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Exclude Music from Matching from Apple Music or iTunes Match

The matching algorithm Apple uses is very aggressive and many times it doesn’t match the music in my library, no matter how well cut it is. This is a nuisance to many, and information on how to fix this is scarce. How can you force the music in your iTunes library not to be paired with the cloud?

  • DRM Free Music with iTunes Match & Apple Music?

After a lot of rehearsals, the best solution I have found is to mix the name of the song and the album. This is by no means optimal, but at least leaves the artist name intact so that the sorting stays clean with no duplicate artists. Doing this manually for each problem album would be a PITA, but fortunately it can be automated to a high level using MusicBrainz Picard.

For a track to skip the matching algorithm, the album title and label must be marked with a character / number and a symbol before and after the name (and no spaces). A track named Autumn Fog Liftes it would for example become 0.Autumn Fog Lifts. 0 if using my own personal syntax where I enter 0. before and after .0 .

Using Picard, you can set up a script to run it like this:

$set(title,$replace(%title%,%title%, 0.%title%.0)) $set(album,$replace(%album%,%album%, 0.%album%.0)) 

This will add 0 before and .0 after. the title and label of the album each time the music is added to Picard.

This is my recommended work stream of how to replace mismatched music in the cloud:

  1. Right click and show the problematic music file in iTunes
  2. Copy your music files to a new location, make a backup so you can talk
  3. Remove music from iTunes (be sure to select Move to Trash)
  4. Add the music from the backup to Picard, it will take everything back
  5. Review the results and save, add the music to iTunes

For more information on how Picard works, see How to Tag a File.