In the case of songs that were deleted from your iTunes when you use Apple Music, it seems that Apple has no idea what is going on. However, they knew enough to say that they were unable to replicate the issue but that said issue only happened to a small number of users. Not enough to make this a huge deal in their eyes but big enough to know that they are not as flawless as they and their fans like to believe. In case you missed some of this, let us recap for you.
Back in early May, iTunes user James Pinkstone had signed up for Apple Music when it launched late last year. However, unlike many of us, he continued to use the service after the trial period ended. Since then, he said he has had a persistent problem of iTunes deleting some of his music. In his blog post, “Apple Music Stole My Music. No, Seriously” detailed how his library of 122 GB of music suddenly vanished.
Much of the music that was deleted were various versions of songs that iTunes attempts to match with songs in their library. According to the Apple Genius he spoke with, if Apple matches a song in your library with a song that it thinks is it, Apple’s version overrides the version in your iTunes, in essence, deleting it. Many people have complained that their “match” does not match their song in the slightest.
“That rare, early version of Fountains of Wayne’s “I’ll Do The Driving,” labeled as such? Still had its same label, but was instead replaced by the later-released, more widely available version of the song,” Pinkstone wrote on his blog.
“The piano demo of “Sister Jack” that I downloaded directly from Spoon’s website ten years ago? Replaced with the alternate, more common demo version of the song. What this means, then, is that Apple is engineering a future in which rare, or varying, mixes and versions of songs won’t exist unless Apple decides they do. Said alternate versions will be replaced by the most mainstream version, despite their original, at-one-time correct, titles, labels, and file contents.”
For those of you that follow Apple, know that they never confirm anything that is somewhat harmful to their brand. However, with Apple Music not taking off as well as they had hoped, it seems that the company confirmed, somewhat, what was happening to Pinkstone.
The company confirmed, in a statement given to iMore, that “in an extremely small number of cases, users have reported that music files saved on their computer were removed without their permission.” The confirmation was minimalized due to the fact Apple claims that they cannot produce the bug, which means that a patch probably far off, if ever, coming.
“In an extremely small number of cases users have reported that music files saved on their computer were removed without their permission,” Apple said in a statement on Friday. “We’re taking these reports seriously as we know how important music is to our customers and our teams are focused on identifying the cause. We have not been able to reproduce this issue, however, we’re releasing an update to iTunes early next week which includes additional safeguards. If a user experiences this issue they should contact AppleCare.”
Apple in this instance, as well in an updated blog post that Pinkstone wrote about when Apple reached out to him, contradict what the Apple genius (we use the term “genius” loosely) told Pinkstone in the original blog post.
“Despite what Amber had told me, Dave asserted that deletion of original files isn’t supposed to happen,” Pinkstone wrote. “This obviously put me in an awkward position, since I’d relied on Amber’s expertise while writing my original blog. Although I’m guarded, since Apple has given me two conflicting responses, I really hope that Dave is correct–because the alternative is Robocop 2-level bleak.”
iMore seems to think that the bug could have originated with the Cloud Music Library that Apple is using to let people listen to song on their devices, like an iPhone or Mac, that do not contain the original file. They note that the process gets even more precarious when you mingle it with their own Apple Music if you are using iTunes version 12.3.3.
It would seem that the major takeaway from this would be to keep all your files separated until this matter gets resolved. To Apple’s credit, it is a good thing that they simply acknowledged the issue but given their response should make anyone less than hopeful that this issue will get resolved any time soon.