Apple Aiming to Increase Music Library Matching Limit to 100,000 Tracks 'Before the End of the Year'

Just ahead of the launch of Apple Music in late June, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue took to Twitter to reveal that Apple was "working to" increase the limit for iTunes Match libraries and Apple Music's similar scan-and-match feature from the current 25,000 tracks to 100,000 tracks for iOS 9.

itunes_match_2015
The arrival of iOS 9 last month did not come with a corresponding increase for the library matching limits, and users in our forums and elsewhere have been wondering when the increase will be rolled out or if there has been a change in plans.

In an effort to answer that question, MacRumors asked Cue for an update on the limit increase, and he tells us Apple is "definitely working on it" and that he expects it will be released "before the end of the year."

Apple's $25/year iTunes Match service and Apple Music's matching feature allow users to add their own songs that are not available from the iTunes Store catalog to the cloud, making them available on other devices using the same Apple ID. The services scan a user's music library to determine which tracks are already available in the iTunes Store, automatically making those available in the user's library. Only those tracks that are not matched to the iTunes Store catalog are then uploaded to the cloud, saving time and bandwidth.

The scan-and-match functionality has been limited to libraries of 25,000 tracks since iTunes Match debuted in 2011, although tracks purchased from the iTunes Store do not count toward this limit. Users with larger music libraries have had to use workarounds such as splitting their tracks into two iTunes libraries in order to take advantage of the matching services, but with the impending increase to a 100,000-track limit, many of these users will no longer need to resort to these workarounds.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
64 months ago

I find it weird that it's taking so long. I mean, only a small minority (maybe 1%) of Apple Music/iTunes Match users would use >25k songs. It's not like they'd have to upgrade storage by 4x for everybody.

Obviously you're not a developer.

It's not as simple as changing
MAX_MATCHES = 25000 to
MAX_MATCHES = 100000

The database size must be increased, the interface needs to be able to handle more matches, the search function needs to handle more and still be quick, the converter, server side code needs to be updated. Maybe licensing requirements or laws might need updating.

If the developers released all they did afterwards, you'd be amazed.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago

Have you actually listened to all that music? I mean, sat down and really listened without doing anything else?

Oh, absolutely not. And some of it I may never hear (although most of it I think I probably will). As I've said to some folks, it is something of a benign illness I have — hoarding, or wanting things to be complete, or something. Oh, and don't even get me started on the tagging — if I could gather up all the time I've spent fixing track tags to my specifications, including all the right diacritical markings, I probably could have done something truly amazing in life.

I'll often start with wanting to have everything written by a certain composer. Not because I'm going to sit and listen to it all back-to-back, but because I want to have it available when I want to dabble here and there. Then, depending on how much it resonates with me, I start wanting to have duplication of works, but by different orchestras, different conductors, different soloists, etc. So, for instance, if I pull up "Mahler, Gustav" in my library.... well let's just say there's GBs of data there (not lossless, either!) just because of all the duplication. When the mood strikes me to hear something, and to really study it, I often want to do a comparative listen of it recorded by different people.

I've often thought that as more and more things like Apple Music come around, maybe I don't need to have my own copies of everything. But streaming services, thus far, just haven't come anywhere near to scratching the surface of the classical musical canon. Because it's so incomplete, I feel like I need to curate my own a library. The other stuff, more popular music that is widely present on those services... I'm just now getting to a tipping point where I no longer feel it necessary to have "my" copy of it.

I make a good living...but I live a pretty modest life, partially because a lot of my resources goes to music (whether it's buying it, or going to hear it live, supporting it with donations, etc.). And I'm pretty okay with that, as long as I don't dwell on the numbers too awful much. It's just a really important part of my life. It's like the equivalent of my hobby, my sport, my religion, my kids, my vacation (sometimes), all that rolled up into one thing.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago

What is the population of users that have in excess of 25k songs in their iTunes libraries.

I am about 17k am my wife both wants me to stop wasting money and to delete "all that junk" in my library.

Some folks are music fanatics. And they might come from a lineage of music fanatics, with an inherited library.

I have a classical musical library that exceeds 100,000 tracks. It's actually not that difficult, especially when you are susceptible to the little notices from Amazon that suggest that "we thought you might be interested in this 60-disc set of the collected works of..." I also inherited a gargantuan CD collection from a beloved colleague and mentor who transitioned from buying booze (while in the grips of alcoholism) to purchasing classical music discs (moving them actually required a truck rental).

My "non-classical" library, which I split away from the classical stuff to make iTunes stop beach balling, is over 30,000 tracks. I have to play tricks like setting some stuff as "voice memo" to upload a subset of that library into iCloud Match.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago

I find it weird that it's taking so long. I mean, only a small minority (maybe 1%) of Apple Music/iTunes Match users would use >25k songs. It's not like they'd have to upgrade storage by 4x for everybody.

I bet it's a licensing issue with the labels that they are trying to resolve. Their contracts probably only permit that number of tracks per user. I know Spotify has limits on various playlists and collections and I'm led to believe they are again restrictions agreed in their licensing deals.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
Pretty grim and desperate for this. Can't listen to any new music unless I'm streaming it.
Also, it would be nice if iTunes Match stopped swapping my explicit versions for clean. Or in the case of a couple other albums, "matching" and giving me the wrong song, entirely.

Fun times.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
What about a Match for TV shows and Movies?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 Will Be Released September 16

Tuesday September 15, 2020 11:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially released on Wednesday, September 16. Apple has seeded the final Golden Master beta versions of each update to developers in advance. ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14 introduce dozens of new features, including a redesigned Home Screen that supports widgets on the iPhone and iPad for the first time. For more...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Full Transcript of Apple's 'Time Flies' Event With Apple Watch and iPad Updates

Tuesday September 15, 2020 8:46 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut new Apple Watch and iPad models, but it appears we may not see the iPhone 12 until next month. While we're not expecting to see new iPhones today, Apple's software updates for its various platforms are likely nearly ready for launch, so we may be hearing more about them today. Check...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's iPad and Apple Watch Event in Just Seven Minutes

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Apple today held its annual September event, but this year was a bit different because no new iPhones were announced. The "Time Flies" event focused on the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPad Air, and saw the debut of a new Apple One services bundle. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce the new devices, but we've recapped the event in...