I had a long talk with a guy from apple costumer help because of the notorious recent problems with Itunes/Apple Music. By the way he told me that if I have a big collection of music on my mac containing amongst other thing ripped music in a better quality then the usual 256 of Apple this would now, as part of Apple Music be stored in the cloud in its original (better!) quality. So when I have a second Mac with the same Apple ID I wouldn't need to copy anything from Itunes to this second Mac. To simply start a new Itunes folder on the second Mac would synchronize EVERYTHING. So after the necessary time my itunes on the second Mac would look exactly like the Itunes on my first. Is that really so? I couldn't find anything about that on Apple's description of Apple Music (and by the way, I don't have Itunes Match, but that's probably besides the point).

2 Answers 2


Actually, according to this Apple Music support page, lossless formats will NOT be preserved in the cloud:

"Songs encoded in ALAC, WAV, or AIFF formats will be transcoded to a separate temporary AAC 256 Kbps file locally, before they're uploaded to iCloud."

Meanwhile, the Apple Music product description states that they "compare every track in your collection to the Apple Music library to see if we have a copy. If we do, you can automatically listen to it straight from the cloud," which suggests that higher quality files do not, in fact, replace Apple's default in-cloud counterparts.

Sorry to dash your dreams. Maybe you could disguise the metadata on each of your files with slightly-off album names to prevent Apple from recognizing them, then use a higher quality file other than the formats mentioned above, which would be converted to AAC. Alternatively, Google Play's default bitrate is 320 kbps, and its uploading service is currently free.

  • The linked support page no longer says that, in 2023; it doesn't mention it. The page Access your music library on all your devices - Apple Support says the cloud library will have: "Matched songs (songs available in the iTunes Store, whether or not you purchased them there) at iTunes Plus quality (256 kbps DRM-free AAC) and other songs at their original quality". Has there been a change? Jan 27, 2023 at 13:46
  • The suggestion to "disguise the metadata on each of your files with slightly-off album names to prevent Apple from recognizing them" won't work. Apple doesn't rely on the names to match tracks. Even if it was possible, the converted tracks wouldn't be any better quality than the normal Apple Music tracks. Jan 27, 2023 at 13:54

This article seems to agree with what you have been told How to check the status of your songs

The key point states:

You use iTunes Match or Apple Music, or both. This status means that Apple has scanned and uploaded the track to its servers; when you re-download it, it'll show up in its original format—128kbps mp3, 256kbps AAC, however you uploaded it. As long as you've downloaded this track to your library before ending your Match or Music subscriptions, it's yours forever.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .