I’ve been experimenting with iTunes Match recently, and thus far, I don’t find it to be particularly useful. I reached this conclusion due to a few basic issues:
- It’s on or off. When it is turned on, my iPhone won’t synch music with iTunes on my desktop. In fact, all of the synching options are hidden. This meant that all of the tracks that I had on the phone when I first turned on iTunes Match were still on the phone. I would have to go through and delete them individually to remove them. The only way to put new music on the phone was to download it by track or by playlist. I learned that once you press the download button for an entire playlist, the only way to cancel the download is to press the stop button on each individual track, which would be a lot of tapping for a 2,000+ song playlist. Or, you can turn off iTunes Match, which is what I did.
- I have over 10,000 tracks in my iTunes library. Obviously, they won’t all fit on my iPhone. So, I have created a smart playlist that automatically removes songs I’ve listened to recently and adds songs that I haven’t. So, every time I synch my iPhone, play counts and dates are updated. Then the music I’ve listened to is cleared off of the phone and replaced by music I haven’t heard in a while. I have also created several playlists that further filter the “not recently played” list so that, for example, I can listen to up-beat, singable songs while I’m driving without one of Bach’s cello suites coming on. This doesn’t work with iTunes Match, because it doesn’t support playlists that include other playlists. And, while the playlist itself updates, it doesn’t change what music is locally stored on the phone, which brings me to the final point.
- I’m not going to pay more for a data plan that will be big enough to cover streaming music every day. So, I can only play the music that is on the device, unless I’m on a WiFi network. So, I can’t synch music on or off the device, and I can’t usually listen to music that isn’t on the device.
With the only options being on or off, I’ve chosen “off”.