Technical notes index

APPLE MUSIC, iTUNES MATCH AND THE iTUNES STORE

THE iTUNES STORE

This long-standing online purchase facility now has a library of 45 million items. Originally songs you purchased were subject to DRM (copy protection) but this is no longer the case. Once bought, songs can be burned to CD or transferred to an iPod.

iTUNES IN THE CLOUD

This facility, added more recently, provides that once you have purchased a song you can re-download it to that or any other authorised device at any time in the future.

iTUNES MATCH

This makes all items in your iTunes collection available online for access to your other devices. Songs you have purchased will be available, as with 'Tunes in the Cloud'; songs you have for example ripped from CDs you have bought will be matched by the version in the Store if this is available; if it isn't available your copy will be uploaded for access by other devices.

There is a limit of 25,000 songs - this applies only to items not available in the Store (as purchased items are already available online). There is a charge of $24.99/21.99 per year. The storage for these items does not count towards your iCloud storage space (indeed, though marketed as being part of iCloud it's actually nothing to do with it). Items in iTunes Match are not affected by DRM (Digital Rights Management which restricts where you can play them).

Once downloaded you can still play them if you terminate the subscription (though in that event you can't make further uploads or downloads).

APPLE MUSIC

Recently added, this facility provides streaming (online playing) of over 30 million items from the iTunes Store catalogue. Some artists have not given permission for their songs to be streamed.

It's possible to save a song for listening offline, but only on that device. You cannot transfer it to another device or burn it to a CD, because you have rented it, not bought it, and they are subject to DRM. (Consequently such songs cannot be accessed on an iPod Nano, Shuffle or Classic, only the Touch.) If you cease to pay the subscription any items you have saved in this way will become inaccessible.

As with iTunes Match, items which are in the Store but you have ripped from CDs, will be available as part of this, but if you don't also have an iTunes Match subscription DRM will be added to them and they will not be playable if you terminate the subscription.

Items you have ripped from CDs or obtained otherwise which are not in the Store's library will be uploaded in the same manner as iTunes Match and will not be affected by DRM.

As to songs previously purchased from the Store, they are available for download as before, without DRM, in your music library, but will also show in Apple Music (together with all other available songs) from where they will be downloaded to an Apple Music folder and like all other Apple Music downloads will be subject to DRM.

To summarise:

Subscriptions
None
Match only
Music only
Both
Stream and download all songs in
Apple Music library
NO
NO
YES with
DRM
YES with
DRM
Re-download purchases
without DRM
YES*
YES
YES (and with
DRM if from
Apple Music)
YES (and with
DRM if from
Apple Music)
Matched ripped songs which
are in Store/Library
NO
YES without
DRM
YES with
DRM
YES without
DRM
Upload ripped songs which
are not in Store/Library**
NO
YES without
DRM
YES without
DRM
YES without
DRM
*N.B. Older purchases which still have DRM will continue to have it when re-downloaded.
**Songs in Apple Lossless, WAV or AIFF will be converted to 256kb/s AAC (M4a).

The subscription is $9.99/9.99 per month single, or $14.99/14.99 per month family (six persons). There is a three month free trial which will automatically charge you after three months if you don't cancel the renewal  If you don't think you are going to continue with it, particularly note the warning above, that any matched items you re-download will be subject to DRM if you don't also have iTunes Match: do not delete your originals.

If during the free trial you wish to prevent being charged at its end, see the method described here. However this will not cancel the actual trial, and this has caused difficulties for some people as it prevent them changing the country iTunes is set to. To actually cancel the trial you will need to contact Support.

(There have been a few complaints of the local library being affected, which it shouldn't be, and synced devices having some of the collection data messed up, so if you are going to try it out back up your library first.)

Included in this is Apple Radio. 'Beats 1' radio is freely available; the 'Radio' page in iTunes includes other stations and a facility to choose categories of music but these require the Apple Music subscription. (Note that the non-Apple internet radio stations, which are free, are available from the 'three dots' menu by choosing 'Internet'.)

APPLE HELP PAGES

Join Apple Music
Check your Apple Music library settings
Add music from your own collection to your Apple Music library
Manage your Apple Music membership

Roger Wilmut. This site is not associated with Apple.