Sunday, July 12, 2015

Apple Music: iTunes 12.2 and iCloud Music Library

Josh Centers:

While Apple Music in iOS is a pretty good experience, it is a train wreck on the desktop. And I stop at “train wreck” only because TidBITS is a family friendly publication.


Start with iTunes 12’s labyrinth of an interface. Now, add three new tabs when Music is selected on the left: For You, New, and Connect. That’s the baseline.

From there, add in the fact that Apple Music was clearly designed as mobile first, with the desktop a distant afterthought.

Then, stir in a good dose of bugs.

Kirk McElhearn:

iCloud Music Library is a disaster. It changes artwork, alters tags, and many tracks are unavailable, having the “Waiting” iCloud status. Here’s an example of how much of a mess it is.

Kirk McElhearn:

I’ve never before recommended that you don’t upgrade to the latest version of iTunes, but I am doing so now.


I installed iTunes 12.2 on my test computer, a MacBook Pro, and quickly found that it changed a lot of my artwork and tags.

Ronald Chavez:

After I updated to the new iTunes 12.2, I was asked to enable iCloud Music Library, which is supposed to sync your tracks across your devices. Once it was enabled, iTunes randomized the majority of my roughly 25GB library. Tracks moved across albums, album art didn’t match music and artists were listed up to seven or eight times.


But it gets worse. If you’ve set up Apple Music on an iOS device, and iCloud Music Library is enabled, all of the erroneous changes are reflected in the new Music app, too.

Wil Shipley:

Unremovable, huge banner advertising YOUR station in MY iTunes makes me think @AppleMusic doesn’t care what I think.

Jeff Gamet (via Nick Heer):

iCloud Music Library was introduced with this week’s iTunes 12.2 and Apple Music release, and it’s turning out to be a big bag of hurt.


iCloud Music Library’s problems start showing up after installing iTunes 12.2 on your Mac or Windows PC. Apple’s forums are full of comments from users saying their album art, song names, and album titles get jumbled. The Who’s Quadrophenia album art, for example, could be replaced with Billy Holliday’s Lady Sings the Blues. Try to play Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love, and you might hear Vertigo from U2 instead.

Some forum posters are saying other metadata for their songs and albums has been scrambled, too, and multiple copies of songs are appearing in their libraries.

Clark Goble:

To really enjoy and make use of Music put your preconceptions behind you. Otherwise you, like me, will be constantly raving about the horrible buggy frustrating UI of iTunes.

First things first. When viewing your music switch to artist view. Yes viewing by artist is a pain when you have a nice playlist. Trust me though. If you don’t you’ll hate Music.


The biggest weakness of Music definitely is the interface. Hopefully by next year the interface is more refined. I do fear for those of us who prefer to organize our own music. It’s clear that Apple’s shifted focus away from us the past few years. Making your own playlist is just far too convoluted. However I suspect that is the traditional power user vs. typical user scenario. If one thing has become clear the last decade it is that power users are not really a concern for Apple.

Update (2015-07-14): Kirk McElhearn:

iTunes Artist View Interface Adds Content, Obscures Music

Update (2015-07-16): Jason Snell:

In any event, what I’ve discovered is that for me, Apple Music’s killer feature is that it’s completely integrated into iTunes. Not just integrated in the sense that the iTunes Store is integrated, with a separate set of pages that don’t really resemble the iTunes Library. I mean integrated in the sense that, when I find new music I like, I can click the plus icon and add it to my iTunes Library.

I don’t know what I was expecting from Apple Music integration. I guess I assumed that when I added a track to “my library” from Apple Music, it would go to some special Apple Music tab, or playlist, or library. Nope—that music just shows up in the My Music section of iTunes, mixed in with all of the stuff I’ve bought over the years.


I can also see just how insidious this approach is. My music library is no longer pristine, no longer a collection owned by me. Now I’m acquiring albums and tracks not by buying them, but by clicking that Add to Library button.

Update (2015-07-20): Doug Adams:

The current track and current playlist properties return a -1731 “unknown object type” error when run against a currently playing Apple Music track. That’s going to be a problem for scripts and apps that use those properties to identify a playing track. I couldn’t say if this is intentional or a bug.

The iTunes XML reports the main Library name as “####!####”. This is not necessarily AppleScript related, but several of my scripts may refer to this “Master” playlist by obtaining its name from the XML.

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