I just deleted over 25,000 songs from my iTunes library. I am going to trust in the cloud, where my library now lives. I’m a bit scared, but I backed everything up, took a deep breath and stepped into the future.
Abandoning the way I’ve come to listen to music over the last decade feels like a big experiment, but in some ways, the decision was a long time coming. I’ve been close to maxing out the hard drive space on my laptop for a while, and in a single day this week, I reclaimed nearly 200 gigabytes.
I’m using iTunes Match, Apple’s cloud-based service. Before I deleted the songs, the service scanned my music library, “matched” all the music that is available in the iTunes store, and uploaded what isn’t. Now, my entire library is accessible from anywhere I can get a wireless Internet or cell phone signal. Another benefit: since I used to rip my music at 128kbps, much of my “library” now sounds better, since Apple’s songs are encoded at 256kbps. It doesn’t matter if the original was purchased from Amazon’s mp3 store, ripped from a CD, downloaded from a friend or obtained illegally — I now have a legit 256kbps version. (It sounds great on my stereo, my phone and in my car, if you’re wondering.)
For those songs that aren’t in the iTunes store, you hear the exact same file you uploaded. And no matter whether it was in the iTunes store, each song’s metadata, album art, song ratings and comments you may have written in stay attached to the version you stream from the cloud.
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