With iTunes Match, I tend to pull songs down to either my phone or my Mac whenever I feel like listening to them, and delete them from the device afterwards at will. What's the story, then, with play counts and - more importantly - ratings?

If I rate a song on the phone, will the rating propagate to the Mac (or vice-versa) through iCloud, or is the only way to sync that data between the devices a wired/wi-fi sync through iTunes?

And if an iTunes sync is required, what sync settings are necessary such that my ratings and playcounts will be copied across devices without having to sync the songs themselves, as we had to in the pre-iCloud days?

4 Answers 4


I'll check my computer when I get home, but everytime I update the ratings on my iPhone there is definitely network activity (The network spinner is displayed everytime I change the rating). So it is definitely updating the iTunes Match library. Whether it updates the PC at home I'll have to see.

I'm still waiting for it to upload about 600 songs.

Edit: I confirmed that ratings and play count definitely are updated right away. PC to device changes take a little longer. I had one song disappear from my phone on my way to work because I accidentally removed it from match the night before and it took some time to propagate.

  • 1
    Ratings and play count definitively get pushed to iTunes if changed/played on an iDevice (played date isn't updated). I'm not so sure about the other way round though, if it works at all the time lag is definitively >10 minutes.
    – nohillside
    Jan 2, 2012 at 14:56

I just did a test and I can confirm the ratings are in sync with iCloud. A gave a song a 5-star rate on my iPhone 4S and the 5 star rating appears on my MacBook Pro (pretty fast by the way).

I just did a few more tests and the ratings are getting pushed within 1 or 2 minutes!


I haven't been able to get my songs on my iPhone to sync ratings back to iTunes by wired sync, wireless sync, or via iTunes match. I'm not sure if this is because of iTunes match, but I never had this problem before I had iTunes match.

  • Silly question, perhaps, but do you have iTunes Match turned on on your phone, and is the Apple ID being used in Settings -> iTunes & App Stores the same Apple ID used with iTunes Match on your Mac? Because I've experienced the same behaviour as others in this thread; ratings do propagate between my Mac and iPhone.
    – Dan J
    Nov 19, 2012 at 18:26

iTunes Match is nothing to do with your actual songs. It simply matches your songs with what are on iTunes for the single purpose of saving Apple space and bandwidth with storing iCloud data.

Basically, when you sync after doing iTunes Match, it syncs in precisely the same way, but instead of sending the music, it instead references an iTunes Match track which your device can then access.

So basically, all of your data other than the actual sound content will be maintained.

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