Friday, July 9, 2021

Apple Music Lobotomizes Siri

Dave Scocca:

I have an iTunes library of almost 15,000 songs, mostly ripped from my CDs but with a number of iTunes store purchases. I have a 256 GB iPhone to allow me to have my music with me, and my new-ish Civic has CarPlay. It used to be great–I could use either the car’s voice control button or (later) “Hey Siri” and request music and have it played.

Since activating Apple Music, that process has gone completely to hell. Siri seems to have no idea of what music might actually be stored on the phone. At first, I could play an album using the phone controls or the CarPlay interface, but if I asked Siri to play the exact same album I would be told that it couldn’t be played because I didn’t have cellular data enabled for music streaming. I have tried adding the words “from my library” to various places in my requests to Siri, and it generally does nothing.

If I ask for a specific song, I can often get it–but after the song, instead of continuing on with the album, it goes to whatever the Apple Music algorithm might think is appropriate.

If I ask for one of my specific playlists, using a phrase like “Play the playlist ‘Five Star’ from my library, shuffled”, Siri goes to Apple Music and shuffles something called “Kill Rock Stars/5RC Experimental”.


6 Comments RSS · Twitter

Kevin Schumacher

I don't have Apple Music (despite Apple's best efforts by reminding me nearly every. Single. Time I open the Music app on iPhone) but Siri sometimes tries to play songs from Apple Music in response to a request. This happens even if I'm telling it to turn on the lights or something else unrelated to music entirely.

[…] Dave Scocca on the TidBits forum (via Michael Tsai): […]

I decided to never even try Apple Music. I do have a large collection of ripped and purchased music, I rely on iTunes Match for sync. My understanding (rational or not) is that if I ever enable Apple Music it will screw my collection beyond no repair.
So Apple is nagging me about Apple Music a lot, the most effective way to limit it to some manageable degree is to enable Restriction in iTunes (now Music app).

@Dmitri - I solve that problem by allowing Apple Music only read-only access to my library. I use a network share for that, but you could use permissions on a local folder if you're ambitious.

Nobody touches my metadata but me. >:>|

Dmitri, I have 2,753 albums by iTunes' count and 23,481 songs in my Library which has iTunes Match as well as Apple Music. It hasn't screwed up my Library as far as I can tell and I've had it for a couple years now. It seems though if Match is off and Apple Music signed in, you can't add those albums to your Library (which download DRM'd) so maybe I'm "holding it wrong" but Apple Music without Match on seems very limited in what it can do to your local Library... YMMV

I CAN totally attest to the fact that Siri requests seem totally oblivious to what's in my Library and doesn't seem to check there first. Sure you've mentioned something very unique and it'd be totally obvious if it just looked at WHAT YOU HAVE but NO it goes on a hunt in Apple Music first... sometimes the results are hilarious other times like... RLY SIRI?

Thank you, Joel and a thing, I'll give it a try.

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