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.

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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

bbeagle Avatar
86 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)
apple_iBoy Avatar
86 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)
apple_iBoy Avatar
86 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)
dumastudetto Avatar
86 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)
NikeSG Avatar
86 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)
BornAgainMac Avatar
86 months ago
What about a Match for TV shows and Movies?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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