One of the biggest complaints about Apple Music over the past year was that it wouldn’t properly match songs subscribers had in their existing iTunes libraries. That problem is being fixed by Apple.
Apple has been quietly rolling out iTunes Match audio fingerprint to all Apple Music subscribers. Previously Apple was using a less accurate metadata version of iTunes Match on Apple Music, which wouldn’t always match the correct version of a particular song. We’ve all seen the stories of a live version of a song being replaced by a studio version, etc.
Using iTunes Match with audio fingerprint, those problems should be a thing of the past.
If you had songs that were matched incorrectly using the metadata version of iTunes Match, the new version will rematch to the correct song. However, it will not delete any downloaded copies of songs you have in your library. This is a very good thing—we don’t want songs auto-deleting from our libraries.
This is, in fact, the same version of iTunes Match that iTunes users could pay for as a separate subscription since Apple began offering it years ago. I am one of those users. However, all subscribers to Apple Music will get the new version of iTunes Match at no extra cost. This update also means that all Matched songs will download DRM-free.
If you are a current iTunes Match subscriber and subscribe to Apple Music, you can let your Match subscription lapse when it comes up for renewal and still receive the same benefits. If you don’t subscribe to Apple Music and still want the benefits of iTunes Match, hold on to your subscription.
Personally, I’ll be holding on to my subscription for the near future, just to be sure.
If you subscribe to Apple Music, you don’t need to do anything to receive the new version of iTunes Match. Apple is switching over 1% to 2% of its users every day, automatically.
Apple is watching the rollout very closely as new users are brought on and are cognizant of the user experience during the changeover. Switching millions of customers over is going to take some time, so be patient, but know it’s coming.
If you are currently an iTunes Match and Apple Music subscriber, you probably won’t see much of a difference. We were already getting the benefits of iTunes Match, so there won’t be much change for us.
If you’re an Apple Music subscriber but don’t have iTunes Match, you will start to see “Matched” in the iCloud Status column of iTunes on your Mac as the service rolls out.
Apple has made a lot of improvements to Apple Music over the past year, but this is by far one of the most significant updates to come to the service since it was introduced.