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What Happens When You Get to 25,000 Tracks on iTunes Match

Apple’s iTunes Match is a $25 a year service that lets you match tracks from your iTunes library with music in the iTunes Store, store your music in the cloud, and stream or download it to different devices. It can be practical for people who want access to their music on the go, as long as they don’t have too much music. My iTunes library is currently around 70,000 tracks, so I’m nebula non grata; I have a second iTunes library that is almost as large. So iTunes Match doesn’t work for me.

That 25,000 track limit is a brick wall. When you get there, strange things happen to iTunes Match. I was reminded of this when Dave Hamilton tweeted something today.

Screen Shot 2015 01 27 at 3 16 16 PM

First, Dave didn’t actually go above 25,000 tracks. While the iTunes window tells him there are 25,003, he told me he has about 500 purchased tracks. iTunes doesn’t count them against your limit.

So in another 500 tracks or so, he will hit that wall. When that moment arrives, iTunes Match can act very strangely. Here are some of the things that users have reported.

  • iTunes Match may no longer upload new tracks, even after a user has deleted tracks from the cloud to get under the 25,000 track limit.
  • iTunes can seem to update iTunes Match without any progress.
  • Downloads may not always work.
  • Syncs of songs and playlists stop working correctly among devices.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on how many tracks you have in the cloud, so you don’t exceed the 25,000 track limit. To do this, check the iTunes Match screen, which you can see above, but take into account how many purchased tracks you have. To find this number, you can make a smart playlist with the following conditions:

Screen Shot 2015 01 27 at 3 26 40 PM

In my iTunes library, it shows that I have a whopping 4,176 purchased tracks. (I bought a few big “digital box sets,” such as the Dylan and U2 sets, which, together, make up about 1,200 tracks.)

Subtract this number from the total to see how much wiggle-room you have.

Next, you may want to delete some music from the cloud; music you don’t listen to often. Keep local copies of it, then delete it from your iTunes library. Select the tracks, then press Command-Shift-Delete (Control-Shift-Delete on Windows). When you see a dialog asking if you want to delete the tracks, check Also delete these items from iCloud.

Screen Shot 2015 01 27 at 3 29 59 PM

So, iTunes Match can be useful, but if you have a lot of music, and continue to acquire more, keep an eye on that 25,000 track limit.

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How to Protect Children’s Privacy on Social Media

If your kids use social media, as all kids do, you may be worried about protecting their privacy. Teenagers may be a bit unconcerned about such things, and not care who reads their Facebook posts, their Twitter feeds, or sees their photos on Instagram. As a parent, you know how important it is to keep your kids’ online life out of the public domain, as much as possible.

You can explain to your children why this is important, and help them choose the right settings to protect their privacy. They can always go back and change the settings, of course; you can’t lock their Facebook or SnapChat settings. But if you have a serious conversation about privacy, you can work together with your children to apply the appropriate settings.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

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Why Apple Should Become a Mobile Phone Provider

You can buy an iPhone and a contract with a specific mobile provider at the same time. But imagine a different situation, where Apple sells you a new iPhone or iPad and also sells you, if you choose, a contract to connect that device to any network, perhaps, even, and any country. And the provider you sign up with is Apple. For a monthly fee, Apple could provide you with a full range of services: calls, texts, data, cloud storage, music streaming, access to videos, and much more, and give you unlimited data for any of its own services. You would no longer have to worry about data caps for, say, streaming music or movies, And Apple could probably do this much more cheaply than current mobile phone operators.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

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How to Free Up Storage on Your iPhone or iPad

A recent study shows that 42% of iPhone users run out of storage on their device at least once a month.


Part of the problem is that people buy iPhones with only 16 GB, which means they have around 12 GB after installing iOS. Add a few apps, some music, and lots of photos, and most users will find that their devices are full.

It’s easy to free up space on your iPhone or iPad. Here’s how.

2015 01 26 13 44 27First, delete any apps you don’t use. To do this, tap and hold any app icon until all the icons wiggle. Tap the x at the corner of an app’s icon to delete it. Note that you cannot delete apps that are installed as part of iOS. In the screenshot to the left, you’ll see several of these, such as iBooks and Videos, which don’t display the x.

2015 01 26 13 38 23You can also view your apps and see how much space they take up. Go to Settings > General > Usage > Storage > Manage Storage. You’ll see a list of all your apps and their sizes. These figures include the data they contain. So you might not realize how much data certain apps may store.

To delete any app from this list, tap its name, then tap Delete App.

2015 01 26 13 38 40With Music, you have an additional option. You can delete an artist’s music quickly from this screen. Tap Music, then find an artist whose music you want to remove. Swipe to the left, then tap Delete.

Finally, go to the Photos app and clean out your photos. You may have hundreds of them, and if you’ve shot videos, they’ll take up a lot of space as well. Tap a photo to select it, then tap the trashcan icon. Or, to delete multiple photos, tap Select, then tap the photos you want to delete, and then tap the trashcan icon. Photos don’t get deleted immediately, however. You need to go into Recently Deleted (in Albums), then tap Select. Tap Delete All, if you’re sure you want to delete these photos.

With these steps, you can ensure that your iPhone or iPad has more space when you need it. Just remember to back up any photos you want to keep, and make sure that any music you delete is also on your computer at home.

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Apple Brings Back Free on iTunes Section of iTunes Store

Screen Shot 2015 01 26 at 9 36 23 AMA couple of weeks ago, it was thought that Apple had stopped giving away free singles of the week on the iTunes Store. The company no longer showed a single of the week, and a broader Free on iTunes section had also been removed, even though there was still free content in the Apps and TV Shows areas of the store.

Apple has brought back the Free on iTunes section of the iTunes Store, with access from a brick currently only on the main page of the Music section. In the past, there was a Free on iTunes link in the Quick Links sidebar. Hopefully, Apple will provide a better way to link to this section.

The Free on iTunes section currently only lists songs and TV shows, but it is possible that Apple may add other content, such as apps and books in the future. While there is no “Single of the Week,” there are 16 free songs, across various genres; perhaps Apple has extended their free choices much more than in the past. (There were often other free tracks that weren’t labeled Single of the Week.) As for TV shows, there are 24 full-length episodes, and the Free on iTunes section doesn’t list the many free trailers and previews that are also available in the TV Shows section of the iTunes Store.

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Writings about Macs, music and more by Kirk McElhearn

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