iTunes Match: The first 17 seconds count

Heise’s Mac & i analyzed iTunes Match (Google Translate):

Der Matching-Algorithmus von Apples Musik-Cloud schaut nicht besonders lange hin, wenn er Songs mit dem iTunes Store abgleicht. Wir haben iTunes Match genauer analysiert und herausgefunden, dass zuweilen selbst kurze Hörproben genügen, um komplette Songs freizuschalten.

For the non-Krauts:
It’s enough to get a hold of the first 17 seconds of a song and get the length of the song right (+/- 12 seconds) to get access to the full version of that track via iTunes Match. Whatever happens after that first 17 seconds, iTunes Match doesn’t care. It could be silence, white noise, pink noise, you name it. The ID3-tags should also be correct.

I’m sure someone will automate this process by grabbing the first seconds – think previews – getting the length of a song and filling the rest with silence.

It has to be the first 17 seconds and there mustn’t be a fade in, so iTunes or Amazon previews won’t work, because they pick a random 30 or 90 second clip from a song. Mac & i names Sony Music Unlimited and Deezer for always providing the first 30 seconds of a song.