Apple Music and iTunes Match and their differences

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Music streaming services have seen a strong growth in recent years. There are tons of music steaming services out there which compete intensely to attract more customers. Apple offers two means of accessing your music; Apple Music and iTunes Match.

Apple Music and iTunes Match are two independent services that make use of iCloud Music Library to play music online.  Each music service delivers limitations and features, and that makes it a little bit confusing to find down which one is the best Apple Music service for users.

In this article, we will help you figure out the differences between Apple Music and iTunes Match. Before we get started, you first need to find down what Apple Music and iTunes Match offer.

  1. Apple Music


Apple Music, first introduced in June 2015, is now one of the most popular music-streaming services with more than 17 million paying subscribers. Once you have subscribed to the service, you will be able to access your music library from all your devices via iCloud. Besides, Apple Music also includes some cool features including Internet radio station Beats 1, Apple Music streaming and Connect, a blog platform that allows artists to share their tracks, posts and videos with subscribers.

  1. iTunes Match


iTunes Match made its debut in November 2011 and it has been available in over 100 countries since then. Basically, iTunes Match will try to scan and match tracks in your music library with tracks in the iTunes Store and all your matched tracks will be accessible on all of your devices and you can easily save them for offline listening.

  1. Differences

Apple Music and iTunes Match perform some differences and overlaps that may get users a little bit confused. The first difference lies in pricing. Apple Music now charges 9.99 USD per month and 14.99 USD per month for family plan. That is more expensive than the 25 USD/year of iTunes Match.

Secondly, iTunes Match will scan your music library and all your matched songs will be also available on all of your iTunes-equipped devices, so you can save them for offline listening even after your subscription ends.  Besides, your songs will be available in better sounding 256 Kbps AAC version even though your original copy is of lower quality.

With Apple Music, you can add songs to your online iCloud Music Library. These songs will be a part of your personal music library, but they are still streaming from Apple’s servers. Besides you can add your songs locally stored on your computer and iOS devices for offline listening.

Thirdly, when you cancel your Apple Music subscription, the music you downloaded to your computer or iCloud Music Library cannot continue to play. In contrast, everything stored in your local iTunes Library is still available even after you cancel your iTunes Match subscription. However, make sure that you leave copies of all songs in iTunes before cancelling your subscription. Otherwise, everything is gone.

That’s it! You can actually use both Apple Music and iTunes Match to play your music if you are one of those who care about DRM-free matched music on your other devices.

Apple Music or iTunes Match? Which one should you use? Let us know in the comments section below.


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