When Apple Music was released just over a year ago, Apple also debuted iCloud Music Library, a way of storing your iTunes library in the cloud. There were two ways to seed the cloud, either with iTunes Match or Apple Music. If you were an iTunes Match subscriber, matching your songs in your local library to your cloud library was done one way, and if you were just an Apple Music subscriber, matching was done differently.
This created some confusion about the way tracks were matched and stored in iCloud Music Library. Now, Apple is changing this, and will use the same matching method for both services. The company said in a briefing that Apple Music now uses acoustic fingerprinting and provides matched files without digital rights management (DRM), or copy protection, just like iTunes Match.
It seriously blows my mind that this isn't the way it worked from the start. Even after reading this article, I am still unsure if it is safe to cancel my iTunes Match subscription or not.
Subscribing to Apple Music is a huge risk on my part. For the record, I keep two local back ups and one cloud back up of music files in addition to my iTunes Match/Apple Music subscriptions. I of all people want Apple Music to succeed but things like this make me wonder why Apple isn't doing more to secure their footing as a musically relevant tech company.
For the times that Apple Music works as I want it to, it is still worth the experiment. More often than not, it syncs my iTunes Library across all of my Macs and iOS devices. But there are still frequent syncing bugs, in particular, the accuracy of metadata like album art and song titles. And don't get me started on how my MacBook frequently logs me out of my account. At the end of the day though, Apple Music shows potential to be much more than other streaming services..
If you are looking for a music subscription service like Spotify or Google Music, I think Apple Music is getting close enough to complete. But if you are more like me, and you keep a vast library of rare and live albums, personally created and uploaded mp3s, and rely on iTunes to get your job done, it might not be worth the headache.