Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Apple Music: Problems Adding Albums, Songs Deleted

Jim Dalrymple:

My problems started about a week after installing Apple Music. While Apple Music Radio and Playlists worked well, adding music to my library is nothing short of a mind-blowing exercise in frustration.

I started to notice that whenever I added an album to my library, not all of the songs would get added. When I looked at the list of songs, there would be some missing—sometimes, most of the album would be missing.


I know I’m not the only one having this problem. There are threads on Apple’s support forums detailing similar issues to the ones I’m having, and I’ve noticed tweets in my stream reporting the same problems.

At some point, enough is enough. That time has come for me—Apple Music is just too much of a hassle to be bothered with. Nobody I’ve spoken at Apple or outside the company has any idea how to fix it, so the chances of a positive outcome seem slim to none.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Apple Music gave me one more kick in the head. Over the weekend, I turned off Apple Music and it took large chunks of my purchased music with it. Sadly, many of the songs were added from CDs years ago that I no longer have access to. Looking at my old iTunes Match library, before Apple Music, I’m missing about 4,700 songs. At this point, I just don’t care anymore, I just want Apple Music off my devices.

Kirk McElhearn:

I’ve had many of the same problems, and I understand exactly how Jim feels. For some of us, our music libraries are sacred, and Apple has damaged collections that we’ve been maintaining for a long time.

Update (2015-07-23): Jason Snell:

What’s funny is, when I saw that Jim was ripping into Apple Music, I thought it would be for a completely different reason that he didn’t even mention!

Yesterday, Apple had a pretty severe cloud-services outage. And with it went my access to Apple Music.

Nick Heer:

For what it’s worth, this sounds like an iCloud Music Library problem, not an Apple Music issue. It’s splitting hairs, but it’s an important distinction to make. Because I have Apple Music turned on, but not iCloud Music Library, I get all of the streaming features, but none of the saving or syncing ones. That means my local files remain untouched, which gives me a vastly greater sense of security.

Update (2015-07-27): Jim Dalrymple:

I arrived at Apple this morning to talk to them about my issues with Apple Music and to hopefully fix my problems. The good news is that I have about 99 percent of my music back.

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way. The missing and duplicate song issues that we’ve all seen in Apple Music are being fixed shortly. They are certainly aware of what’s been going on, I can assure you.


Apple said my music was never deleted and that it was in the cloud the entire time. Before Apple Music, iTunes Match would show me all of my songs—matched, uploaded, and purchased. However, if you turn off iCloud Music Library and Apple Music, iTunes Match will only show your purchased content now. There is no way to separate iTunes Match from the iCloud Music Library. Before, you would turn off iTunes Match—now you would turn off iCloud Music Library.


However, I’m still missing a couple of hundred songs. Apple’s theory is that I deleted them—that when I was trying to fix Apple Music, I mistakenly deleted my own files. While I concede that it is within the realm of possibility that I deleted my own files, it doesn’t make sense to me.

Kirk McElhearn:

What Jim says about iTunes Match and iCloud Music Library isn’t exactly correct (Apple Music does not include iTunes Match, but it matches tracks, albeit in a different way). Here’s an article I wrote for Macworld that explains the (admittedly confusing) situation.


And if one isn’t Jim Dalrymple, what would have happened? SOL?

Marco Arment:

With the introduction of Apple Music, Apple confusingly introduced a confusing service backed by the iTunes Store that’s confusingly integrated into iTunes and the iOS Music app (don’t even get me started on that) and partially, maybe, mostly replaces the also very confusing and historically unreliable iTunes Match.

So iTunes is a toxic hellstew of technical cruft and a toxic hellstew of UI design, in the middle of a transition between two partly redundant cloud services, both of which are confusing and vague to most people about which songs of theirs are in the cloud, which are safe to delete, and which ones they actually have.

Even Jim’s follow-up piece, after meeting privately with Apple in PR-damage-control mode, is confusing at best about what actually might have happened, which is completely understandable because it sounds like even Apple isn’t sure.

John Gruber:

As clear as mud how this all works. Why not make Apple Music a separate standalone app? Apple Music: subscription service with DRM. iTunes: music you own, no DRM.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter

The lack of patience these days is miraculous. Do you remember when Spotify first launched? If you say that was flawless you are lying to yourself. Every new piece of software will have its issues at onset; I have managed to create a 2,000+ library and 40+ playlists---you know what I do when i encounter the issue your describing!?

I take three seconds and redownload the album and or the one or two songs.

I've even noticed, since I am an avid hiphop listener, some of the albums are adding edited songs when I am adding "explicit" version

You know what I do when this happens? Skip the song and redownload later. Overall the service is frigging amazing and I can not be happier. I'm down for the ride towards perfection feel free to eat the rainbow colored dust along the way.

I trusted my data to Apple and they failed. I also failed by not backing up my library before installing Apple Music. I will not make either of those mistakes again.

Bug or feature? No monetization opportunity or shareholder value enhancement in protecting owned local libraries of data.

@Lol Redownloading is not possible because Dalrymple’s deleted music was ripped from CDs that he no longer has access to. (And, even if he did have them, the metadata would be gone.) I can’t recall a similar circumstance of a new application or service deleting that much user data, other than the early Mac OS X iTunes installer bug.

Look,however many of these multitude of nightmare scenarios are 'edge-cases' or not, I think we can all agree that Apple services are best-of-breed, and that preservation of user data is job #1 at the corporate level.

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