Snippet: The Real Difference Between iTunes Match and iCloud Music Library: DRM ☇

Shared on July 1, 2015

Kirk McElhearn:

The whole iTunes Match and Apple Music thing is confusing. Apple says they are “independent but complementary,” and, on first glance, they look quite similar. But when you look closely, they are very different.

Both match your iTunes library and store your purchases. Both allow you to access these files, and listen to them, on multiple devices. But with iTunes Match, when you download a matched or uploaded file, you get either the iTunes Store matched copy, or the copy that iTunes uploaded of your original file.

When you match and download files from iCloud Music Library (without having an iTunes Match subscription), however, you get files with DRM; the same kind of files you get when you download files from Apple Music for offline listening.

Interesting distinction—I’m going to start my free trial of Apple Music later on, and already have iTunes Match enabled. I’m almost tempted to keep “permanent” copies of my music on an external drive, use my current iTunes Match subscription to stream the content of that library (housed on my computer’s internal drive—this is how my work computer is set up), and complement that with Apple Music for everything else.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.