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iTunes Match Expands To Latin America, Netherlands, Baltics

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  • by vlm (69642)

    Can /. give me a real world speed report?

    On a relatively modern linux desktop at home, google music manager uploads about 100 songs per day at 128 K limited upload (a fraction of my upload pipe, and I like to keep it that way).

    Thats 128 kilobits per sec / 8 bytes per bit * 1024 bytes per kilobyte * 60 secs per minute * 60 mins per hour * 24 hours per day / 100 songs per day = 13.5 megabytes per mp3 file. Wait a second, somethings not right there. Hmm. I should be uploading more like 1000 songs per day at

    • Re:Speed? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Karlt1 (231423) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @12:30PM (#38725882)

      Can /. give me a real world speed report?

      On a relatively modern linux desktop at home, google music manager uploads about 100 songs per day at 128 K limited upload (a fraction of my upload pipe, and I like to keep it that way).

      With iTunes Match, if a song in your library matches a song that Apple already has in it's library, it doesn't upload it all. It registers that you own the song and will download a 256Kbps DRM free version to your other computers/devices -- whether or not you bought the song from Apple.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Which is why I wonder how they could possibly have gotten approval from the labels to do that. They have shut down similar services in the past that provided less service.

        • Leverage. You don't just say no to your biggest retailer [arstechnica.com]. It also makes business sense because the labels get some of that iTunes Match money, all without any effort from their part. Just goes to show what we could have had by now if someone had stood up to these guys before Apple came along.

          • by hedwards (940851)

            In other words, there's some side benefit to allowing Apple to create a monopoly in that particular market. I wonder what would have happened if instead we told Apple to stop abusing their monopoly and actually allow owners of competing products to buy from the ITMS early on.

            • That's not a monopoly. Monopoly = 1 seller, many buyers. Owners of an iPod could buy music from anywhere + the iTunes store, owners of other devices could buy music from anywhere except the iTunes store (for DRM'ed music, other players could play non-DRM AAC files.) It's more like an exclusivity agreement.

              • by vakuona (788200)

                Actually, owners of other devices can buy music on iTunes too, all without DRM. Video is another matter, but Apple has considerably less clout with the film companies.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Which is why I wonder how they could possibly have gotten approval from the labels to do that. They have shut down similar services in the past that provided less service.

          Apple's paying the labels for it. They paid a good chunk ($250M?) for the priviledge of setting up iTunes Match, and an unspecified sum every year in licensing fees. That's all it takes. The other lockers (Amazon, Googke, etc)? They're not paying a thing. Legal right or wrong, if you pay up, they leave you alone.

          And while it could lead to

          • by hedwards (940851)

            $250m for all you can pirate music doesn't seem like a very good deal for the recording industry. You may very well be right, but it just surprises me that they would allow it after all the fight they've had over such things previously.

            • The labels have lost that revenue anyway, convincing people to "legitimize" pirate content is an uphill struggle (most people can't afford to anyway.) At least this way they get some revenue out of it. And they can still come after you for that content since there's no record of it being officially bought. So they lose nothing but gain revenue.

            • $250m for all you can pirate music doesn't seem like a very good deal for the recording industry.

              That was just a guess on the OP's part.

              In reality since everyone is paying $25/year for the service, you know the music companies are getting some cut.

              Even though it seems like a small amount it's a lot of money they were not seeing previously. And most people will be buying tracks anyway.

              What I'm curious about is if indie labels get anything from this if iTunes ends up Matching something they own.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @12:13PM (#38725646)
    Apple are as Gods among men if they got the record companies to agree to this, even for $25/yr.
    • I think they've been selling files without DRM for a while now. Old files that were bought in the DRM era still have it, but I think you can do things to the DRM-free ones like convert them to MP3 now without having to burn them to a CD and then re-import.

      Maybe there was some agreement made with the record companies at the time they changed up the DRM policies that is in play here.

      • They stopped selling DRM'ed files a while ago now. If you still have DRM'ed files you can upgrade them through iTunes to non-DRM files for a small fee per song (something like 10 cents, I forget the exact amount) or if you have match you can delete the song and redownload the non-DRM version after it matches.

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      No, Apple just waited until the time was right. The music industry is slowly realizing that they have to update their business model, and Apple being a major distribution channel is helping them realize that quickly.

      The labels must be kicking themselves for not realizing this sooner, but at the same time they can say they had a choice back then and don't now.

      And who knows, Apple may have been trying to do this for a while, and finally succeeded, and we only know about the success.

      • by Ossifer (703813)

        Big problem is that the music industry has long relied on media upgrades to bring in big income. LPs -> cassette tapes (once more popular than LPs) -> CDs -> digital files. It was generally easier to buy new, get better features, rather than upgrade on your own...

        Unfortunately for them this can't really go any further... High quality 256k AAC from very high quality masters is about as far as normal humans can use. And I doubt there's going to be some new kind of physical media that is inherentl

  • by mccalli (323026) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @12:21PM (#38725758) Homepage
    I'm subscribed. When I subscribed, I had about 3.7k files < 256kbps (I remember the numbers because looked to see if it was worth it). After the matching, I now have ~ 1k files at < 256kbps. Of those, most are non-commercial tracks that have never appeared in any other form (hello http://remix.kwed.org [kwed.org]) - I download their quarterly playlists.

    So overall, a good job and I'm satisfied it saved me a ton of time upgrading my own rips. However that's the good - time for the bad.

    Artwork. Artwork has been a mess. When I initially matched, I noticed a lot of my tracks had poor quality artwork (not due to match, they always had them). I went through and fixed them all - a few moments later, Match came back and blatted everything - right back to poor quality artwork again. Making it accept the newer high quality has been very hit and miss, usually involving deleting the track frmo my library and Match then re-importing - even then it doesn't always work.

    That's artwork everywhere. Now to specific problems with the iPhone. I turned off Match due to a bad wi-fi area I was in - I had a connection, but couldn't get anywhere. As soon as I turned Match off, all artwork was wiped from my phone. Turning Match back on again appears to have randomly reinstated some artwork and not others.

    Sorting. I had some hassle again and turned Match off on the iPhone. I then put it back on again, and suddenly the sort order of my artists was massively out - I have artists starting with K appearing under the 'I' section. It's not random, the artists are actually sorted in alphabetic order, however if you use your thumb to scroll down directly to letter 'M', for example, the first artist listed is James Newton Howard. Hmm....

    The other thing is that I'm not sure I'll stay subscribed next year. As a labour-saving initial hit, the price was worth it for me. Now my files are matched anyway, I'm not sure it's worth it for me any more -I'm just as happy with the wireless syncing.

    Cheers,
    Ian
    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      So, you're going to bugreport.apple.com and writing bugs about the artwork problems, right? You only need a free "online only" account. While there is also "provide iTunes feedback" in iTunes, sending a bug report via bugreport.apple.com will go more directly into the bug system and I think makes feedback (was it fixed/dup/etc.)/more questions easier or even possible at all.

      It sounds like you have some pretty specific good details about the problems that could help solve them in the future.

      Yeah, products

  • Is it worth the $25/year? Do you use the service?

    When they announced this, I didn't really see the point.

    I'm not buying new music from my iPhone (because I don't have one) and expecting it to show up on my computer ... I'm not buying songs on my computer either. Pretty much all of my music is ripped straight from CDs I've bought, and my music library is currently > 70GB.

    So, if I need to update my iPods or my iPad, I just plug them into my computer. My iPod classic holds the entire library anyway, and m

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      I haven't signed up for it myself, either. It seems like you're missing something, however. If your CD-ripped music is ripped in a lower quality, it will "automagically" be upgraded, if it matches the iTunes library. Yes, you'll have to then download it (which some could argue is just as bad as having to manually upload everything to the other services, but it seems slightly different to me, since you already have all of your local music to use in the meantime, as you upgrade to the higher-quality versio

    • If you purchase music on the go (from iTunes) you don't even need iTunes Match to enjoy the benefit of over-the-air sync. Stuff you buy on one iDevice is 'pushed' to your other iDevices (and PC) anyway. iTunes Match is really aimed at people with large CD-ripped libraries.
  • I subscribed, and I was glad I did when I was able to upgrade a bunch of my MP3s to iTunes Store AAC files, with whatever quality improvement there is in going from an amateur's MP3 encoding to a studio's AAC release. Mostly, I find that the music sounds a little louder, which could be the result of other factors like the store using a newer remastering, for example.

    It's nice having my entire music collection on my iPad, but I actually have so much music (about 100GB), apparently, that I often crash iTunes

    • by Ossifer (703813)

      [...sounds a little louder....]

      See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war [wikipedia.org]

      Consider that what iTunes store has is the most recent remasterings, and not the old ones from your old CDs.

      Most of my music was ripped by me from CDs I bought in the '80s when CDs were new tech. A lot of horribly crappy quality CDs were turned out then, and which thus fail to "iMatch" for me now... :(

  • The "iTunes Match" option NEVER disappears from the menu bar at the left.

    Even after you've disabled the iTunes store under "parental controls", it's still there. Even after you click "No Thanks" it's still there, asking you to subscribe for $25/year. (this is itunes 10.5.1.42 on windows).

    Either shoddy programming, or an insidious attempt to get more money out of you despite the parental controls.

  • Works for me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeMo (521697) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:41PM (#38727628)
    First, the match part replaced bunch of crappy rips with their higher-quality stuff, and I'm not just talking about bit rates. A lot of rips out there just sound bad, and the ones I did from vinyl have the obligatory vinyl noise - the match is clean.

    Second, I have way more music than fits on my iPhone. Having the stuff in the cloud solves that problem very nicely.

    Third, it just works the way it should - stuff I buy or "acquire" on one device is automagically available on all of my other devices. Makes the notion of doing syncs - wirelessly or not - seem quaint.
  • About 60% of my music is cd-ripped, and I don't have the discs anymore, so if anything happened to my hard drive I'd lose the lot. For £21/year, that music is up converted to 256kps (I ripped at 128kps years ago - my bad) and downloadable to my phone too, at any time. Plus, and more importantly for me, it's backed up offline.

    As an insurance policy, I think £21 is pretty good value.
  • Yesterday, I had something funny happen with iTunes match. I was streaming Weezer's "Perfect Situation," off of their "Make Believe" album. I heard a chorus at the end of the song that I'd never heard before. I then hopped over to my computer with the actual rip of the CD that I made, and low and behold, the chorus at the end of "Perfect Situation" wasn't there!

    iTunes match also can't handle pausing while streaming. Often I have to restart the song if I pause it while streaming.

    I also found streaming from i

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