What Is iTunes Match and How Does It Work?

iTunes Match is a lesser-known paid service from Apple that permits you to add your music assortment to the cloud and take heed to it on any Apple gadget or a Home windows PC for $25/yr.

What Is iTunes Match?

Because the title suggests, iTunes Match matches your native music library to Apple’s DRM-protected iTunes Retailer and uploads something it might’t match no matter whether or not you ripped music from CDs, bought it from Amazon, or imported it into iTunes from different sources.

Matched songs can be found in iTunes Plus high quality (256 kbps AAC) whatever the authentic bit fee. You can too activate the iCloud Music Library possibility in settings to make your whole native music library accessible throughout units signed in with the identical Apple ID.

How Does iTunes Match Work?

Music is added to iTunes Match within the following methods:

  • Purchases: All of your iTunes Retailer purchases are included in your iCloud music library.
  • Matches: Matches out of your native music library, no matter the place the songs got here from, grow to be accessible throughout units via the iCloud music library.
  • Uploads: Songs out of your native library with out matches within the iTunes Retailer catalog are robotically uploaded to your iCloud music library in 256 kbps AAC.

iTunes Match at all times retains the unique information in your gadget. As a part of an preliminary scan of your native music library, iTunes Match will add all DRM-free songs with out matches (these uploads do not depend towards your iCloud storage). It’s going to robotically scan, match and add any newly added music going ahead.

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iTunes Match helps all the identical audio codecs as Apple Music: AAC, MP3, WAV, AIFF, and Apple Lossless. Keep in mind that non-matched songs are robotically transformed into 256Kbps AAC. For example, if a few of your higher-quality MP3s are in 320 kbps, iTunes Match will transcode these to 256 kbps AAC earlier than importing.

iTunes Match additionally makes all of your playlists from iTunes or the Music app accessible throughout your entire units, with one exception—playlists that embody different objects, comparable to digital booklets that include some albums, won’t sync.

You must at all times hold a backup of your music assortment in Time Machine or comparable software program of your alternative. iTunes Match should not be considered as a backup service on your music, as Apple spells out in black and white in its support document.

The best way to Signal Up for iTunes Match

iTunes Match is simply accessible in iTunes 10.5.2 or increased for Mac or Home windows and Apple’s Music app on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV. The service is unavailable on Android. Needless to say iTunes Match gives solely the annual billing possibility.

To join iTunes Match, open the Music app on macOS or launch iTunes for Home windows, then click on iTunes Retailer within the sidebar (macOS) or Retailer on the prime of iTunes (Home windows). When you do not see the iTunes Retailer part in your Mac, entry the Music app’s preferences and click on the Normal tab, then tick the field subsequent to iTunes Retailer and hit the OK button.


A macOS screenshot displaying the iTunes Store section in Apple's Music app, with the iTunes Match option highlighted

Subsequent, click on iTunes Match beneath the Options heading on the backside of the window after which select the Subscribe button that seems. After signing in together with your Apple ID and password, you may be instructed to substantiate your billing info.

Because the final step, hit Subscribe to complete the method. Upon affirmation, your cost technique can be immediately charged $25 for a full yr of iTunes Match and you can begin utilizing the service instantly.

When the subscription expires, iTunes Match will renew robotically for an additional 12 months. To stop undesirable prices, you should definitely cancel your subscription earlier than the present billing interval ends.

When you cancel iTunes Match, you’ll lose entry to your iCloud music library. In fact, you may proceed listening to any of the unique songs within the native library in your gadget such as you usually would, even after canceling the subscription.

What Are the Limitations of iTunes Match?

iTunes Match imposes a 100,000-song cap, which is far more music than most individuals have of their libraries. That is 100,000 matched and uploaded songs, thoughts you. Moreover, music bought from the iTunes Retailer would not depend towards this restrict.

Uploads of non-matches are restricted to 200 MB in dimension or two hours in length per music. iTunes Match won’t sync voice memos out of your iPhone nor will it match any tunes beneath 96 kbps. You probably have DRM songs in your native music library, these can be uploaded provided that your laptop is allowed to play them.

Do I Want iTunes Match?


A macOS screenshot of Apple's Music app showing creating a smart playlist of songs that have 256Kbps AAC versions available on iTunes Match

The reply to this query will depend on whether or not you already use a music-subscription service. People who do not preserve a private music library or do not care about proudly owning their music will discover Apple Music or Spotify far more handy.

However should you’ve amassed a big music assortment, iTunes Match is value contemplating—particularly in case your library is filled with remixes, DJ units, classical music and comparable songs that may’t be matched to the iTunes Retailer catalog.

You do not want Apple Music to make use of iTunes Match or vice versa. The one cause why an Apple Music member would wish to subscribe to iTunes Match is to entry their music on the older Apple TV fashions. The important thing distinction between iTunes Match and Apple Music is core utility.

Whereas each iTunes Match and Apple Music allow you to obtain and stream music on as much as 10 computer systems and units directly, iTunes Match solely works with the music you have already got.

Alternatively, Apple Music offers you limitless entry to greater than 90 million songs and 30,000 curated playlists—however you do not personal any of it. If you cease paying your Apple Music subscription, all the things disappears. With iTunes Match, you continue to have entry to the originals in your gadget even should you cease paying the subscription.

Apple states the next:

You probably have an Apple Music membership, you get all the advantages of iTunes Match, plus entry to your complete Apple Music catalog. You can too get a household membership to share the catalog with your loved ones members.

And what about Google’s YouTube Music? This service features a free private music library characteristic that permits you to add as much as 100,000 songs. Sadly, you may want to make use of the online interface for that as a result of importing music is supported within the cellular YouTube Music app.

On the plus facet, your uploads are extra accessible and discoverable than with iTunes Match as a result of YouTube is ubiquitously accessible on any gadget with an online browser.

Syncing All Your Music Throughout All Your Gadgets

When you’re the kind of particular person with a big music assortment who’s deeply invested within the Apple ecosystem, iTunes Match is an inexpensive possibility to contemplate. Whereas there are options on the market, iTunes Match gives the deepest integration and it “simply works”.


So, should you’re on the lookout for methods to entry your music assortment throughout all of your Apple devices, then that is one thing it’s best to significantly take into account.


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