Apple Improves Song-Matching Algorithm for Apple Music Users

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Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of internet software and services, helps introduce the new iOS software at an Apple event at the Worldwide Developer's Conference on June 13, 2016 in San Francisco.

Apple Music subscribers are getting the same song-matching technology as iTunes Match, without having to pay for both services. 

Apple's iCloud Music Library allows users to stream songs from their local libraries to various devices via the cloud, however, the company only uploads tracks that it can't match to its existing trove of licensed music. If you have iTunes Match then matching is done using acoustic fingerprinting, which looks at actual sound data in deciding whether to migrate a track over. The other way, which Apple Music users know about, relies on traditional metadata (artist/album/track) and occasionally results in the algorithm deciding you want a live version of a song rather than the intended studio track.

Until now, Apple Music subscribers craving that more accurate algorithm have been paying extra for iTunes Match. But as Macworld reports, the company is in the process of quietly incorporating acoustic fingerprinting into the overall Apple Music service. Just like iTunes Match, the method provides digital rights management (DRM)-free files to play on your devices.

Non-Apple Music users of the iCloud can still pay for an iTunes Match subscription ($30/year), but doubling up is no longer necessary. According to The Loop, Apple Music will be upgrading between 1-2 percent of its users each day. "Apple is watching the rollout very closely as new users are brought on and are cognizant of the user experience during the changeover," the report notes. "Switching millions of customers over is going to take some time, so be patient, but know it’s coming."