[How to] Make iTunes Match Recognize Older Music Tracks

For all the iTunes Match users who have spent around 25 bucks and waited pretty long time for your music library to get in tune with the iCloud, may have noticed those mysterious cloud status icons scattered through your tracks. Apple’s tech note summarizes the icons.

Most of you might have observed that many of your older tracks are shown ineligible. Now the root of the problem being most of those old files being saved with variable bit rate (VBR) which meant that those files were saved keeping in mind the storage requirements of the device and now seem to be ineligible.

This is where one of the most helpful features of iTunes Match comes into the picture, as to how it ‘normalizes’ any tracks that exist in the iTunes store catalog up to 256 kbps AAC files, the same quality as iTunes Plus music that you buy from the store.

This conversion can be done in the following manner:

Step 1: Sort your library by the iCloud Status or cloud icon column. Just click on the column name to sort the track list, and then scroll to the end where all the ineligible songs are. You can take this an album at a time, to keep it simple. In the image above, you see an album’s worth of ineligible songs. You can click a track and choose Get Info (⌘-I) from the File menu to verify that the problem is inadequate bitrate.

Step 2: Double-check your iTunes import/conversion settings. You’ll find these under the iTunes preferences, in General, when you click the button marked “Import Settings”.

Step 3: Select all the tracks in the album you want to iCloud-ify. Right-click or control-click any of the selected tracks and choose “Create AAC Version” (also available under the Advanced menu in iTunes). Watch the tracks convert before your eyes.

Step 4: Once the conversion is done, you’ll have two copies of those songs in your library: the older VBR tracks, and the just-converted AAC 128 tracks. iTunes Match automatically kicks in and begins scanning the ‘new’ tracks, and (since they now meet the minimum criteria for matching) they’re matched!

If they exist in the iTunes store, the iCloud versions of them will be the store’s iTunes Plus 256 kpbs version; if not, they’ll be the 128 kbps AAC versions you just created. You can tell the difference by looking in the iCloud Status column, which will helpfully say ‘Matched’ or ‘Uploaded.’ Now just sit back and enjoy your old songs.

Source: Apple.com