Quickly Upgrade All iTunes Matched Songs to 256Kbps

Tuesday November 15, 2011 11:03 AM PST by Jordan Golson
The first thing many iTunes Match users will want to do upon purchasing the service is to upgrade all their matched music to the 256Kbps. Unfortunately, there is no push-button ability to do this, but it is possible with a few simple steps -- but make sure you've already turned iTunes Match on and it has finished running its initial match.

From Macworld:
Make a Smart Playlist Create a Smart Playlist with the following attributes:

- Bit Rate is less than 256kbps
- Media Kind is Music
- Any of the following are true: (to create this conditional, option-click on the plus button in the Smart Playlist window) iCloud status is Matched, iCloud status is Purchased.

This creates a list of all your low-bit-rate files that are upgradeable—namely, ones iTunes Match has deemed Matched or Purchased.
Once the smart playlist is created, select all the files by pressing Command-A or going to the Edit Menu and choosing "Select All." Then, press Option-Delete to remove all the songs from iTunes -- however, make sure not to select the box that removes the songs from iCloud. We only want to remove the local, lower quality sound files. When iTunes asks, select to move the files to the trash.

Finally, make sure that all the songs remain selected and right- or control-click any song and choose Download. This will start the long (depending on how many songs there are, possibly very long) downloading process. iTunes only downloads 3 items at one time, but Apple's iTunes servers are generally very responsive.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

40 months ago
This is RISKY!!! iTunes Match might match a different version of the song you have, particularly in dance music where there might be different mixes of the same song.

You should NOT DO THIS unless you have a FULL backup of your library you can go back to if you suddenly find you have the wrong version of a song you like!

When in doubt, backup. Then make a backup of your backup.
Rating: 11 Votes
40 months ago

Just make sure you don't delete anything less than 96 kbps! They don't go to iCloud and will be lost forever!

I don't believe that those songs are "matched" and they should not be in the smart playlist to begin with.

Rating: 8 Votes
40 months ago

I don't believe that those songs are "matched" and they should not be in the smart playlist to begin with.


And yet I had a song stuck on "Waiting" that showed up in the smart playlist. No clue why.

I hope that Apple will allow us to try to match the unmatched songs in our libraries again as the matching algorithm improves. As it is I've got a number of albums which partially matched depute having been ripped from CD together.

I have many playlists in iTunes. Surely this method will remove them from the tracks playlist :eek::confused:

No, the tracks should stay on all your playlists with cloud download links which will go away once you've re-downloaded everything. At least that's what happened on mine.
Rating: 7 Votes
40 months ago
Thank God for Smart Playlists!
Rating: 6 Votes
40 months ago
Wow, this is awesome! Thanks MR and Macworld. I had over 4400 songs that it needs to redownload...
Rating: 5 Votes
40 months ago

Does anyone know what happens to the songs if you cancel Match? With the originals deleted, are you able to download the songs to your computer one last time?

dude you should search and read, this has been covered.....relentlessly
Rating: 4 Votes
40 months ago
Actually, a much better method of doing this is making a new smart playlist with these settings:

[*]iCloud Status is Matched
[*]Kind is not Matched AAC Audio File

This will make a playlist of only the songs iTunes Match was able to Match, and not just the low bitrate songs that it was potentially unable to match. It will also not show the songs you've redownloaded from iTunes Match already and only the ones you already have on your computer that have not been matched.

edit: I didn't see that it already had these settings after it chose music and low bitrate in the original post. Still, this is how I've been doing it, and it works great.
Rating: 3 Votes
40 months ago
For those on Winodws who aren't able to delete songs from a smart playlist, this is what I did:

Find some unimportant sort option that you don't use (I used rating, but year or album artist - anything like that - works).

Then go to your smart playlist that you made from what they described in this post, and select all -> get info -> pick one of the options and enter something (I put rating as one star) -> OK.

Now you can go to your Music tab in iTunes, and right click the top bar and select whatever option you used to check it. Now it should appear as a column in iTunes. Click on the top of that column to sort by it, and all your songs from the playlist you made will appear together.

Select them all (use shift + click), then delete -> keep file.

Now you can right click and Download.
Rating: 3 Votes
40 months ago
I'm doing this now. Although I'm doing it in smaller chunks - 500 or so at a time. A 2400 song download queue is going to eat into my bandwidth if I try watching something on NetFlix later tonight.

I'm really blown away at how well Apple's servers are handling the load that all this simultaneous uploading/matching/sync'ing, and downloading must be putting on them. How many millions of US iTunes customers are going precisely the same thing right now?

I'd also be interested to see what sort of impact the introduction of iTunes Match is having on US Internet traffic in general. Like the way that NetFlix makes up a pretty big chunk of evening-hours US internet traffic.

Anyone have any idea where that sort of data might be found, or is it all proprietary?
Rating: 3 Votes
38 months ago

The status says Matched, not upload.
If I delete the song and download the one from iCloud it is the crap low quality demo that leaked on the internet ages ago.

Well then it sounds to me like it's not that Apple is "fooling us" -- nor are you uncovering some hidden stash of not-for-sale tracks -- but rather there is a simple bug, where tracks uploaded to the cloud are incorrectly being labelled as "matched."
Rating: 2 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]