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LCC0256

Mastered for iTunes / Apple Music

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My children have amassed their respective iTunes libraries over the past few years mostly from the iTunes Store but also from various sites on the net. My question is now that they are part of a family subscription to Apple Music - will their libraries automatically be updated with AAC  "mastered for iTunes" files for the music that WAS NOT purchased/downloaded from iTunes?  I am making the assumption that all of their purchased music from the iTunes Store (if it was prior to the "mastered for iTunes" program) would in fact be "upgraded". I am sure every song in their libraries are available in Apple Music. I am equally sure none of their downloads/purchases outside of the iTunes Store is "high resolution".

Used to be iTunes Match would accomplish the "upgrading" of say 128kb files to the AAC/256/44.1 standard. . Since we have an Apple Music family membership - as I understand it the iTunes Match is no longer necessary. How do they upgrade the songs that are not up to the AAC/256/44.1 Mastered for iTunes standard?  

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2 hours ago, LCC0256 said:

Yes sir all libraries are in their respective children's iTunes/iCloud account

 

My understanding of how Apple iCloud works is, they have only one real copy of each tune (or versions of each), and if 50 thousand people purchased that tune, they will have pointers from that tune to the 50k people who purchased it.  That can present difficulties for people who suddenly decide to re-download those tunes to their local computer.  My brother for example lost about 3000 of his tunes through some Apple error.

 

Upgrading is tricky though.  Apple can't automatically replace one version with another if they sound different, otherwise, they'd have millions of angry customers, some of whom would love the newer version, and others who would hate it.  If someone loads a tune to the cloud that didn't come from Apple, I suppose they could replace it with an Apple version, but again, someone has to know that it's the same exact recording.

 

My big issues with the Cloud are simple:

 

1) I'm not willing to pay for bandwidth to play a song that should be on my computer.

2) I'm not willing to wait to listen when the Internet connection has a problem.

3) Many of my songs are unique and irreplaceable, and Apple cannot guarantee to preserve those songs forever at all costs.  They can only offer "insurance".

4) I select songs to play at random (i.e., I select, the music player doesn't select), and almost never from a playlist, and trying to do that on the cloud would be a nightmare.

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They do replace with later versions, and there have been complaints about this. If an older mastering, for example, is no longer available in Apple's database, then they match to the newer version. Or they upload if there's enough difference that the two cannot be matched. 

 

1) Do you pay for bandwidth to your computer? I know this is an issue for mobile devices, but generally not for desktops. 

2) You can download some or all of the music. In fact, when you match your library, it doesn't remove your tracks; you only download/stream when you don't have local copies. 

3) They're not guaranteeing anything. It's up to you to not delete your originals, and even back them up. 

4) Huh? If you use iTunes, it looks exactly the same when music is in the cloud as it does when it's local. 


I write about Macs, iTunes, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of iTunes 12

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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12 hours ago, kirkmc said:

They do replace with later versions, and there have been complaints about this. If an older mastering, for example, is no longer available in Apple's database, then they match to the newer version. Or they upload if there's enough difference that the two cannot be matched. 

 

1) Do you pay for bandwidth to your computer? I know this is an issue for mobile devices, but generally not for desktops. 

2) You can download some or all of the music. In fact, when you match your library, it doesn't remove your tracks; you only download/stream when you don't have local copies. 

3) They're not guaranteeing anything. It's up to you to not delete your originals, and even back them up. 

4) Huh? If you use iTunes, it looks exactly the same when music is in the cloud as it does when it's local. 

 

Thank you for the detailed reply, noting that they may auto-replace irreplaceable songs (example: Jimmy Buffet's Door No.3 single version, not available anymore), and they don't guarantee anything.

 

Edit: BTW, everyone pays for bandwidth, one way or another.  Nothing is free.

Edited by dalethorn

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5 hours ago, kirkmc said:

I have unlimited bandwidth for my home internet; I have a limit on my mobile internet. I don't consider that I pay for bandwidth at  home; I consider I pay for access, and can upload and download as much as I want. 

 

So the unlimited bandwidth at home is free?  Not from what I read in the tech press.  Ever hear of throttling?  AT&T does it, Comcast (or whoever they morphed into) does it, etc.  The notion that it's really unlimited is absurd, which anyone can find out by looking at how many bytes are actually flowing through their _____ data rate pipe.  We never get anywhere near the stated rate - well, maybe at 3 am for 10 minutes.

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No throttling where I live; no limits on bandwidth. I get the maximum that my line is rated for, which isn't very much (15 Mbps). 

 

Don't confuse bandwidth consumption with speed. You may not get the maximum speed that you may be able to get, but it's still not charging you for each megabyte, is it?


I write about Macs, iTunes, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of iTunes 12

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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Kirk I have read nearly every article you have published on the subject of iTunes and matching and Apple Music in the past few years. If I were to subscribe to iTunes matching I am assuming that the 128kbs songs in my children's iTunes library will be replaced with a "mastered for iTunes" 256kbs replacement. Now what I do know is that they have nothing rare or irreplaceable in their libraries now. I feel sure everything in their libraries is in fact part of the iTunes master library. That is what I am after. But I also know you have written that IF IN FACT one has an Apple Music subscription he/she should not need an iTunes Match subscription. This is where I am confused. I hate to spend the 25 bucks if I dont have to. But in light of the fact they are starting to earn their own money and have upgraded their headphones/earpods I feel reasonably sure that the upgrade from the 128 to the 256 "mastered for iTunes" would be worth it. Can you provide some advice here please? Thank you 

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If you go for iTunes Match, then you'll be able to upgrade the tracks to 256 kbps DRM-free tracks. But they won't be Mastered for iTunes (they might, but if they are, you won't see any indication). If you use Apple Music, then you'll have access to those tracks, but they'll still have DRM. So you might want to spend the $25 to get the DRM free tracks, if there are enough of them that you think it's worthwhile (personally, I think it's always better to have DRM free music). 


I write about Macs, iTunes, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of iTunes 12

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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Kirk I have one more question regarding this subject.  I have only 3 types of files in MY iTunes library. CD's ripped from my private collection, songs purchased from iTunes and the songs I have downloaded as an Apple Music subscriber. If I create playlists that would incorporate all three types in my library can I install those playlists on the memory of my iPhone or iPad (given I had the space available) so I would not have to use my data plan to "stream" that same music when I am away from home and have no access to Wi-Fi?  My concern of course is will the Apple Music songs move to my iPhone/Pad's memory?

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Create a playlist in your iCloud Music Library, then download that playlist to your device. A playlist can contain any combination of those tracks. 

 

I honestly don't know if you can sync Apple Music tracks to an iOS device; I don't think you can. I think you can only use iCloud Music Library or Apple Music to access those tracks. (I don't sync to my iPhone any more; I use iCloud Music Library.)


I write about Macs, iTunes, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of iTunes 12

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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On 2/1/2018 at 1:57 PM, kirkmc said:

No throttling where I live; no limits on bandwidth. I get the maximum that my line is rated for, which isn't very much (15 Mbps). 

 

Don't confuse bandwidth consumption with speed. You may not get the maximum speed that you may be able to get, but it's still not charging you for each megabyte, is it?

 

There are arguments about charges, but in the end nothing is free.  If you're lucky enough to have a reliable service that doesn't make you wait a lot, and the price is reasonable, then I suppose that's a winner.  I've never had completely satisfactory Internet service, because my only choice in providers are consumer-rated lower than the Post Office, i.e. zero stars out of five.

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On 2/1/2018 at 1:58 PM, kirkmc said:

Oh, and you're probably using cable internet, which shares bandwidth in an area or neighborhood. You're more likely to see different speeds than if you're on ADSL. 

 

I was on AT&T DSL, but after months of throttling it, they slowed it down to near zero, and forced us onto their "faster" service.  This faster service works most of the time, but they still slow it to a crawl often enough.  The only cable provider here is a scam.

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Apple Music Launches Apple Digital Masters, New Initiative Combining Its Hi-Res 'Mastered' Collection
https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8526675/apple-music-launches-apple-digital-masters

 

Apple Hi-Res Streaming Has Arrived With Apple Digital Masters
https://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2019/08/apple-hi-res-streaming-has-arrived-with-apple-digital-masters.html

Quote

It looks like you won’t pay anything extra to receive a similar experience on Apple Music from now on.

 

That's quite appealing because of the costs, definitely a winner if that were true.

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First, it's not "Hi-Res;" it's the same 256 kbps AAC files. 

 

Second, they've been using Mastered for iTunes files on Apple Music for a long time; they just didn't say anything. Why would they have two different types of files?


I write about Macs, iTunes, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of iTunes 12

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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