I signed up for iTunes Match and have uploaded nearly all of my collection to iCloud. Unfortunately, I have several tracks that have given me the following error:

enter image description here

This thread indicates that I can convert them all to mp3 (even though most are already mp3) and I should be able to upload them to iCloud. However, as pointed out in that thread, this is undesirable because of a) potential loss of quality due to the conversion process, and b) having to make sure that I properly replace the tracks in all associated playlists.

Does anyone know what the underlying cause is? Is there another way to fix the problem?

UPDATE Here's a screenshot of the file info summary, as requested: enter image description here

  • 1
    Right click the song, hit 'Get Info', show us a screenshot of that window. Dec 22, 2011 at 6:08

4 Answers 4


I've got that same CD and iTunes was able to download that track via Match.

It looks like your problem is due to the file's bit rate. Match requires bit rates greater than 96kbps, yours shows 84kbps:


I found this tip for reencoding from within iTunes:


You can change the encoding quality by changing the quality settings in iTunes -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Importing. Reselecting the songs that are at 320, right clicking and hitting Convert to MP3 (Or AAC whatever you use) will reencode them to the lower rates

I believe when you do this, it preserves the original file, but make a backup, anyway - better safe than sorry.

  • Hm, interesting. I used variable bitrate encoding when encoding these years ago, and it looks like that may have ended up making these tracks ineligible for iTunes match
    – emmby
    Jan 3, 2012 at 18:53
  • This also works for audiobooks, although if those are in mono, the actual bitrate becomes half of what is specified in encoding settings; for this reason, one has to re-encode mono files with no less than 192 kbps (256 kbps worked for me). Nov 4, 2016 at 19:14

The reason why this particular song is not eligible for iCloud is, that it is compressed with a variable bitrate. And the bitrate at the beginning of the track is less than 96 kbit/s wich is the minimum to be matched bei iTunes Match.

  • Variable bitrate is irrelevant. All that matters is the bitrate reported by iTunes. You can encode an MP3 using VBR at "insane" levels and iTunes Match will accept it just fine. This song just fell under the 96 kbit threshold, that's all.
    – user10355
    Feb 6, 2012 at 22:02
  • 1
    My iTunes shows me a bitrate value for VBR MP3s. The shown level is NOT the VBR level that the MP3 has. For example, I have a 320 kb/s VBR wich starts very slow and silent. The bitrate is shown as about 84 kbit/s (like in the example in the original question). This value was used for matching the iCloud, and that given song failed for iTunes match.
    – Martin
    Feb 7, 2012 at 15:12
  • 1
    Hence: "Variable bitrate is irrelevant. All that matters is the bitrate reported by iTunes."
    – user10355
    Feb 7, 2012 at 20:31

I had the same situation where a selection of my older tracks were marked as ineligible. After some brief investigation I realized it was because I'd bought these using a different iTunes account (I created a new account after I emigrated to a new country). I guess there's nothing I can with these old ones.

  • 3
    What about burning them to CD and reimporting them? Jan 3, 2012 at 22:38

You can also convert the songs to AAC by selecting them and then rightclicking them. You will see the option "Convert to AAC". You will have all songs double now. You can delete the original songs. The converted ones will be eligible for uploading to iCloud.

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