Apple released iTunes Match this week, and along with it a new version of iTunes which includes a lot of new features to support music in the cloud. We’ll look at these features in the Mac OS X tip for today.
New iTunes View Options
The first thing to look at is the new view options in iTunes. They are important, because without them you won’t know whether a match was found for one of your songs. Did iTunes match the song or did it upload your song to Apple’s servers instead?
Launch iTunes and click on Music under the Library section in the left hand sidebar. Now go to the View menu and select View Options. You’ll see the following dialog box pop-up:
Check the boxes for iCloud Download and iCloud Status and then click Ok. You’ll now see two new columns: one will tell you the iCloud status of every item in your Music library, while the other tells you whether or not your songs are stored on your computer’s hard drive or in iCloud. If the latter is true, you’ll see a button with a cloud symbol and an arrow that points down to it. If you want to copy that particular song to your hard drive, simply click it.
iCloud Status Messages
Duplicate – This indicates your iTunes library has more than one copy of a song. Duplicates will not be uploaded to iCloud.
Error – This indicates either an upload error or a corrupted file. Apple recommends you try importing a new copy of the song into your iTunes library.
Matched – This particular song was discovered on your computer and matches a song found in Apple’s music library. The song, an MP3, can come from any source, even if it was pirated. Power tip: if you delete the song and download it from iCloud, a 256 kbps AAC file will take its place. This is great for me, since I converted about 300 plus CDs to MP3s that aren’t anywhere close to this improved bitrate over the last few years.
Not Eligible – This particular song or file isn’t supported by iTunes Match or iCloud because it is larger than 200MB or encoded at 96 Kbps or less.
Purchased – The song was purchased from the iTunes Store using the Apple ID you are using with iTunes Match. Apple uses your buying history, which they’ve maintained to flag songs you’ve purchased.
Removed – Any song with this status was deleted from iCloud from one of the devices associated with your iTunes account. However, it could still be in the iTunes library of one of these devices. The “cloud” icon changes to include an “x” when this happens. If you want to add one of these removed songs back to iCloud, find it in a local iTunes library and press the Control key while clicking on it. You’ll see an option “Add to iCloud” appear which you can select to upload the song to iCloud.
Uploaded – This particular song isn’t a song that iTunes could find a match for in Apple’s music library. In this case iTunes uploads the song, as is, into iCloud. There isn’t a trick that will convert these tracks into a higher bit-rate.
Waiting – This song hasn’t been uploaded to iCloud yet from one of your iTunes libraries. Find the computer that the song is on and manually upload it using the Control+Click method mentioned above.
I’m going to really enjoy using iTunes Match. Once I get it configured I’ll be able to pull up any of the 5,693 songs in my library. That will make it a lot easier to explain how I named my Dachshund, Bertha, while playing the song Bertha Butt Boogie by The Jimmy Castor Bunch from the cloud. If you ever get to see her wag her tail you’ll get it.