Tags on Music Files Downloaded from the iTunes Store Don’t Match Tags in the Store

UMG_cvrart_00028947922117_01_RGB72_1500x1500_13UMGIM43194.170x170-75.jpgI’ve noticed, from time to time, that tags on music files displayed in the iTunes Store don’t always match what’s in the files when I download them. There may be minor differences in the way tracks are named; but there has never been any major differences.

It is most obvious, however, for an album I bought today: Hilary Hahn’s In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores. This album, a group of pieces that Hahn commissioned to be played as encores, contains works by 27 different composers (actually, 28, because there’s a “bonus track” on the iTunes Store).

If you view the album on the iTunes Store, you’ll see the composers’ names:


But when you download the music, the Composer tag is empty:


I’ve seen minor differences in tags before, but never anything as blatant as this. I wonder why the iTunes Store has two different sets of tags.

Oh, and, if you like contemporary classical music, this album, In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, is a real treat.

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1 reply
  1. mikey says:

    Shockingly bad, isn’t it.

    I just hate iTunes Store, and have never really liked the ‘cheap’ way they deal with media there –especially in regard to tagging/pictures/booklets, nevermind the file quality itself– so hardly bought anything from it anyway. So stick with finding cheaper CD’s that give me this for less cost anyway, with slightly less convenience. And these days I never use it for purchases at all for many reasons, not least things like this. Why bother paying top money for music (and they DO generally invariably charge the most for downloads; music is overpriced for what they’re offering, but video pricing is plainly obscene!) from a service that doesn’t live up to it’s own hype? I just don’t bother, and nor do a great deal of others; it’s a waste of money, using it has little-to-no real added value for the cost, and certainly it’s not even that more convenient these days in the online digital realm.

    Rightly or wrongly, there’s a reason so many people just pirate LOSSLESS versions –i.e. BETTER quality than the paid-for version(s) iTunes offer– that they can maintain properly tagged themselves in their master iTunes library on Mac/PC, then if desired, use the (again, as mentioned, needlessly hopelessly tagged!) iTunes Match service (or a competitor) for convenience to download smaller file-sized lossy versions on-the-fly on their iOS device while out and about.

    This is another (more jokey) explanation for classing Apple as a ‘hardware’ company, as services are not their forte whatsoever, especially as they don’t make much money from them compared to hardware, so they really don’t care about them. The app stores get more attention these days, as software (iOS software especially) is much harder and less likely to get pirated than media, so they spend hours galore marketing them over their other media stores, nevermind considering making the necessary improvements to them.

    Apple really should get a grip of their media stores, they are a pain to use, usually charge the most, yet offer the lowest quality than other sources (“Mastered For iTunes”; don’t make me laugh!), all in the name of so-called ‘convenience’ that isn’t all that. Well sorry Apple, but in an age of newer competition from a gazillion other legal players (and laughably, better quality illegal versions!), people want more for their hard-earned money. Until then, goodbye to seeing people’s cash!

    And before I get the ‘what about the artists/labels need payment’ argument. I say fu*k them! If they cannot sort out their own industry to offer what we as consumers want, then I have no sympathy for them not getting paid for their endeavours due to rampant piracy. Many people downloading lossless pirate versions would love to pay the artist the same money as they charge for iTunes inferior versions, but cannot as they are not even made available! Any other industry has to modify itself to beat competition (and illegal activity), yet they are stuck in overly simplistic concepts about what we want… streaming services, no thanks!


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