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iTunes Match VS. Apple Music: Similarities and Differences

By Justin SabrinaUpdated on August 31, 2021


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[Summary]: What is iTunes Match? What’s the real difference and similarities between Apple Music and iTunes Match? Here, everything you need to know about iTunes Match, this article aims to help know what is iTunes match, you could also read how iTunes Match and Apple Music work together, and choose the Apple music service for you.
iTunes Match VS Apple Music

What is iTunes Match?

iTunes Match is one of subscription services of Apple, it can help users upload the entire music collection to iCloud Music Library and then share it with other devices using the same Apple ID and that can access your iCloud account. Plus, Apple will provide you with high quality playback using 256 Kbps AAC DRM free versions of your music, even if your original copy was lower quality. In a word, iTunes Match makes it easy to access all of your music on any compatible device online, it looks like a music sharing service, so you can put your music in the iTunes Match cloud and make it playable on many devices after login the same Apple ID. However, what’s the price of Apple iTunes Match service? Subscribing to iTunes Match costs $24.99 per year. Once you have subscribed, you can store your iTunes library (up to 100,000 songs) in iCloud, the service automatically renews every year unless you cancel it. If you cancel your iTunes Match subscription, all the music in your iCloud Music Library—iTunes Store purchases, music matching, imported from CDs, uploads from mobile phone, or uploads from your computer—is saved, but you can't add any new music, or download or stream songs, without subscribing again.

Most music fans know that the Apple Music and iTunes Match are two music subscription services of Apple, Apple Music is a streaming music service, and iTunes Match is a cloud music sharing service. However, Apple Music is very popular and widely used, but iTunes Match doesn't get much attention, many people think that they can find and enjoy songs they want from Apple Music store, so most people think there is no need to pay for the iTunes Match service, and in most cases that is true. But while the Apple Music and iTunes Match services are related. Below, we’ll tell you what’s the difference between Apple Music and iTunes Match? How does these two Apple services works? How iTunes Match and Apple Music work together?

Differences between Apple Music & iTunes Match - DRM or DRM-Free

The difference between Apple Music and iTunes Match is that Apple Music is a streaming music service that own the DRM (digital rights management) protected songs. Songs from Apple Music can only be accessed and play on authorized device while you have subscribed to Apple Music. But, after you cancel your subscription, the songs can’t be played, even you have added or downloaded to the iTunes library before.
Also read: How to download Apple Music to MP3

iTunes Match is a cloud music sharing service, subscriber can upload DRM-free songs to iCloud music library and make it available on other computers or devices, the uploaded/shared songs will be converted to 256 Kbps DRM-free AAC automatically. Since they're DRM free, so you can save the songs for offline playing on other computers or devices, even if you cancel your subscription, you can still keep all the shared/uploaded songs you had before signing up.

Apple Music Price and Limits to Songs
$4.99/month for Student Plan; $9.99/month for Individual Plan; 14.99/month for Family Plan; Apple Music exceeds 100,000.

iTunes Match Price and Limits to Songs
iTunes Match costs $25 per annum; iTunes Match is limited to 100,000 songs, song files smaller than 200MB, and songs less than 2 hours of play time.

To sum up: With Apple Music subscription, you'll get 256kbps DRM-protected M4P songs which can only play on authorized devices. While iTunes Match allows you to download DRM-free AAC songs that are supported by more devices and players.

Similarities between Apple Music & iTunes Match

Apple Music and iTunes Match are two subscription services offered by Apple inc. Apple Music vs. iTunes Match, what's the similarities? Apple Music and iTunes Match both the most similarities between Apple Music & iTunes Match is supports stream your music in the iCloud library and make it available on many devices.
Let’s learn more similarities between the two services:

Function
Help users easily share and listen to streaming music, both are online music services.

Supported Devices
For both the subscriptions, you can stream the music to multiple authorized devices.

Storage limit
Both services limited to 100,000 tracks.

Upload and Download
Both services supports uploading and downloading songs from the iCloud music library.

How iTunes Match work?

With an iTunes Match subscription, iTunes matches your library, uploads any unmatched tracks, and makes your music available on multiple devices through the iCloud Music Library. If you have low-quality tracks, iTunes Match “upgrades” them, allowing you to download 256 kbps AAC files without DRM. Moreover, the iTunes Match service gives you access to all of your music on all of your devices, even songs that you've imported from other sources such as CDs.

How Apple Music work?

Apple Music is a subscription-based music streaming service, like Spotify, Amazon Music, Youtube Music, Google Play Music, and Tidal, offering access to over 50 million songs. Once you sign up for Apple Music, you can enjoy over 50 million songs on iTunes store or Apple Music app, or download songs to iTunes library for offline listening. Currently, Apple Music available on iOS devices, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, PC, HomePod, Android and Sonos. When you add Apple Music songs to iTunes library, you will find the added Apple Music is protected AAC format, and the downloaded songs is DRM protected M4P files which can't be played on unauthorized devices.

How iTunes Match and Apple Music work together?

To sum up: Apple Music is a music streaming service and iTunes Match is a cloud music sharing service. All songs on Apple Music store added DRM protection, the DRM (digital rights management) protected songs only be uploaded to iCloud library via iTunes Match, if your computer is already authorized to play them, Apple inc limits upload the DRM proteced music via iTunes Match.
If you want to sync and share your Apple Music songs with all of your devices via iTunes Match; or using iTunes Match to upload the DRM protected Apple Music tracks from iTunes library (or libraries) to iCloud music library; making these uploaded Apple Music tracks can be streamed or downloaded on any other devices. What you need to do is removing DRM from Apple Music tracks firstly, then uploads the converted Apple Music tracks to iCloud, and makes your Apple Music songs & playlists available on multiple devices through the iCloud Music Library, even after canceling Apple Music subscription.

Tips: This is the one of the best way to make Apple Music playalbe on any devices, so you can access the Apple Music songs at any time from any device instead of picking and downloading your favorite playlists every time you sync your device.
People also read: Backup Apple Music to external hard drive

Share, Download and Listen to Apple Music Tracks Anywhere through iTunes Match

With an iTunes Match subscription, iTunes matches your library, uploads any unmatched tracks, and makes your music available on multiple devices through the iCloud Music Library, in additional, iTunes Match allows you to upload and download DRM-free AAC songs that are supported by more devices and players. If you're already an iTunes Match and Apple Music subscriber, you might want to remove DRM from Apple Music and makes the DRM-free Apple Music songs available on multiple devices through iTunes Match, let’s teach you how to add Apple Music songs to iTunes Match for sharing, downloading, enjoying on anywhere.
Also read: Remove DRM from Spotify Music to add songs to iTunes Match

Remove DRM from Apple Music to Sharing via iTunes Match

In order to adding Apple Music to iTunes Match or backing up Apple Music tracks before canceling subscription, you should remove DRM from Apple Music songs. Then how to remove DRM from Apple Music tracks? How to convert M4P Apple Music to MP3?

UkeySoft Apple Music Converter, a professional DRM audio removal to remove DRM from Apple Music songs and convert Apple Music tracks to DRM-free MP3, WAV, FLAC or AAC formats at 16X conversion speed with 100% lossless quality. This Apple Music Converter also is an iTunes Music Converter and Audiobook Converter, it supports convert iTunes M4P songs, M4P/M4B Audiobooks, Apple Music songs and Audible AA/AAX Audiobooks to DRM-free MP3, AAC, AC3, AIFF, AU, FLAC, M4A, M4R, and MKA. So, after removing the DRM from Apple Music tracks, you can keep Apple Music songs forever on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or other devices, or adding DRM-free Apple Music to to iTunes Match.

You can download UkeySoft Apple Music Converter for a free try, the trial version allows you convert the first 3-minutes of each Apple Music files.

The following detailed tutorial will take Mac version as example to illustrate how to convert Apple Music tracks to MP3 songs with UkeySoft Apple Music Converter, you can also follow the same steps to remove DRM from iTunes M4P songs, M4P/M4B Audiobooks and Audible AA/AAX Audiobooks and output as DRM-free MP3 with 100% original quality.

How to Convert Apple Music to MP3 for Adding to iTunes Match?

1.Step 1.Launch UkeySoft Apple Music Converter

Install and launch UkeySoft Apple Music Converter on the PC or Mac, Once the software started normally, the iTunes will be launched automatically and loads all iTunes media at the same time.

Launch apple music converter

2.Step 2. Select Apple Music Tracks

Choose Apple music you want to convert. Click the relevant Playlists category and select the Apple Music songs or playlist you want to convert.

Choose apple music songs

3.Step 3.Select MP3 as Output Format

Please select MP3 as output format and select the destination folder you want to save the output files in. The profile settings will be adjusted automatically according to the chosen output format. You can also adjust audio parameters like sample rate, bit rate, etc.

convert apple music to mp3 and add to itunes match

4.Step 4.Start Convert Apple Music to MP3 and Remove DRM

After completing the previous steps, click "Convert" to begin converting the selected Apple Music songs to MP3 so that you can get the DRM-free audio files.

Remove drm from apple music and add apple music to itunes match

5.Step 5. Get the DRM-free Apple Music Songs

When the conversion finishes, you can click “Open Output File” to locate the converted DRM-free Apple Music songs in MP3 format.

Start the Apple Music to MP3 Conversion

6.Step 6. Match or Upload Apple Music Songs to iTunes Match

Above steps, you have converted the Apple Music tracks to MP3 format, all converted Apple Music files as local files. Then, you can upload the converted apple music files to iTunes Match(iCloud music library), so you can share this converted Apple Music songs with your other iCloud devices.

  • 1. Open iTunes and select "iTunes Store" from the options at the top of the window.
  • 2. Select "iTunes Match" from the menu on the right side of the iTunes window.
  • 3. For iTunes Match subscriber, please enter your Apple ID and password to login.
  • 4. Click "Add This Computer" to add the converted Apple Music songs to iCloud.
  • 5. After adding songs to iCloud, you can streaming or downloading thosed DRM-free Apple Music tracks on other devices using iTunes Match
Upload apple music to itunes match

UkeySoft Apple Music Converter

A must-have Apple Music converter to get 50+ million DRM-free Apple Music tracks

  • Remove DRM from Apple Music and Audible/iTunes audiobooks
  • Convert Apple Music songs, purchased iTunes music, M4P songs, etc
  • Convert iTunes M4B audiobooks and Audible AA/AAX audiobooks
  • Convert any other iTunes compatible audio formats
  • Extract audio from iTunes movies, TV shows, MV and home videos
  • Support MP3, M4A, FLAC, AC3, AIFF, AU, MKA as output format

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