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If They're Givin' I'm Takin'

If They're Givin' I'm Takin'
by Gary Woods

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my latest trek into the Cloud with Apple's iTunes Match. This service takes all of the music in iTunes on your computer and puts it into the Cloud where you can access it on you iOS devices. This $24.99 annual service has worked well for me with different parts of our music library available on our iPads, iPod Touch, iPhone and even Apple TV.

One part of the service, which raised eyebrows when it was announced was that all of the music owned by Apple is encoded in at a 256 kbps bit rate and would be available to subscribers. What that means is that even if you've got a highly questionable version of a song encoded at a considerably lower bit rate you can download and use Apple's completely awesome 256 kbps version.

So, the question then becomes, "how do I get their cool version?" To start with open iTunes on your computer and click on the Music icon in the upper left corner. Then, in the Title line which shows you the Name and Album, etc. right mouse click or control click on the Mac to reveal all the available titles and make sure there's a check mark next to iCloud Status, iCloud Download and Bit Rate.

Now, look up and down your music for music that is encoded at less than 256 kbps. If you want to get that better download highlight the song you want to upgrade and delete it making sure not to check "Also delete this item from iCloud." Then, click on "Keep File." Once you've deleted the song from your computer under the iCloud Download icon there will be a picture of cloud with an arrow pointed down. Click on that picture of the cloud and your spiffy new 256 kbps version will start to download. So, there you go, styling with the best MP3 quality available.

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