Apple launched iTunes Match today and having all my music in iTunes, with three different computers, an iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and three Apple TVs I figured I could benefit from using iTunes Match for my music. I enabled it and it is still in the process of doing its first update. I was very curious about how iTunes Match dealt with certain metadata.
I’m a big user of Smart Playlists and many of them rely on song ratings, play counts and last played dates. I also often have Smart Playlists that reference other Smart Playlists. Some quick learnings from an hour of playing around.
- iTunes Match synchronizes ratings within 10-20 seconds between devices. I was playing a matched track on my iPad 2 and adjusted the rating. Within 20 seconds iTunes on my MacBook Pro reflected the new rating. I changed the rating in iTunes and within another 20 seconds it was updated on the iPad 2 without any action being taken.
- The play count for a track is updated promptly after the track is played.
- Unfortunately the last played date is not updated. This is annoying for me since I routinely use last play date to manage Smart Playlists.
- Smart Playlists that use other Smart Playlists as part of their criteria are not available in iTunes match. Simpler Smart Playlists are fine in iTunes Match.