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Apple Debuts iTunes Match With Audio Fingerprint for Apple Music Users
To make sure songs are correctly matched, Apple is now using iTunes Match audio fingerprint for Apple Music, a more accurate matching method than the metadata matching that was previously employed. Apple Music matching now also offers up DRM-free music files, just like iTunes Match.
Apple has been quietly rolling out iTunes Match audio fingerprint to all Apple Music subscribers. Previously Apple was using a less accurate metadata version of iTunes Match on Apple Music, which wouldn't always match the correct version of a particular song. We've all seen the stories of a live version of a song being replaced by a studio version, etc.According to The Loop, the version of iTunes Match that is now available to Apple Music subscribers is actually the same iTunes Match service that iTunes users have been paying for as a separate subscription, with all Apple Music subscribers now eligible to use the full version of iTunes Match at no cost. Confusingly, while Apple Music had song matching available previously, it was not the same service that was offered through iTunes Match.
Using iTunes Match with audio fingerprint, those problems should be a thing of the past.
Current Apple Music and iTunes Match subscribers can let their iTunes Match subscriptions expire while continuing to get the same functionality, and should see no changes.
iTunes Match users who are not Apple Music subscribers will need to continue to pay for iTunes Match. Apple Music subscribers will know if they have access to iTunes Match because there will be a "Matched" label in the iCloud Status of iTunes on the Mac.
Users who had songs matched incorrectly via iTunes Match will see their songs rematched to the correct song thanks to the changes that Apple has implemented, and no downloaded copies of songs will be deleted.
Apple is gradually rolling out access to iTunes Match, switching one to two percent of Apple Music subscribers over to the new version each day. The rollout will take some time, and Apple is monitoring the process to make sure there are no issues.