Thursday, July 7, 2016 [Tweets] [Favorites]

When “No Longer Available” Strikes in iCloud Music Library

Kirk McElhearn:

But things get complicated when music that you have added to your iCloud Music Library from Apple Music is pulled. Labels can withdraw the right to stream certain songs and albums at any time, but you won’t be notified. You may see albums and songs in your library, but their titles are a slightly lighter color (depending on the view), and their iCloud status is No Longer Available.

[…]

In most cases, this is little more than an annoyance. But there are certain situations where this availability is an iCloud Music Library problem. Look at the screenshot below: it’s my iTunes library in Albums view. You’ll see that there are two instances of Chicago’s At Carnegie Hall. This is because the first one I added to my library suddenly became No Longer Available. When I searched for the album, I found it and added it to my library, and the only difference is the addition of (Live) after its title. Somehow, the record label tweaked the name of the album, and it was considered to be a totally different album.

He also has a bunch of “No Longer Available” tracks with missing metadata.

Update (2016-07-23): Christopher Thielen (via e-mail):

With macOS Sierra’s “Optimize Storage” removing previously watched iTunes purchases, what do you think would happen if the movie is no longer available for download?

The iTunes Terms and Conditions recommends users create a backup but even a Time Machine backup would lose the file should it be off the main computer (“optimized”) long enough.

1 Comment

Let me add that this is "fixed" in Apple Music on iOS 10 by simply not showing any indication of this whatsoever. (I think this is the same deal - unavailable, greyed out tracks in albums, even though I don't have iCloud Music Library.) In Beta 1 it commonly halted playback of other tracks until you tossed the app and started it again. So if you had an album with a few grey tracks, it was the playlist version of (extremely watered down) Russian roulette.

It's an easy phrase easy to reach for, but I think Steve Jobs would have had a MobileMe level breakdown over the state of Apple Music in general. It is a horrible argument for "magic", and from all I hear at least iTunes Match damn well worked.

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