I must admit that whilst I really like the idea of iTunes Match and still don’t regret subscribing to it if nothing else as a music-backup opportunity, the delivery of the offer on iOS devices was so shonky that I ended up disabling it on my iPhone and iPad. Frustrations over missing artwork (hello, OCD!) and a couple of erroneous button presses meaning my phone attempted to download swathes of music over a cellular connection just caining my data allowance all mounted up to just switching it off.
Upon updating to iOS 5.1 I had been looking to see if people had noted any improvements on iTunes Match – and it’s been pretty quiet. So, sitting on a Friday afternoon at work waiting for a query to run on our database I mischievously slid the slider to on – to be greeted with a new option that I’ve not seen mentioned elsewhere. You can deactivate cellular transfers (once I realised it was happening before I ended up disabling data manually) for iTunes Match – woo.
So that’s one very sensible reservation answered – I won’t end up with a big data fee now by accidentally trying to download my entire Levellers collection (yes, that’s predictably what happened!! – shuffle artist with everything showing – oh, I’ll just download ALL that for you, shall I?). As far as I can tell there’s still no option to download iTunes matched content at a 128kbps rate as you can with an iTunes sync – so I imagine I’ll still be switching between Match and non-Match on my phone.
Now the Music.app is working and thinking about what I’ve asked it to do – past experience shows that it takes the phone a while to get the information it needs to show all the stuff not on it that is in your library – so I’m content to leave it to it and see what happens. Cautious optimism is the watchword – music missing from my phone is now visible, there are obsessive compulsiveness twitching gaps in my album artwork – however, I’m prepared to be patient to see if that is resolved once the updating phase finishes.
In summary – it’s still not quite right, but I might be more prepared to live with it from a mobile situation. Oh, playlists are often a source of consternation with iTunes Match – mine have all appeared as I would expect to see them and I can use them as I would normally (starting to see the missing artwork crop up though!). No sign of Genius Mixes though.