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Can't Get iTunes Match to work
February 21, 2012 8:23 PM   Subscribe

iTunes Match disaster--how do I get this service I paid $25 for to work on my iPad2?

I bought my first major Apple product Saturday--an iPad2. I signed up for the new iTunes match service. It simply does not work. I set up the service on my laptop. It says that it matched over 7000 songs on my lap top. So far so good. However, when I turned on the service on the iPad--nothing. So I delved into some forms and found out that the service is terrible, nobody can get it to work and Apple is refusing to give refunds.

The forums were utterly unhelpful. Any assistance would be appreciated. I was led to believe Apple made good products. I'm seriously doubting that now.
posted by Ironmouth to Computers & Internet (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
However, when I turned on the service on the iPad--nothing

It might help to be more explicit. What do you expect to happen when you turned in your iPad? What happened instead? Where there any dialog boxes or error codes? Have you tried any fixes and if so, which?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:27 PM on February 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have to exit and relaunch iTunes on the computer each time I add songs before it will detect the new songs in iTunes Match.

I have no idea why, but that is how I fix the same issue with new songs. Have you exited and relaunched iTunes on the actual laptop since then?
posted by winna at 8:28 PM on February 21, 2012


So here is the process.

Load songs on iTunes.
Update iTunes Match.
Close and relaunch iTunes.
The songs are then available on the iPad.
posted by winna at 8:29 PM on February 21, 2012


Yeah, there's not nearly enough information here to help. Have you turned on Genius in iTunes? It has to be enabled, although I'm not sure that the documentation says so. I've been using Match since the beta period, and it's worked nearly flawlessly for me since the launch.
posted by griffey at 8:32 PM on February 21, 2012


Yeah, it's really hard to figure out without more details.

A stab in the dark: on the iPad, are you clicking the Music icon on your home screen? That's where all your music should be, including anything in the cloud through Match. If you are looking for your music by clicking iTunes from the home screen, you won't find it; you'll only see a list of "purchased" music and the iTunes store.

Anyway, if that's not it, give some more info and I'm sure someone can help.
posted by The Deej at 8:37 PM on February 21, 2012


It's quite simple. There are zero error messages. It simply isn't working. The instructions say to activate the service from your computer. I did that. It ID'd all the songs overnight and said 7000+ songs were available. I then followed the instructions on the iPad. I went into settings, then music, and slid the slider over that said "activate ITunes Match. A dialog box said it would replace the music on the iPad with a display of the music available on iTunes Match and asks me to confirm. I click confirm. But when I go to the iTunes in the iPad, it never shows anything but the same music I had on there.

Genius is on.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:45 PM on February 21, 2012


Ok, yet another admittedly silly question: We're only talking about one iTunes account/iCloud account here, correct? You aren't using a different account on the computer than you are using on the iPad? It's technically possible in iOS to have different accounts accessing different things (for instance, one iTunes account for content and another for iCloud).

You only have one, and it is logged into from both the computer and the iPad side of the world?

Are you on a Mac (if so, most recent OS?) or a Windows PC (if so, do you have the iCloud extension installed)?
posted by griffey at 8:49 PM on February 21, 2012


Did you also turn on "Show All Music" on the iPad, right underneath the slider to activate iTunes Match? When that is off, iTunes will only show you the tracks you've already downloaded from Match (so your listing isn't cluttered with stuff that you don't want on your iPad).

Also, you should be looking for your tracks in the Music app, not the iTunes app. iTunes on your iPad is the music store, not the music playback program.
posted by bcwinters at 8:55 PM on February 21, 2012


One account. Show all on. PC has match activated. I shutdown the laptop and took it to work today, so it has rebooted since I activated iTunes Match and did the steps.

I do not know what you mean by iCloud extension installed. I activated iTunes match, it charged me and went through the several hour procees. I'm going through the music icon.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:15 PM on February 21, 2012


It might help to be more explicit. What do you expect to happen when you turned in your iPad? What happened instead? Where there any dialog boxes or error codes? Have you tried any fixes and if so, which?

There are no fixes described on any of the websites I've viewed. Spent an hour on this in forums before coming here.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:22 PM on February 21, 2012


Did you try a reset of the iPad, by holding down the power button and the round button at the same time, until you see an apple on the screen?
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:30 PM on February 21, 2012


Do you have another computer you can activate Match on, to see if the problem lies on the side of your library or the iPad?

(FWIW I had no trouble with Match on a home computer where all the music originally lived, a work computer, iPhone, and iPad.)
posted by supercres at 9:48 PM on February 21, 2012


Have you tried calling Apple's customer support line? If you haven't I highly recommend you try that rather than spending hours on forums, especially as your iPad is well within the free phone support period. When you call, frame the issue as "My brand new iPad 2 is having problems with iTunes Match."

(800) APL-CARE
posted by jamaro at 9:50 PM on February 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Have you actually tried the suggested fix of closing and restarting itunes yet? That's what my roommate does.
posted by fshgrl at 10:42 PM on February 21, 2012


Can you double-check that your iPad is correctly associated with the Apple ID you're using for iTunes Match? In iTunes on your computer:

1. Open iTunes.
2. Sign in to your Apple ID by choosing Store > Sign In from the iTunes menu.
3. Choose Store > View My Account from the iTunes menu.
4. From the Account Information screen, click Manage Devices.
posted by FreezBoy at 4:59 AM on February 22, 2012


Are you near an Apple store? The guys at the Genius bar are usually pretty good, and it will probably be a lot easier for someone to debug this while looking at the device than over the internet. If I were you, I'd make an appointment at the Genius bar and take at least the iPad and preferably the computer as well (if it's a laptop). They should get you all sorted out.
posted by duien at 6:56 AM on February 22, 2012


When I turned on iTunes Match on my iPhone this weekend it took about four hours for it to do whatever it did before my ~18000 songs showed up. Since you've got ~7000, and the iPad2 has a faster processor than my iPhone 4, I'd give it at least an hour or so before giving up. I left the music app open, turned off screen lock, and plugged it into the wall the whole time and could see the little "I'm doing crap over WiFi" indicator in the status bar. As soon as the indicator stopped spinning all of the songs showed up. When I make changes now they seem to be reflected near instantly, it was just that first whatever that took so long.
posted by togdon at 8:18 AM on February 22, 2012


Can you double-check that your iPad is correctly associated with the Apple ID you're using for iTunes Match? In iTunes on your computer:

1. Open iTunes.
2. Sign in to your Apple ID by choosing Store > Sign In from the iTunes menu.
3. Choose Store > View My Account from the iTunes menu.
4. From the Account Information screen, click Manage Devices


I've only got one iTunes ID and it works the other way--songs I've purchased on the iPad are available on the lap top. There is no other account.

Have you actually tried the suggested fix of closing and restarting itunes yet? That's what my roommate does.

The computer was rebooted when it was taken to work yesterday. If you mean that it was rebooted after I turned on the iTunes match on the iPad, it has been, but I haven't been near WiFi since I rebooted it this morning.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:55 AM on February 22, 2012


togdon has a point. iOS devices only kinda-sorta multitask and if you're on WiFi only, you'll need to leave the Music app up and running for a while, while in range of functioning WiFi. I'd still call support or visit the store if you're having this much trouble.
posted by chairface at 10:39 AM on February 22, 2012





The computer was rebooted when it was taken to work yesterday. If you mean that it was rebooted after I turned on the iTunes match on the iPad, it has been, but I haven't been near WiFi since I rebooted it this morning.


Well I'd suggest you try it again. If it doesn't work close itunes, reopen it, wait one minute and try again.
posted by fshgrl at 12:53 PM on February 22, 2012


So, I just tried it with my ~18000 song library on my iPad2, and I got a screen that looked like this for about 4 minutes. After that the usual looking iPad music app appeared with all of my music that's in Apple's cloud and when I hit random I was greeted with the dulcet tones of Geddy Lee circa 1976. Everything minus album art appears to be available, and from what I can tell from the "I'm doing crap over WiFi" indicator in the status bar it's pulling that down right now. No clue why it took so long for my iPhone on Monday, but if that's when you were trying it maybe they had some weird Presidents' Day rush of new subscribers and they're back to a lull at the moment.
posted by togdon at 7:57 PM on February 22, 2012


Rebooted the lap top. Left it plugged in all night, etc. nada. Very frustrated. I've followed these directions step for step.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:13 AM on February 23, 2012


Have you had any success yet, Ironmouth?
posted by winna at 8:41 PM on March 1, 2012


None. I tried the final iteration which was to have the computer and the iPad on the same network. synched everything, but the music. So tried drag and drop in hopes that that was how it worked. Told me I had to download it from the cloud first. Didn't explain how, though.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:48 PM on March 7, 2012


Just chiming in here because I had an issue similar to what you experienced and seem to have discovered a fix. In my case, I was having issues on both my iPhone and iPad, and the thing that seemed to be causing the biggest problem was the music that was already on the iOS devices before I turned on iTunes Match. Why? I don't know and it seems terribly poor programming, but whatever. Anyway, the steps I went through are below, and they're risky because they involve deleting the music from iTunes on your local machine and iOS device (Steps 1 & 2) and going with what you've already uploaded/matched with the service in the initial setup. I was fine doing this because I have a fairly organized backup of all of the original files stored elsewhere. If you would like to keep the files stored on your local drive, I suspect the steps below might still work - just begin at Step #3 and ignore the part about syncing with iTunes after you turn iTunes Match off on your iOS device (just turn iTunes Match off on the iPad, in otherwords, as you'll see.)

(Oh - as a brief aside, I should mention that I did all this on the most recent version of iTunes (10.6) and iOS (5.1) both of which were released yesterday. Also, I found the tutorial located here to be quite helpful. In my opinion, Apple did a terrible job with instructions, troubleshooting and general help on this service and these guys explain it pretty well in the video and, to a lesser extent, on the page itself. You have to sit through some really basic stuff like "What is iTunes Match?" but it's worthwhile if you're new to the service. Anyway, onto the steps...)


1) With the iTunes Match service on your laptop turned on (very important) go into iTunes and sort by 'iCloud Status' (if you're unsure how to get this column the video above explains it.)

2) Highlight and delete all music with 'Matched', 'Uploaded' or 'Purchased' status (leave those with 'Error' or 'Ineligible' status alone.) When it asked me if I wanted to keep these files I chose to move them to the trash just to free up space. Again, you may decide you want to keep them. In either case, doing this results in that "little cloud with the arrow" icon in the iCloud Download column in iTunes. I also deleted all tracks with 'Duplicate' status in iTunes.

3) Go into Settings>Music on iPad/iPhone and turn iTunes Match to 'Off'. Once done, sync the iPad/iPhone with iTunes in your laptop. This should (in theory) remove all the music currently on your iOS device which is exactly what you want.

4) If after the sync any music still remains on your iOS device (as was the case with me - I had three songs that inexplicably remained) manually delete it by swiping with your finger over the song or album, etc... and choosing 'Delete'. Again, the goal here is to have no music at all on your iOS device while the iTunes Match service is set to 'Off.'

5) Go back into Settings>Music on the IPhone/IPad and turn iTunes Match back on. It should now start syncing properly with whats "in the cloud." You can tell if it's doing this by selecting 'Albums' view immediately after. You should see the iCloud logo with a little task bar below it indicating it's pulling over the data (not the actual song files themselves, of course, but it's making them available for playback.) To togdon's point above, it can take a while for all of the songs to show up, and the iCloud logo will go away so you're not even sure if it's continuing to work - it is. The album artwork slowly continuing to load is a good indication of this. Once done, though, you should be good to go.

So, that's what worked for me on both my iPhone and iPad, and now I'm pretty pleased with the result. Hopefully, you'll have similar luck. It's a shame the initial setup is so bug ridden and poorly documented because the service is pretty cool when it's working properly. I had no space at all left on my iPhone because of all the audio files, and now I have tons while still having access to the entire library, much of it at a higher bitrate than the original files.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
posted by Rewind at 8:55 AM on March 8, 2012


It worked finally after a phone call. turns out all my apps were still open, and once we turned them off in the background it worked. But they never explained any of that. I'm a "read the instructions" kind of guy and I was really disappointed by not having those instructions around.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:12 AM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great news Ironmouth! Thanks for the update.
posted by The Deej at 5:25 PM on March 8, 2012


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