iTunes 12, iTunes Match and “Removed” Files

Apple hasn’t said whether iTunes Match has changed at all, but I’m seeing an issue with a number of purchased tracks in my library with iTunes 12. I have about 60 tracks that show an iCloud Status of “Removed,” and which, while they are in my iTunes library on my Mac, they don’t show up on my iOS devices that use iTunes Match. The Removed status means, according to Apple:

“This icon appears when you remove a song from iCloud (from a different computer). Songs deleted from iCloud are immediately deleted from associated iOS devices, but will remain on other associated computers until you manually delete them.”

As you can see here, Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks album, which I purchased from iTunes, shows several tracks as Removed. Some show as Purchased, as they should.


removed 2.png

This is a bit confusing; I only use iTunes Match with one computer. Since they’re all purchased songs, I think this has something to do with iTunes Match itself, and since I didn’t see this in iTunes 11, something has either gone wrong on my Mac, or on the iTunes Match back-end. I did turn off iTunes Match and turn it on again, and that did nothing.

I found that if I select one of these tracks, then right-clicked and chose Add to iCloud, it gets added to my iTunes Match library as Matched, not Purchased. When I deleted some of the tracks, then re-downloaded them from my Purchased list, they showed up correctly as purchased. This is a problem, however, because most of these tracks come from Bob Dylan: The Collection, a digital box set of Dylan’s music I bought years ago, which isn’t tagged by album. So to find the exact tracks in my Purchased list, I’d need to spend a lot of time, as there are multiple versions of many of these songs.

I’m also seeing some tracks that show up twice, once as Purchased and a second time as Matched.


removed3.png

And on a number of albums, tracks show up as Matched twice. There is one copy in my iTunes library, and another in the cloud, and the durations of the tracks differ by four or five seconds.


Different times

None of these problems occurred with iTunes 11. It looks as though iTunes 12 did something to whatever database is stored on Apple’s servers, which contains information about your iTunes Match library. I have no idea how to fix this, other than, for the Removed tracks, re-downloading them.

As for iTunes Match matching, I tried with some albums where some tracks matched and others were uploaded – this shouldn’t ever happen; if the album is on the iTunes Store, every track should match – and I saw no change. This suggests that the iTunes Match matching algorithm hasn’t been improved, though it would require more rigorous testing to prove this conclusively.

So, if you use iTunes Match, think twice before upgrading to iTunes 12 (though if you do upgrade to Yosemite, you don’t really have a choice). Feel free to post comments if you’re seeing the same problems.

22 thoughts on “iTunes 12, iTunes Match and “Removed” Files

  1. No problems here, but then, I don’t use iTunesMatch… Overall, I’m fairly happy with v12, so far. Just a nitpick — I didn’t have much choice to install it; the updater presented itself in the Appstore as a combined package iTunes 12 + security update 2014-004, which I certainly did want (mitigation for the Poodle bug + the Bash bug fix for those who hadn’t installed it).

  2. No problems here, but then, I don’t use iTunesMatch… Overall, I’m fairly happy with v12, so far. Just a nitpick — I didn’t have much choice to install it; the updater presented itself in the Appstore as a combined package iTunes 12 + security update 2014-004, which I certainly did want (mitigation for the Poodle bug + the Bash bug fix for those who hadn’t installed it).

  3. I have 23 tracks (of 26,000) tagged as removed. 1 is legit, i removed it myself on my iPhone a few days ago. I’m not even sure I ever sync’d any of the others to an iOS device. None of them are purchased, all of them were added to library in 2004, 2006 or 2009.

    I did an Add to iCloud on all of them and they all came back tagged as Duplicate in status now.

    • Deleting a track from an iOS device does not remove it from iTunes Match; you can only do this from a computer, deleting it from your iTunes library, and deleting it from iCloud. So perhaps that’s the problem; tracks that were deleted from an iOS device are being seen as deleted from iCloud. I don’t use my iOS devices for iTunes Match; I only have an iPod touch set up with it, and I rarely have any music on it, so, unless I had downloaded some music a while back, and it auto-deleted, I can’t see how it would have affected my library.

  4. I have 23 tracks (of 26,000) tagged as removed. 1 is legit, i removed it myself on my iPhone a few days ago. I’m not even sure I ever sync’d any of the others to an iOS device. None of them are purchased, all of them were added to library in 2004, 2006 or 2009.

    I did an Add to iCloud on all of them and they all came back tagged as Duplicate in status now.

    • Deleting a track from an iOS device does not remove it from iTunes Match; you can only do this from a computer, deleting it from your iTunes library, and deleting it from iCloud. So perhaps that’s the problem; tracks that were deleted from an iOS device are being seen as deleted from iCloud. I don’t use my iOS devices for iTunes Match; I only have an iPod touch set up with it, and I rarely have any music on it, so, unless I had downloaded some music a while back, and it auto-deleted, I can’t see how it would have affected my library.

  5. Users of iTunes Match should think twice, period. It’s been incredibly buggy for me since the start. My subscription expires in a month and I just decided to give it another try. Now I read this. Sigh. I get the strong impression that once developers checked this one off the marketing department’s bullet list they have pretty much ignored it ever since. Apple just can’t do sync right. They never have. And yet, here I am, about to trust them with all my photos too like a sucker. They should just take all that cash and make Dropbox an offer that’s too good to refuse.

  6. Users of iTunes Match should think twice, period. It’s been incredibly buggy for me since the start. My subscription expires in a month and I just decided to give it another try. Now I read this. Sigh. I get the strong impression that once developers checked this one off the marketing department’s bullet list they have pretty much ignored it ever since. Apple just can’t do sync right. They never have. And yet, here I am, about to trust them with all my photos too like a sucker. They should just take all that cash and make Dropbox an offer that’s too good to refuse.

  7. Dropbox is run by a company that has a war criminal and serial rights violator on their board so nobody should use them for anything.

  8. Dropbox is run by a company that has a war criminal and serial rights violator on their board so nobody should use them for anything.

  9. I clicked on the removed cloud symbol in column view and I got the option to re-add the content to the cloud. Some songs that wouldn’t change state finally did once I duplicated the song into AAC.

  10. I clicked on the removed cloud symbol in column view and I got the option to re-add the content to the cloud. Some songs that wouldn’t change state finally did once I duplicated the song into AAC.

  11. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news … and without a solution, even after 4° on the phone with an advanced Apple ‘Genius’ … But I’m running OS 8.5 and iTunes 11 with iTunes Match and, after the Apple Store did a repair and upgraded my MacBook Pro from OS 7.5 to OS 8.5, I lost about 40% of my Classical Music Library (most, if not all, of which was purchased from iTunes and not uploaded from CDs) to the dreaded Cloud image with an ‘X’! A majority of this music no longer exists on iTunes or exists in a new format, which requires repurchase!!! Moral of the story? Back Up your music library externally and off-site. What a crazy racket Apple has in iTunes, and what a crap product for those of us who are serious Classical musicians to boot!! Been a fan of Apple/Mac since the mid-80’s but iTunes … Not so much. After this debacle? Not at all! At least of iTunes, certainly of iTunes Match. Each subsequent iteration of which terrifies me more and more as it’s UI is dumbed down increasingly for the masses!

    This insistence that my OS UI look and function increasingly like my iOS UI is just the opposite of the direction I expected!! What the heck is Cupertino thinking??!! We’re all a bunch of Lemmings.

    Feels good to vent, however useless.

  12. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news … and without a solution, even after 4° on the phone with an advanced Apple ‘Genius’ … But I’m running OS 8.5 and iTunes 11 with iTunes Match and, after the Apple Store did a repair and upgraded my MacBook Pro from OS 7.5 to OS 8.5, I lost about 40% of my Classical Music Library (most, if not all, of which was purchased from iTunes and not uploaded from CDs) to the dreaded Cloud image with an ‘X’! A majority of this music no longer exists on iTunes or exists in a new format, which requires repurchase!!! Moral of the story? Back Up your music library externally and off-site. What a crazy racket Apple has in iTunes, and what a crap product for those of us who are serious Classical musicians to boot!! Been a fan of Apple/Mac since the mid-80’s but iTunes … Not so much. After this debacle? Not at all! At least of iTunes, certainly of iTunes Match. Each subsequent iteration of which terrifies me more and more as it’s UI is dumbed down increasingly for the masses!

    This insistence that my OS UI look and function increasingly like my iOS UI is just the opposite of the direction I expected!! What the heck is Cupertino thinking??!! We’re all a bunch of Lemmings.

    Feels good to vent, however useless.

  13. I just want 10.7 back!!! This version is a diaster to use. E.g the search function it forces you to different layout. I do ALL my editing in songs. When searching it moves to artist. Used to be that on a search it showed only the one searched, and stayed in songs view. Now i have to switch back…..

    Where is coverflow gone????

    I HATE it and am considering switching back to Windows again. They have become both pretty stable and the interfaces are also becoming more and more equal.

    Why is Apple making things so difficult for the user wich is happy as it is????

    I don’t want most of these new things, just a stable working system!

    I wish Snow Leopard was still supported, then i could still use iTunes 10.7

    Apple never listens, so i don’t expect them to do now….

  14. I just want 10.7 back!!! This version is a diaster to use. E.g the search function it forces you to different layout. I do ALL my editing in songs. When searching it moves to artist. Used to be that on a search it showed only the one searched, and stayed in songs view. Now i have to switch back…..

    Where is coverflow gone????

    I HATE it and am considering switching back to Windows again. They have become both pretty stable and the interfaces are also becoming more and more equal.

    Why is Apple making things so difficult for the user wich is happy as it is????

    I don’t want most of these new things, just a stable working system!

    I wish Snow Leopard was still supported, then i could still use iTunes 10.7

    Apple never listens, so i don’t expect them to do now….

    • Tal, How does losing an entire album except for 3 remaining songs constitute Apple ‘listening?’ Do explain.

    • Tal, How does losing an entire album except for 3 remaining songs constitute Apple ‘listening?’ Do explain.

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