Have you tried out Apple’s new iTunes Match service yet? If you use iOS based devices then it may just be for you! However, it’s not without its pitfalls.

I’ve been using the service since some of the earlier betas and the match quality has improved dramatically. My collection is just north of 11,000 tracks (it’s worth noting there is currently a cap of 25,000 tracks maximum) and it managed to match 7982 of them. While this may not sound great I should also mention that I have a rather large selection of Eastern European, Japanese, & Chinese music thrown in there as well. (Those were the bulk of the tracks it was unable to match and I was forced to upload.)

The other downside is that there is a floor of 96Kbps for a track to be eligible for iTunes Match. While the bulk of my tracks were 128Kbps encodes I did have a handful that were below this threshold and thereby ineligible for the service. Luckily, there is a pretty simple fix that in my experience works about 75% of the time. To put it simply, all you need to do is to up-sample the track and re-add it back into iTunes. There are a number of programs that can accomplish this, but for my purposes I used Adapter (OSX/Windows) for the dead simple GUI and the FREE price tag!

  1. Make a list of tracks that are ineligible. The simplest method is to create a new Smart Playlist where “iCloud Status IS Ineligible.” Depending on your library you may need to do some further refining (for example, audiobooks may sometimes appear in this list as well.)
  2. Locate the tracks on your computer. If you are unsure you can always right click a track and go to Get Info and the first pane will mention the file’s location.
  3. Once you find the files select the Audio tab in Adapter and then drag/import the files into the window and select a location to export it. (You can export directly to iTunes, but since I store my media on an external drive this option did not work correctly with my modified path.)
  4. In the Audio Settings area select Bit Rate to export the file to and change it to something higher like 128Kbps.
  5. If you were able to output the files directly yo iTunes you can skip importing them. If not, simply open iTunes and go to File and select Add To Library and finally select the up-sampled files.
  6. Now, in iTunes go to Store and select Update iTunes Match and it will either match your previously ineligible tracks or upload them.
  7. Simply delete the local tracks you just imported and matched via iTunes Match. Be sure NOT to remove the track from iCloud. You will now have an icon option o download the newly matched track from iTunes Match! Viola!
  8. There’s one last piece of housekeeping to do. You can Delete the previously ineligible tracks from the Smart Playlist via Option+Delete to clear them out.
  9. You’re done!
As I said, in my tests this worked with about 75% of the tracks I tested it with. Enjoy!
FYI there’s a lot more coming very soon!