Matched!

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It happens once in a while when I am traveling that I am thinking of a certain song and I would like to listen to it. The problem is, of course, that in most cases this song is then not available on my iPhone. That’s okay, not a biggie, but this is a little itch I have now for some time. Putting my full music collection on the phone is not an option. I don’t have so much music, maybe 6500 songs, but this takes much more space than the 10 gig I have currently allocated for music on my phone.

Then I remembered this quote I’ve read a little while ago and it goes something like this:

Quote: If you’re phone’s storage capacity is nearly full, you’re doing it wrong.

I think this was in the context of how much capacity should your phone or tablet have and that person argued you should never spend the money on the model with the largest storage space. Hum. That’s what I did: my iPhone has 64 gig, and I have maybe 5 gig left. Most of this space is taken by the 2500 photos I took with the phone (maybe 20 gig), but as mentioned above, another 10 gig is music.
I cleaned up some apps and other things and I brought it back to maybe 12 or 13 gig of free space.

But I was wondering: am I doing it wrong? Shouldn’t I have a system in place where I do not need to store all these photos and music on my devices? While I am not convinced by the solutions for photos, music is comparably easy. And for an Apple user, a very convenient option is iTunes Match – there other offers, too, of course, including the ones where you stream music for a monthly fee (or even for free). I have no interest in renting my music, however, so otherwise valid options like Pandora or Spotify or Amazon Prime Music or whatever is out there don’t interest me.
Now, clearly a downside of systems like iTunes Match is that you must have an internet connection. So the above quote is rather accurate when you don’t travel much or live in a huge country that you rarely leave (yes, the guy whom I quote is from the US). But then again, if we rule out the time in an aircraft (where, if offered, internet is rather pricey from my experience), I often can find halfway decent internet connections in hotels and airports wherever I travel for business.

So I bought iTunes Match.
The system works rather simple: you buy and then iTunes gets busy, checks through all your music files, matches the ones that you have with the ones which are anyhow part of the roughly 40 million songs in the iTunes store (so no upload needed) and then uploads the ones which are missing in iTunes.

In my case, 1407 songs were not in the iTunes Music Store – much more than I had expected.
It took one iteration to get everything uploaded correctly. In the first session some problem occurred in the last step and it would not finish the uploads. But in the second everything went through.

Now I can turn on iTunes Match on my devices and I have virtually every song of my music collection available within seconds (if there is a halfway decent internet connection, of course). That works pretty great, I have to say, and I could stream music instantly to my iPad or my iPhone. Sweet.

What I have not understood so far is how the key functionality works, however: my iPhone still has 10 gig allocated for music. So the music I had on there before has not been removed automatically, which I sort of expected. Not sure how to best free that up, because, once iTunes Match is activated in iTunes, you cannot see and edit the music anymore that was on the phone before.

Hm. Can’t be that hard, though…

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