iTunes: How to Determine Where Your Music Is in the Cloud, and Whether it Belongs to You

Because of the problem of iTunes adding DRM to your music files if you have an Apple Music subscription, iTunes users need a way to determine which files are theirs, which they have downloaded from Apple Music, which are matched, which are uploaded, and so on.

You can do this with a smart playlist. In iTunes, choose File > New > Smart Playlist. Choose iCloud Status in the in the first menu. You’ll then be able to choose from a number of options in the third menu:

Smart playlist icloud status

  • Matched tracks have been matched by iTunes Match or Apple Music. These files are in your iTunes library.
  • Purchased tracks are those you’ve bought from the iTunes Store. They are either in your local library or in the cloud.
  • Ineligible tracks are those with bit rates too low (below 96 kbps), or sizes that are too large (over 200 MB), files that weren’t purchased with your Apple ID, and other non-music files.
  • Local Only tracks are those that you have removed from iCloud but remain in your local iTunes library.
  • Error indicates files where something went wrong.
  • Duplicate files are those you have more than once in your library.
  • Apple Music files are those you’ve either downloaded from Apple Music for offline listening, or files that you’ve matched with Apple Music, and then downloaded.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing which of these Apple Music files were yours in the first place. So keep a backup of your original files, and don’t delete any local files and replace them with Apple Music backups.

8 thoughts on “iTunes: How to Determine Where Your Music Is in the Cloud, and Whether it Belongs to You

  1. Not a new idea: “Nebulosity rules”. More profitable for owners of those nebulae to lease. The revenue stream dies if your product lasts forever. You and I have decided to shelter our “bought and owned” music now, but this is already an archaic concept. I backed up my lossless iTunes library and artwork today, and based on your advice I will not immediately update to 12.2 or subscribe to Apple Music, but I imagine we will be submitting to “the powers that be” someday. Just as my shoeboxes of cassettes and milk crates of LP’s have been shelved for the listening convenience of a digital library, I’m guessing I will soon succumb to the latest assault on my ideals of how music should be consumed 🙂

    • You can claim resistance is futile but nothing gets my back up more than not having full control. I’m guessing I am far from alone! Also, how many people want to spent a lot more time managing, maintaining, looking for, worrying about and being upset over their music and the control of it than just plain enjoying it?? Not that many. Laziness and convenience are excuses for the go along to get along crowd. I’ve never been one of those. Everything I’m reading about Apple Music (and in fact many Apple apps, including most that are foisted on us on iOS devices) tells me to give it a really, really wide berth.

      By the way, I do stream a lot of stuff but rarely music and never with the so-called music streaming apps. They never suit me and the ads with the free usage are intolerable. Not sure if you heard, but Chicago has just announced a new **9% tax** on all cloud and streaming usage. How it will be implemented, no one knows (especially the idiots who run Chicago). It will affect all music, movie and TV apps, presumable Youtube and the like, and all cloud services within and from businesses. Pure insanity. Imagine if this spreads! I hope there’s enough outrage to kill this tax in its crib.

      • I agree with all you say, Peg C. My comment was pretty much rhetorical. I’m doing my best to hold on to music as I have always known and loved it, technological “progress” be damned. I just bought a tube headphone amp to try and breathe some additional life into my digital music files, which have never seemed to replicate my analog memories, even in lossless format (P.S. It helps a bit). Tax on streaming? Another good reason to own rather than rent I guess, if it happens. I can’t imagine having had to pay the man every time I threw another disc on the platter in my vinyl youth! I’d be bankrupt 🙂

  2. Not a new idea: “Nebulosity rules”. More profitable for owners of those nebulae to lease. The revenue stream dies if your product lasts forever. You and I have decided to shelter our “bought and owned” music now, but this is already an archaic concept. I backed up my lossless iTunes library and artwork today, and based on your advice I will not immediately update to 12.2 or subscribe to Apple Music, but I imagine we will be submitting to “the powers that be” someday. Just as my shoeboxes of cassettes and milk crates of LP’s have been shelved for the listening convenience of a digital library, I’m guessing I will soon succumb to the latest assault on my ideals of how music should be consumed 🙂

    • You can claim resistance is futile but nothing gets my back up more than not having full control. I’m guessing I am far from alone! Also, how many people want to spent a lot more time managing, maintaining, looking for, worrying about and being upset over their music and the control of it than just plain enjoying it?? Not that many. Laziness and convenience are excuses for the go along to get along crowd. I’ve never been one of those. Everything I’m reading about Apple Music (and in fact many Apple apps, including most that are foisted on us on iOS devices) tells me to give it a really, really wide berth.

      By the way, I do stream a lot of stuff but rarely music and never with the so-called music streaming apps. They never suit me and the ads with the free usage are intolerable. Not sure if you heard, but Chicago has just announced a new **9% tax** on all cloud and streaming usage. How it will be implemented, no one knows (especially the idiots who run Chicago). It will affect all music, movie and TV apps, presumable Youtube and the like, and all cloud services within and from businesses. Pure insanity. Imagine if this spreads! I hope there’s enough outrage to kill this tax in its crib.

      • I agree with all you say, Peg C. My comment was pretty much rhetorical. I’m doing my best to hold on to music as I have always known and loved it, technological “progress” be damned. I just bought a tube headphone amp to try and breathe some additional life into my digital music files, which have never seemed to replicate my analog memories, even in lossless format (P.S. It helps a bit). Tax on streaming? Another good reason to own rather than rent I guess, if it happens. I can’t imagine having had to pay the man every time I threw another disc on the platter in my vinyl youth! I’d be bankrupt 🙂

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