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iTunes 11 for Mac: Access all your music anytime, anywhere with iTunes Match

Access all your music anytime, anywhere with iTunes Match

iTunes Match is a service that safely stores all your music in iCloud—even songs imported from CDs or not purchased in the iTunes Store—and makes it available on up to 10 of your devices and computers. With iTunes Match, you have access to your complete iTunes music library at any time.

To use iTunes Match, you have to subscribe to it using your Apple ID, and turn it on on all the computers and devices where you want to use it. If you don’t have an Apple ID, you can create one during setup.

If you subscribe to iTunes Match, iTunes Radio is ad-free.

Subscribe to iTunes Match

  1. In iTunes, choose Store > Turn On iTunes Match.

  2. Click the Subscribe button and follow the onscreen instructions.

Songs in your iTunes library that are available in the iTunes Store are added to iCloud. If any songs in your iTunes library aren’t available in the iTunes Store, iTunes uploads them.

The amount of time this takes depends on the number of songs in your iTunes library and how many songs are uploaded. When setup is complete, a new iCloud column Cloud icon appears in Songs view.

List of songs with an arrow pointing to a column with a header that's a cloud icon

Turn on iTunes Match on other computers

Important:   Before turning on iTunes Match on another computer, make sure you’ve signed in to the iTunes Store from that computer using the same Apple ID that you used to set up iTunes Match on the first computer.
  1. In iTunes, choose Store > Turn On iTunes Match.

  2. Click Add this Computer.

All your songs in iCloud appear in Songs view, along with a new iCloud column Cloud icon.

List of songs with an arrow pointing to a column with a header that's a cloud icon

Turn on iTunes Match on your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad

Important:   Before turning on iTunes Match on a device, make sure you’ve signed in to the iTunes Store from that device using the same Apple ID that you used to set up iTunes Match on your computer.
  1. On your device’s Home screen, tap Settings, and tap Music.

  2. Tap to Turn on iTunes Match.

WARNING:   After you turn on iTunes Match on a device:
  • All the music that’s currently on the device is deleted and replaced with songs from iCloud.

  • You can’t use iTunes to sync music to the device. You can add songs to the device only by downloading them from iCloud.

For information about adding songs to your device from iCloud, see the documentation for your device.

Play or download songs from iCloud

You can play songs directly from iCloud, or you can download songs so you can play them when you’re not connected to the Internet.

If a song is available in iCloud, it has a Download button Cloud with an arrow pointing down next to it.

  • To play the song, double-click it.

  • To download the song, click the Download button.

After you download a song to a computer, it remains in the computer’s iTunes library, even if you turn off iTunes Match.

To only display downloaded songs in your iTunes library, choose View > Hide Music in the Cloud. This also hides any previous iTunes Store purchases you haven’t downloaded.

For information about downloading and playing songs on an iOS device, see the documentation for the device.

Update your songs in iCloud

iTunes checks periodically to make sure your songs in iCloud are up to date. You can also update your music in iCloud at any time.

In iTunes, choose Store > Update iTunes Match.

Remove a song from iCloud

  1. Choose Music from the Library pop-up menu.

    The Library pop-up menu, with Music chosen
  2. Click Songs.

    The Songs button near the top of the iTunes window
  3. Select a song or songs to delete and press the Delete key.

  4. If the song hasn’t been downloaded from iCloud to the computer you’re currently using, click Delete Song.

    If the song has been downloaded, select “Also delete this song from iCloud” and click Delete Song.

Deleting a song from iCloud also removes the song from all your iOS devices that have iTunes Match turned on. If the deleted song has been downloaded to any of your other iTunes Match computers, it will remain on those computers until you manually delete it from them. You can also delete a downloaded song from a computer without deleting it from iCloud.

In iCloud, you can store:

  • Up to 25,000 songs, not including songs (or music videos) purchased from the iTunes Store. Files must be a maximum of 200 MB

  • Matched songs (songs available in the iTunes Store, whether or not you purchased them there) at iTunes Plus quality (256-kbps DRM-free AAC) and other songs at their original quality

  • Music videos purchased in the iTunes Store

  • Playlists that include only songs

  • Smart Playlist rules, which are applied on the computer or device they’re downloaded to

Note:   iTunes Match isn’t available in all countries.
Last Modified: Nov 5, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Nov 5, 2013
  • Article: PH12284
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