IMAP For iTunes

I started my iTunes Match scan yesterday. I paused it for today so I could try it out on a separate Mac. It was on the upload part, so I assume that everything that could be matched has been matched.

This comment explains why I’m kinda giddy about this.

Important point that, strangely, nobody seems to bother saying explicitly: this is true iTunes Library sync, not just remote storage for your music. It’s iCloud for iTunes in the same sense that the free service already offers iCloud for iCal. Changes to playlists, tags, play counts, etc. propagate to all connected libraries, both in iTunes and in iOS.

iTunes Match:

  • Keeps your ratings
  • Keeps your metadata
  • Keeps your playcounts
  • Syncs your playlists across devices (including other computers running iTunes)

It’s a lot like what I said I wanted.

You can stream right from iCloud or choose to download songs when using iTunes. I wish it was smart enough to know what was coming up next in my queue and download it automatically so the full file is locally stored before it gets played.

Some weirdness:

  • I had a scare where automatically generated album ratings disappeared from my master iTunes library. I think they’ll comeback…maybe.
  • I pruned some items to get under the 25k limit
  • I had to restart my scan a few times last night, I’m guessing from Apple’s end timing out to keep up with demand
  • Launchbar (and I assume other iTunes controllers and search tools) does not currently index music stored on iCloud. Coversutra can see music on iCloud, but doesn’t appear to take any action on it (like adding to iTunes DJ)
  • There’s some screwy behavior with what gets matched and not (some albums get most tracks matched, but not all)1
  • I wonder how much of my stuff has been matched, but to the wrong track

Other than that, so far so good.


  1. For example, on this MF Doom album it’s not clear why some stuff is matched and other stuff isn’t.
    mfdoomexample
    I think what’s happening is that iTunes rescans when you open iTunes. What could it be scanning? Maybe the tracks that didn’t get matched. Could be something like Genius where, over time, it gets better.