How To Match And Upgrade Your Low Bitrate Songs To Lossless Quality With iTunes Match [Video How-To]

How To Match And Upgrade Your Low Bitrate Songs To Lossless Quality With iTunes Match [Video How-To]

Apple’s new music service, iTunes Match, launched today as a beta, and it includes the handy ability to upgrade your low quality audio tracks to lossless audio tracks and then mirror them in the cloud. In this video, I’ll show how to set up iTunes match and upgrade your songs. It just couldn’t be easier.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNTbCIPsGnc

  • vopat

    A bit rate of 256 kbps is not lossless quality. Very misleading headline.

  • DrM47145

    Now what happens after 12 months? Your upgraded songs will all the sudden downgrade?

  • Jon Iverson

     Agreed. This is the reason I’ve stayed away from the iTunes store.

  • Tyler611

    Not lossless!

  • haineux

    Dude, while this is a semi-nifty trick, 256 kbps AAC does not equal “lossless.” Also, for your information, 320kbps MP3 will almost certainly sound worse than 256kbps AAC.

    Pedantry: The uncompressed data rate of an audio CD is 1,411.2 kbps. 

    “Lossless” compression uses tricks to pack the exact same data in fewer bytes (“Here’s a run of 10,000 zeros”). When you decompress the bytes, you get back the exact same data you started off with. The most common “lossless” compression formats are Apple Lossless, FLAC — and Windows Media also has a lossless setting.

    “Lossy” compression, such as MP3, AAC (“advanced audio codec”), etc — when you decompress the bytes, you get back different data than when you started. However, huge amounts of research has been done to make the resultant audio sound “close” to the original, within reasonable limits of data rate, encoding computation, and decoding computation. For instance, they can decide “Aha, this fine detail in the midrange cannot be heard because there’s a loud treble noise (for instance, a cymbal crash).”

    MP3 is an older standard, and although it’s been refined over the years, does not sound as good as AAC, because it uses a LOT less CPU to encode/decode the data. (Back when MP3 came out, personal computers were 1000 slower than current models. Some of them were too slow to decode MP3 into audio in “real time.” My old 68030 Macintoshes often took three minutes to decode a two minute audio track.)

  • Dahlijo

    Lossless? are you kidding me? damn you sir for getting my hopes up with that misleading headline…

  • londonstuff

    Erm…I don’t have the iTunes Match thing down the left-hand side. Is it US only at the mo?

  • Nobody

    Why are your stink in’ videos flash?  You’re an Apple site — can’t you flipping’ publish in HTML5/H.264?  I browse on my MacBook Pro in Safari with no Flash plugin installed, and I love it.  Guess I’ll give some other site my video views.

  • Daniel

    This is not lossless, dude. What are you talking about? Lossless could be either WAV, AIFF, ALAC, or etc. 

  • BlazingFrog

    I have the same question! The answer would be the true piece of news, not that AAC 256 is lossless…

  • Michael Steeber

    Try youtube .com/html5, that might help you out.

  • Squuiid

    Perhaps one should stick to writing articles one understands the basic concepts of.

  • ericschultheiss

    Dude what the hell?!?!?!? I thought you were actually going to show how to download in lossless!  This is just the usual 256 kbps that Steve Jobs mentioned over the summer.  You tricked me into reading this article.  Boo on you sir, boo on you.

  • Harry

    As mentioned this not lossless quality, for mac enthusiasts you certainly seem to get your facts wrong a hell of a lot. More importantly for journalists you have terrible spelling and grammar. I love getting rumours from sites like yours but I can’t bare to read any of your articles because half the rumours appear to be based on useless information, or guess work, or just what you’d really like to see regardless of if it were practical or likely. You’ve lost a reader, better shape up for the ones you have left.

  • mydisqusprofile

    Quoth Harry: “More importantly for journalists you have terrible spelling and grammar. I love getting rumours from sites like yours but I can’t bare to read any of your articles because half the rumours appear to be based on useless information, or guess work, or just what you’d really like to see regardless of if it were practical or likely. You’ve lost a reader, better shape up for the ones you have left.”

    You could remain clothed while you read.

  • trrosen

    Are you new to the consent of blogs Harry?
    Bloggers aren’t journalists. They’re mostly people who like to write about what they enjoy.
    Give the kid a break….though I do agree Brownlee should be shot.

  • renowden

    How can you tell which ones were “matched” and which ones uploaded (apart from deleting them and looking for the little cloud)?

  • Billy Brass

    thanks, only problem with iTunes Match is it requires a credit card, my kids and most kids get their music for free and are too found for a credit card, I’d prefer them to use store credit (I give them $50 per week) but “Match” requires a credit card, so it’s no good, iTunes needs to sort this to allow payment with Store Credit i.e. Gift Cards etc otherwise I have no choice but to send my elflings along to demonoid.me (Kmart) and the Pirate Bay (WallMart) to shop until they drop for free.

  • Jay

    I am impressed so far, having played with this for several weeks during the developer’s preview. 

    However! I would certainly caution that you KEEP COPIES OF ALL OF YOUR ORIGINALS. Certainly for a subscription service, you can NOT count on the downloaded copies continuing to play after you stop your subscription.
    Just a word to the wise…

  • Jay

    To correct myself, apparently the 256kbps AAC downloads are DRM-free. Theoretically, then…

    From TNW/Apple:

    “If you get a song of yours upgraded to a higher version by iTunes Match, it appears as if you can keep it forever, even if you disable the service or stop paying the subscription fee. This makes it a nice one-time fee that scrubs your library and upgrades it, all for $25 bucks.”

    (TNW’s Complete Guide to Apple’s iTunes Match)

  • Jeff Haddon

    Was working great for me but about 1700 songs into the download out of 7700 songs iTunes Crashed, and I have lost 6000 songs.  Any ideas how to get them back????

  • carlj7

    Go to View ? View Options (or CMD-J) then turn on the iCloud Status column. Click on the new column to sort your songs by that.

  • carlj7

    Yep. Too bad.

  • carlj7

    Do you have a source for the claim 320 MP3 is worse than 256 AAC? I bought iTunes Match, and I’m trying to decide if it’s worth the trouble to replace my 320 MP3s with smaller AAC files, or if I’d be losing a bit of quality by doing so.

  • carlj7

    Nothing. The real selling point of the service is that you can download your songs on your phone on the go, not the upgrade to higher quality songs.

  • Flapinux

    Your title is a lie.  The video clearly shows you converting a low bitrate lossy file to a higher bitrate lossy file, NOT LOSSLESS.  Fix it please.

  • Flapinux

    You simply restore from backup

  • Hoss

    FailCat is displeased by your Lack of Win.

  • Jack McClauren

    This is FREAKING AWESOME

About the author

Michael SteeberMichael Steeber is a student who is obsessed with everything Apple. He enjoys making videos and runs the MSComputerVideos YouTube channel in his free time. You can follow him on Twitter as well.

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Posted in How-To, iTunes, Mac, OS X | Tagged: , , , |