
Also, once they got Genius to work with Match (it didn't at first), it will often pull up some obscure stuff that I never would have thought to load myself.
Compared to what I've spent on hardware and on the music itself (a number I try not to think about), the cost of Match is insignficant if it helps me get the full enjoyment out of it.
I have already encountered the problem of making up playlists....you're absolutely right, it can take forever if you've a large collection! I reckon that I have very close to,if not over 25000 songs so before signing up would I need to manually exclude first the ones I didn't want, would Match ask me or does it just add them alphabetically? Would also appreciate guys any comments you might have about problems with Match and how you dealt with them.
If your iTunes collection has more than 25,000 songs iTunes match will simply fail. You have to remove songs from your iTunes catalog until you have fewer than 25,000. I created two libraries. My main library has the music I want in iTunes match. My secondary library has the music that I like to listen to occasionally but not very often for example it has all my Seasonal and symphonic music.