Apple is upgrading the song matching features for Apple Music subscribers to truly mirror the capabilities offered by iTunes Match; the new smarter more accurate song detection is rolling out to Apple Music subscribers for free, over the next few weeks (via The Loop).
Although Apple Music has always included music matching, it used an inferior version than the algorithm used by the standalone $30/year iTunes Match subscription. Apple Music is being updated server-side to offer the same functionality …
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Why is the new method better? It uses audio fingerprints that looks at the actual sound data to detect and match tracks. Matching with audio fingerprints is rolling out to Apple Music users from now: migrating 1-2% of the user base per day to the new method.
The ‘old’ way appeared to rely more on metadata attached to the song. Audio fingerprinting should answer a lot of the complaints users experienced with the service, such as live tracks being ‘replaced’ by studio recorded versions.
According to The Loop’s report, incorrectly matched music in your library will be automatically rematched by the better algorithm. Songs will not be deleted, however, under any circumstances. The upgraded process should be transparent to users — Apple is watching closely for any bugs or glitches in the rollout.
If you subscribe to Apple Music, you don’t need to do anything to receive the new version of iTunes Match. Apple is switching over 1% to 2% of its users every day, automatically.
Apple is watching the rollout very closely as new users are brought on and are cognizant of the user experience during the changeover. Switching millions of customers over is going to take some time, so be patient, but know it’s coming.
By bringing the new audio fingerprint algorithms to Apple Music users, an additional iTunes Match subscription (which always used audio fingerprints) is now unnecessary. Matched songs will download DRM-free. All of the functionality of iTunes Match is now included with Apple Music.
Apple will not be removing the option to subscribe to iTunes Match only — customers are not being forced to upgrade to the Apple Music service if they don’t want to.
It seems like this is how it should have been from the beginning but at least Apple is bringing up the service up to speed with its over music service. You can subscribe to Apple Music for $9.99 per month.