Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.

Question:

Question: do ALAC files play locally with iCloud Music Library?

I have nearly 8k tracks in my iTunes library and recently started using iCloud Music. Most of the music I have is ripped using ALAC from CDs. When I "get info" on the individual matched tracks in my local iTunes client, I'm surprised to see that, now that i'm using iCloud Music, many of these tracks are now 256kbs AAC audio files and listed as "AAC audio file", others are "internet audio stream" and a few are "MPEG-4 audio file" (as they should be locally).


However, when I find the local files in my iTunes Library they turn out to be the full ALAC (MPEG-4) files. My question is: Are these tracks played locally as ALAC files or as the AAC or "internet audio stream" files shown in iTunes? There appears to be no way to tell. iTunes tells me they're AAC files now and that's all I have to go on. I've spent hundreds of hours over the years ripping CDs. It would be infuriating to discover that now that I'm using iCloud Music, my music is being played over an expensive stereo system as lossy AAC files rather than lossless ALAC.


I know these untouched originals are safe in my iTunes Library, just as Apple promises. I just want to know how iTunes plays them via my home audio system from my main iTunes Library (not iCloud Music).

iMac, macOS High Sierra (10.13.1), iMac late 2015

Posted on

Reply

Page content loaded

Nov 11, 2017 12:25 AM in response to visiondr In response to visiondr

Hi,

When you subscribe to itunes Match, you library is scanned to determine what can be matched or needs to be uploaded. It should not alter the original file. You should still be able play the original track on your computer. The only time that the track is changed is if you opt to delete the original and download the matched version.


The matched tracks will be 256 Kbps AAC on other devices. Alac Tracks uploaded will be transcribed to 256 Kbps, MP3 & AAC will uploaded as is.


Jim

Nov 11, 2017 12:25 AM

Reply Helpful

Nov 11, 2017 6:50 AM in response to Jimzgoldfinch In response to Jimzgoldfinch

As i mention in the original post, I realise the tracks residing on my computer are not altered. However, It is absolutely NOT clear as to whether iTunes actually plays THOSE versions locally or plays the AAC versions stored in the cloud. iTunes does NOT make that obvious.


Also, why are some tracks listed as "internet audio stream" and some are described as "AAC audio file"?

Nov 11, 2017 6:50 AM

Reply Helpful

Nov 11, 2017 10:51 AM in response to visiondr In response to visiondr

Hi,

Itunes will play the tracks that are in your library. They should be your alac files, you can check by including bit rate and kind in song view.


You should not be seeing "internet audio stream" as an iCloud status. I have not had this issue but try signing out of iTunes then sign back in and make sure that iCloud music library in checked.

Also read this post What is internet audio stream?


Jim

Nov 11, 2017 10:51 AM

Reply Helpful

Nov 11, 2017 10:58 PM in response to Jimzgoldfinch In response to Jimzgoldfinch

Jim,


My library (as shown by iTunes) shows all three formats of music (AAC, ALAC, internet audio stream) with no apparent rhyme or reason. I can include a screen shot of two very well-known albums (thus Apple should have NO trouble matching them). These two were both originally CDs I'd ripped as ALAC files. As you can see, they are an odd combination.


User uploaded file


As you can see, one album is in the library entirely as ALAC files (as they were ripped). The other is a mix of AAC and Internet audio stream files. When I look at both albums' files in the actual iTunes Media folder > Music. They are ALAC files (MPEG-4). So, what gives? Again, my question is not what format they appear as in iTunes. It is how will they be played locally? Will they be ALAC files, or will they be AAC or internet audio stream? AND how do I get all my music to show up properly in iTunes?

Nov 11, 2017 10:58 PM

Reply Helpful

Nov 12, 2017 7:11 AM in response to visiondr In response to visiondr

Hi,

If you have a download icon, this means that you will be either streaming on downloading from your iCloud music library and the music will not be ALAC. I would expect iTunes to be linking with the music in your iTunes media folder. For info, read this support doc. Locate and organize your iTunes media files - Apple Support


Does all your music show download icon and how long has it been like this? Is your media folder on your computer or on an external drive?


Jim

Nov 12, 2017 7:11 AM

Reply Helpful

Nov 12, 2017 9:19 AM in response to Jimzgoldfinch In response to Jimzgoldfinch

Jim,

Nearly all my files show the download icon. The only ones that don't are those deemed "ineligible" or the one CD i just re-ripped to test. That re-ripped CD's music is now correctly listed as "Apple lossless audio file". Curious, though, about half the tracks on that CD are now listed as "matched" and the others as "uploaded".


I don't know how long this has been going on. I suspect it began when I moved my iTunes media folder to an external hard drive. I followed all the instructions carefully. It seems things got jumbled up at that point.

Nov 12, 2017 9:19 AM

Reply Helpful

Nov 12, 2017 9:46 AM in response to visiondr In response to visiondr

User uploaded file

Here's another goofy one. This CD was ripped years ago. You'll see that some tracks are AAC, some are "internet audio stream" and one is and Apple Lossless audio file and there's a duplicate of one track. It really looks like the database for iTunes library is corrupted. When I look at the tracks in the iTunes Media folder, they are all listed as Apple MPEG-4 audio files.

Nov 12, 2017 9:46 AM

Reply Helpful
User profile for user: visiondr

Question: do ALAC files play locally with iCloud Music Library?