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Google’s Scan and Match Feature Isn’t a Fan of Explicit Music

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Depending on your fondness of certain words in music, the Scan and Match feature that Google implemented to Google Music may leave you quite upset. Scan and Match quickly tags music you are uploading and instead of uploading the entire file, it makes the tracks available from their catalog, saving people lots of upload time. That is great, but what happens when you are not getting exactly what you are trying to upload. 

Many users (our readers included) are finding that when uploading albums that contain explicit lyrics, that Google is making only the “clean” versions available for playback. If you are also an iTunes user, you may also be familiar with this story. Naturally, some folks are becoming very passionate about this decision from Google, but for good cause. Here is one user’s comments to Google:

Let me out of force match!!!!!!!! Do not match my library! That’s my music that I have bought and collected for years!!! All for you to trash it??? Don’t tell me what version my music should be, sound like and what bit rate!! That is wrong!!

Now, either Google will amend this problem or we could expect nothing at all. If you are unhappy with the service, you might just have to use something else, which many people were forced to do when using Apple’s iTunes Match.

Has this decision from Google affected your library yet? If you’re a fan of Limp Bizkit, you’re screwed.

Cheers Derek!

  • Jason Nelson

    If only the upload setting would default to match your safe search settings… at least this would solve 90% of the problems… (if you specifically opt out of safe search, every album uploaded would match the explicit version; if specifically opted in to safe search, the clean album would be selected)


  • The commenter you featured in this article is an idiot. Google Match doesn’t touch the music you have on your computer, so it’s not trashing anything. I don’t see why people are getting so upset over something that’s obviously a bug, and if you didn’t already have the song in google music you aren’t losing anything. Just another example of how entitled so many people are.

  • jerkfaceguy

    I had the same issue with iTunes match.

  • Droidzilla

    “If you’re a fan of Limp Bizkit, you’re screwed.”
    This statement is true regardless of using match or not; it’s a life statement.

  • Crysanteme

    How about some electronic world

  • I’d like a little check box asking if I want the explicit versions of songs. I didn’t upload my songs with this, but I was going to for the higher bitrate…I’ve kinda changed my mind now.

  • Jake

    I sincerely hope that there’s a solution for folks who are upset over this. In my unique case, this is actually a good thing. I have a bunch of music that I haven’t been able to listen to in the car since having a child. I have always meant to go back and get the “clean” or “radio edit” versions of those song. This will save me the trouble. Of course, I won’t completely trust that it’s swapped out explicit versions for clean ones, because only about 25% of my music has been matched successfully, like albums where only half the songs were matched and the other half uploaded.

  • Brent Cooper

    For all the no censoring of the internet Google is for, this seems kind of backwords.

  • trbasil

    ” If you’re a fan of Limp Bizkit, you’re screwed”

    Now that’s an understatement, but what does it really have to do with the post LOL

  • Can someone tell me how this ‘scan and match’ works? I already had MusicManager where I had to actually upload the music. But this one sounds like it’ll scan my music library and made the same song available in play music, if it is in their catalog; no upload from my side. But when I downloaded the latest version of MusicManager and pointed it to my music library, it scanned it for some time and then started uploading my music files one by one. No ‘scan and match’. …???

  • delesh

    Just use the “fix incorrect match” feature and it will upload the song. Easy.

  • Jane Fonda

    Read more here ask22.ℂom

  • Joey Wilson

    Wouldn’t using the Google Music Manager desktop app be an adequate alternative? That’s what I’ve been using to upload my library. Granted it uses up bandwidth and time, but at least you know what your getting.

    • AK

      I use that, but Google still chooses to Match your music rather than actually upload your files and you have absolutely no control over which songs are matched and which It all depends on how good the ID3 tags are and if they can be clearly paired with music available on the Play Store. This has it’s pros and cons.

      Pros: Save time and bandwidth.

      Cons: Explicit/Clean/wrong match issue and quality is not as good sometimes.

  • SomeGuy

    Ok for people who don’t know how a computer and comparisons work this is probably an oversight. The program looks at either the tags you give it, or looks at the song wave form to get the information it needs. The first one will grab the first song it sees matching what you told and it will give you that song. Depending on how the album is marked on Google’s servers it might grab the clean copy first. If it looks at the song for the explicit lyrics then that completely defeats the purpose of a quick upload since that will take forever. “Fix Incorrect Match” works and start getting at it instead of crying about how you think you are getting screwed. Its a new system and they are working the bugs out.

  • Kyle Todoulakis

    I dropped Google after they started censoring image results. Now this.
    Using Firefox, and Bing instead of Chrome and Google. Considering Windows phone.

    • athom07

      Google didn’t start censoring image results. You just have to be more specific. For instance before typing in ‘breasts’ might get you nude pictures. Now you would type in ‘nude breasts’ for the same results. That way people who don’t want nudity don’t have to see it.that is not the same as censorship.

      • TheOiulkj

        Or “big ol’ t*tties” if you aren’t looking for gentlemen porn.

        • Droidzilla

          I search for “bosoms of a buxom lass.” Gotta keep it classy.

  • jonathon johnston

    Yep…I noticed this a few days ago but didn’t think to speak up on DL. I set a few songs as an incorrect match, which according to what I read should force upload the song from my library. I have not double checked to see if the explicit version uploaded though….
    Hopefully Google will give us an option, if not then I will continue using my SD card to store music.

  • Yea, same has happened to me. Half of the songs on Jay-Z’s “American Gangster” is clean the other half are explicit.

  • Steve Jobs got all righteous with the App Store, and now everyone’s using that as a premise for shorting users.

  • Strangely I’ve had the exact opposite, where I’ve had the clean version, Google had replaced with adult version. It’s a free service so people shouldn’t be getting their knickers in a twist.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Most Google Services are “free”. That’s not an excuse for this nonsense.

  • Has nobody noticed the “Fix Incorrect Match” button? I can’t say for sure that it’ll work 100% of the time, but in the few cases I’ve found so far where I got the clean edit for my explicit lyrics, it has worked for me.

    • Randy Kelly

      were is that button

      • jonathon johnston

        In the online library select the arrow next to the song and the option is there.

        • Shawn Maloney

          I do not see that option in the drop list

          • delesh

            If you don’t see the option it probably means the song was uploaded and not matched.

  • zin11

    People are passionate for what? sounds more like an oversight and not an intentional design. granted dealing with oversights are still irritating, but not everything is a good cause fights against ‘the man’ /yawn

  • Asuriyan

    iTunes Match has the same problem. Irritating.

  • I should see what uploading Reel Big Fish’s “Another F.U. Song” yields…

    • michael arazan

      Going to see what happens to my 2 Live Crew album, As nasty as we want to be

  • I haven’t run into this issue. I went through album by album syncing my library, starting with stuff that I knew would match. One band in particular that has edited and explicit versions of a couple of albums is Disturbed, and both Believe and The Sickness matched the explicit version.

  • QQpayne

    I would be royally pissed, I am not a fan of censorship and this just pisses me off.

    • snowblind64

      It sounds like the scan and match feature simply isn’t able to differentiate between the clean and explicit version of songs or albums in some cases. I believe it then defaults to the clean version (to avoid upsetting those who have the clean version e.g. kids with strict parents, etc.) because that is less risky.

      There should be a way to differentiate between clean and explicit such as adding [explicit] to the album folder or something of that nature as Google does sell explicit versions of albums and songs in the Play Store and I see no reason why they wouldn’t match these songs.

      • Pete Ratcliffe

        Adding [Dirty] to the track name seemed to sort it for me.

    • Granted it uses up bandwidth and time, but at least you know what your getting. http://www.MillionaireProjects2013.qr.net/jW6X/SpecialJob20=dWQvoSHLbIE

  • Havoc70

    Yea this is crap, either match it or let us opt out. Fix this G