WTF? iTunes Match bug replacing explicit songs with censored versions

Apple launched its iTunes Match service back in November, a month later than was originally promised. Although the reason for the short delay was never revealed, Apple might have done well to use that time to run a few extra tests on the service, as a new bug has been revealed that has vexed many users who subscribe to it for $24.99 a year.

For that price, iTunes scans your entire music collection – that’s music you’ve bought from iTunes, from other online stores, purchased on CDs and even music that you “don’t have the receipt for” *wink wink* - and then matches your tracks with the iTunes database of over 20 million songs. The songs are then automatically made available via iCloud for you in 256Kbps quality, so that you can download or stream them to any of your supported devices.

The problem, highlighted by Cult Of Mac, is that although most users report that the service is doing a great job of matching their tunes up to the cloud, in some cases, it’s matching the wrong versions of certain tracks. Some songs that ordinarily have explicit lyrics are being completely replaced with censored versions, that either carry alternative, less colourful language, or just have the words removed entirely.

Credit where it’s due though – 9to5 Mac reports that Apple has already acknowledged the problem and is hard at work on a fix for the bug, although there's no word yet on when that fix will come. There’s also no workaround to resolve the issue in the meantime, so if Match has replaced one of your treasured profanity-laden tracks on iCloud, you’ll just have to sit tight and wait for Apple to sort its **** out.

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Yeah, it replaced 2 of my dirty language Akon songs for clean ones (Smack That and I Want to Love You). So far no other songs of mine have been affected yet, however. The ITunes Match Service did recognize all of my 225 songs by the way.

TechieXP said,
It's not a bug.

How? that would defeat the purpose of the program, u obtain one file to get it switched with a censored version. i don't think so. thet would not make anyone want to use it if it's on purpose.

It's because iTunes Match tries to match similar songs. Since a censored version is musically very similar, it's mismatching the songs. I wonder how Apple will fix this, but maybe by respecting the Explicit/Censored names better. But for that to work, they need to be tagged as such to begin with.

Northgrove said,
It's because iTunes Match tries to match similar songs. Since a censored version is musically very similar, it's mismatching the songs. I wonder how Apple will fix this, but maybe by respecting the Explicit/Censored names better. But for that to work, they need to be tagged as such to begin with.

they need to fix it soon because it's beyond annoying!

Northgrove said,
It's because iTunes Match tries to match similar songs. Since a censored version is musically very similar, it's mismatching the songs. I wonder how Apple will fix this, but maybe by respecting the Explicit/Censored names better. But for that to work, they need to be tagged as such to begin with.

iTunes doesn't mismatch the songs, iTunes doesn't hold versions of songs with explicit lyrics.

alexalex said,

iTunes doesn't mismatch the songs, iTunes doesn't hold versions of songs with explicit lyrics.

Actually it does have explicit versions of many songs. They are marked as explicit in the market.

shinji257 said,

Actually it does have explicit versions of many songs. They are marked as explicit in the market.

Someone who actually uses iTunes wouldd know that!!!

THIS IS BLASPHEMY!! The magical and revolutionary Apple NEVER have ANY bugs AT ALL!! The inferior microsoft and google are the only ones that have ANY bugs!!

Spirit Dave said,
There should be NO such thing as censored versions of songs.

Blame tight-wad conservatives and brainwashing religious institutions... and they're provocative use of other people's money towards auto-censoring technology.

Spirit Dave said,
There should be NO such thing as censored versions of songs.

I completely agree.

In most places of Europe, the clubs play the uncensored version of a song always.

Nas said,

Blame tight-wad conservatives and brainwashing religious institutions... and they're provocative use of other people's money towards auto-censoring technology.

how about that 'mothers for america' thing, if i recall correctly, they started the censorwar

Spirit Dave said,
There should be NO such thing as censored versions of songs.

Nah, don't see why. For example, you may not want your children to have the original explicit versions of some songs but radio edit versions are fine.

Gives everyone a choice.

As long as it's marked, then I can avoid radio edit versions and stick with the originals. I'm completely fine with it.

Love how the media hype with Apple is different .. If this was RIM's BBM Music it would be holy horror.. But its Apple so meh!.. dont worry much cause they are just cool

ha ha ha keep up the great work I love the WTF! in the tittle, I mean WTF you buy an uncensored song from another store and itunes switches it for the censored 1 I too would be saying WTF. The funny thing is you guys automatically complain about it but for all you know he could of ment what the frag,what the fudge or anything, and in all honesty its also called freedom of speech.

Funny to see how people react to things like that.... Do you plug your ears when you go see a movie? Most movie could use a fait bit of cleanup to protect those fagile soul.

Acting all shamed or blushing when you read "WTF"?

I guess nobody gets the joke that WTF is CENSORED, and **** is CENSORED, and this is a post about something being accidentally CENSORED.

glen8 said,
erm, you guys do know where you are don't you? Neowin.net. Where unprofessional journalism looks better.

I really think they should change it. Can't hide behind that slogan forever. They are sending people to CES and other large windows events. Posting up a lot of original content, paying writers and making their own site software. This is a professional outfit. Neowin just needs more consistency, they are already professional but little things like this slip through the cracks and make the site look less than it really is. I mean heck Neowin has even been featured on Sky News and BBC News.

Vice said,

I really think they should change it....

If I want parent friendly, clean tech news, I go to one of the myriad other sites that offer it. I don't want another tight arsed site that takes itself too seriously, and forgets that we are adults. We don't like it, we can go elsewhere. It isn't like this is a major shift in Neowin's overall attitude.

Neobond said,
Except for the fact that we only have one news reporter on the payroll

You still consider Neowin an unprofessional site? After all the work everyone has done?

Vice said,

You still consider Neowin an unprofessional site? After all the work everyone has done?

All that work done = professional site, but the content is still unprofessional journalism. Regardless of what it looks, the content hasn't really changed, and that's what keeps us coming back

I wished I had never signed up for the service. Feels like I'm paying to alpha test a service.

Out of 16,000 songs it only matched around 9,000 with probably 5,000 of the others being available from iTunes. I'm plagued with this explicit/clean issue. Cover artwork not showing on my iPhone. Tracks being greyed out (an therefore unplayable) on my iPhone which have been matched/uploaded.

All the hassles I've been having don't make up for the convenience of having all my music available to download/play on my iPhone.

alex. said,
I wished I had never signed up for the service. Feels like I'm paying to alpha test a service.

Out of 16,000 songs it only matched around 9,000 with probably 5,000 of the others being available from iTunes. I'm plagued with this explicit/clean issue. Cover artwork not showing on my iPhone. Tracks being greyed out (an therefore unplayable) on my iPhone which have been matched/uploaded.

All the hassles I've been having don't make up for the convenience of having all my music available to download/play on my iPhone.

I am starting to feel this way myself. I have a track on my iPad that is just stuck there. Can't download it, cant delete it. It's just there.

Not to mention the constant artwork not showing on iDevices yet it shows up in iTunes.

Vice said,
Never thought I'd see an article beginning with "WTF?"

There are times where the topic really deserve its. Like if Neowin become censored by SOPA, that for sure would need a WTF on the title.

I guess the news reporter got a little exited about it. Not all have iTunes Match. But if you read the full news your will find a "wink wink" too.

I am not saying he shouldn't use a WTF or wink wink, but a WTF in the title is "shocking"

Pulgafree said,

I guess the news reporter got a little exited about it.

I guess you (and apparently many of the people leaving comments below) missed the "pun".

Hint:

WTF? iTunes Match bug replacing explicit songs with censored versions