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Game, Set, Match

Game, Set, Match
by Gary Woods

For you regular readers out there you might recall my column about migrating to Apple's new online synchronization service called iCloud. Well things are going swimmingly in the cloud with all our contacts, calendars, to do lists, documents and photos synching with the 3 iMacs, a MacBook, 2 iPads, her iPod Touch and my iPhone plus Outlook 2010 on Windows 7. So, being naturally curious I decided to step out into the next venue in the cloud offered up by Apple called iTunes Match.

This service which costs $24.99 per year scans your whole iTunes music catalogue then matches the music that you have with the 20 million or so pieces of music they have and for the matches you have they just put a digital check mark next to their music and make it available to all your iOS devices.

The process to get iTunes Match working involves 3 steps. First, iTunes scans all the music you have in your iTunes library. My rather modest music library of about 3,500 songs took somewhere around 20 minutes to make the first scan. Next, iTunes Match compares their library to yours. For my system the matching process took about a half an hour. Finally, when the matching process was over it made me aware that there were some duplicate pieces in my library and told me that there were some pieces of questionable origin that weren't compatible with iTunes Match.

Of my 3,500 pieces about 800 were not in the Apple Library. Somehow I had a hunch that the Shostakovich Symphonies I enjoy weren't going to be in their song list but there were an astonishing number of classical pieces that were there.

Uploading those 800 or so pieces took place over one night which I thought was actually rather quick. When I backed up my hard drive using Carbonite Online Backup it took a couple of weeks to get everything firmly ensconced in the cloud.

With all of my music now firmly in the cloud it's available to all of my iOS devices allowing me decide which pieces I want available on which devices. iTunes Match is a very cool service at what I think is a reasonable price. I love being able to access my whole library on any of our iOS devices and the service lives up to what Steve Jobs said about it, "it just works."

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc