Q: I guess this has been part of iTunes since the debut of iCloud but I never noticed it until now. There seems to be a new rule added to Smart Playlists: iCloud Status, which can be set to is/is not Matched, Purchased, Uploaded, Ineligible, Local only, Error or Duplicate. Any idea what this does? The terms are pretty self-explanatory but what could one do with this?

Smart Playlist and iCloud Status field

– via iLounge Forums

A: This feature is designed to be used with Apple’s iTunes Match service, and the iCloud status will likely be entirely empty for users who have not subscribed to iTunes Match.

In addition to the Smart Playlist criteria, the iCloud Status column can also be added to any track listing by selecting it from the View, View Options menu.

When used in Smart Playlists, this field is generally only useful for tracking the status of your music collection in relation to iTunes Match; Smart Playlists can be used to get a listing of all tracks that were not successfully matched or see tracks where errors have occurred in the matching process.

The meanings of each status are as follows:

Matched: A track in your library was successfully matched to the corresponding track on the iTunes Store.

Purchased: The track is already in your iTunes Store purchase history, and therefore didn’t need to be matched or uploaded.

Uploaded: The track could not be matched to the iTunes Store and was therefore uploaded, as-is, to your iCloud account.

Ineligible: The track is ineligible for iTunes Match, either due to being too large, having too low of a bit-rate, or possibly being DRM-protected and purchased from an iTunes Store account in a different country.

Local Only: This track was removed from iCloud but is still in your local iTunes library. Note that this will read as “Removed” in the iCloud Status column.

Error: Some other iTunes Match error occurred with the track. This can sometimes be due to DRM or unsupported encoding of the track. Often simply converting the track to an AAC format will be enough to clear up this issue and allow it to be matched or uploaded.

Duplicate: The track is a duplicate of another Purchased, Matched or Uploaded track. This most often occurs when you have the same song on multiple albums by the same artist—iTunes Match only references a single copy from iCloud in this case, but preserves the metadata across all duplicates so that you effectively can still access the track from any of your albums.

One additional very handy use of the iCloud Status in a Smart Playlist is to track down lower bit-rate tracks that can be “converted” to 256kbps DRM-free versions. A Smart Playlist that looks for a bit-rate of 128kbps and an iCloud Status of Purchased or Matched can be used to create a list of these tracks.


Smart Playlist and iCloud Status field

From this list, you can delete tracks from your library, being sure to leave the iCloud version in place when prompted, and then re-download them from iCloud to get the Matched or Purchased 256kbps version.

Note, however, that not all “Purchased” tracks will necessary be available in 256kbps—although everything that is actively sold on the iTunes Store is in a 256kbps DRM-free format, Apple appears to still keep older tracks in their database even if they are no longer for sale, presumably to allow users to re-download them from their iCloud Purchase history. It’s also not uncommon to see situation where your purchase history may be a slightly different edition of an album still on sale, resulting in you only receiving the 128kbps versions rather than the newer 256kbps, since in this case they’re technically separate albums.



Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.