How to Use iTunes Match With Very Large iTunes Libraries

Monday November 14, 2011 12:56 PM PST by Jordan Golson
With today's release of iTunes Match, some users with very large music libraries are discovering an annoying restriction. Those with non-iTunes Music Store libraries with more than 25,000 songs are unable to activate iTunes Match. There simply isn't an option to select only certain songs to upload to iCloud. Fortunately, Macworld has a quixotic but effective solution.


iTunes has the ability to access multiple music libraries. By separating out the songs to sync with the songs not to sync, it is possible to force iTunes under iTunes Match's 25,000 song limit.
To do that, quit iTunes, hold down the Option key, and launch iTunes. You’ll be prompted to create a new library or choose a different library. Choose the option to create a new library. iTunes will open and you’ll have nary a tune in your library.

Move to the Store menu and choose Turn on iTunes Match. You’ll be prompted for your Apple ID and password. Enter them and click OK and iTunes will switch on iTunes Match. Now open iTunes' preferences, click the Advanced preference, and uncheck the Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder When Adding to Library option and click OK. This will prevent iTunes from generating duplicates when you follow the next step.
Rather than steal all their thunder, head to Macworld for the full instructions.

Top Rated Comments

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40 months ago



25k? That's a loooooooooot of stolen music.


I've got around 13k songs. 20 are from iTunes when they gave out free music through Coca Cola, 2 albums were free from eMusic. The rest are free game rips, ripped CDs, massive chunk of music from musician friends, ripped parents records.

You can have a "looooooot" of music outside of the iTunes store without it being stolen.
Rating: 10 Votes
40 months ago



25k? That's a loooooooooot of stolen music.


This is the assumption that many people make.

I have been collecting CD's for almost 25 years now. I also used eMusic to get a couple of thousand songs when that was very cheap (around 10p a track). I currently have around 39,000 fully legal songs in my collection.

It doesn't work out as very much spending per year over that sort of time.
Rating: 8 Votes
40 months ago

and i doubt you even listen to more than 5% of your music.


Your foolishness is showing. Hush now.
Rating: 8 Votes
40 months ago
Wow, what a way to write an article..... write half of it, then just as its getting to the main bit refer you to another website. Nice job :rolleyes:
Rating: 5 Votes
40 months ago

This is the assumption that many people make.

I have been collecting CD's for almost 25 years now. I also used eMusic to get a couple of thousand songs when that was very cheap (around 10p a track). I currently have around 39,000 fully legal songs in my collection.

It doesn't work out as very much spending per year over that sort of time.


Ditto here I am a musician and I have been collecting music for over 40 years. I presently have 3.1 terabytes loaded on my HHD's I can go something like 3 years playing 24/7 without a repeat. iTunes is not going "match" much of what I have. I only have about 700 gig's indexed on iTunes. I suppose you could call my music collection my digital "fake book". :D
Rating: 5 Votes
40 months ago



25k? That's a loooooooooot of stolen music.


eye no rite?! cuz lyke alluv my 1,000s of CDs that i've purchased over the past 25 years and ripped over the past 10 years are like totally stolen. i didn't invest countless amounts of money into them or anything.

worst. comment. EVER.

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and i doubt you even listen to more than 5% of your music.


i neg'd you for making a highly specious, probably false, assumption... not for "having an opinion" as your sig suggests.
Rating: 4 Votes
40 months ago

and i doubt you even listen to more than 5% of your music.


This is incorrect sir.
If my listening habits are of interest to you, every track on my iTunes library has been played at least twice. Half of my library has been played more than 15 times. Some tracks have had 300+ plays. (I listen to my music whilst working)
Rating: 2 Votes
40 months ago
I posted this in the original MacWorld thread earlier:



I have another way to [reduce a big library] which offers some advantages, as long as you're careful.

Instead of starting with a new, empty, iTunes library, duplicate your existing library in the Finder, and rename it to something like "iCloud Library." Then, re-launch iTunes, holding down the Option key, and choose the new (internally identical) iCloud library.

Next, start deleting music you can do without. The CRITICAL point when deleting is to accept iTunes' default choice to "Keep File" instead of moving it to the trash. This way, your music folder will remain untouched, and you can go back to your original library and it will work as before.

The advantage here is that you can use the power of your existing playlists/smart playlists, ratings, play counts, etc., to help manage the process of selecting the tracks that are most important to you.

One suggested tool: Doug Adams' "Not In Any Playlist To Playlist" script:

http://dougscripts.com/302

This will put all tracks that didn't appear in a playlist into a new playlist. If you're an industrious playlist maker, there's a good chance that these are tracks that aren't too important to you.

You could also make a new Smart Playlist that includes everything from this "Not In Any Playlist" playlist, and add an extra (logical "OR") condition- rated below, say, two stars. You'll end up with a list of all your tracks that are neither in a playlist, nor rated over one-star. You could also add a playcount condition. The result: a list of songs that you either don't care much about, or haven't gotten to- good candidates to omit.

If you select all tracks in this playlist and delete, you may be able to complete your winnowing process with just that one keypress. And you'll still have the power of your existing song organization. After the match process, you can go back to your original library and use it as before.
Rating: 2 Votes
40 months ago



25k? That's a loooooooooot of stolen music.


I've got 29,000 tracks in my library - none of which are stolen.
How very dare you.
Rating: 2 Votes
40 months ago



25k? That's a loooooooooot of stolen music.


Or a lot of purchased / ripped music. I have over 50k tracks (with thousands more on CDs not yet ripped) and not a single one was acquired illegally. I've just been at it since college and like music.
Rating: 2 Votes

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