iTunes Match, Apple’s music-in-the-cloud service, is very good – but it’s worth a look even if you don’t want or need cloud-based music. For your £21.99 you get two things: a backup of your entire music library (more than 10,000 songs, in my case, saving me the hassle of getting a bigger backup disk) and an upgrade for all your low bitrate music.
If you’re anything like me you’ve been ripping CDs and buying downloads for years, and back in the day file sizes mattered – so you’d rip at, say, 160Kbps to get as much music as possible on your player. Now, though, space isn’t the issue it used to be, and if you listen on good speakers or good headphones you can hear the flaws.
The problem is that actually re-ripping all that music (assuming you still have the CDs) is an enormous job: as of yesterday I had 6,500 songs at lower bitrates.
That’s where iTunes Match comes in. It takes a while, but it works brilliantly. Jason Snell explains how to do it.