No, Apple Music is not deleting tracks off your hard drive — unless you tell it to

On Wednesday, I saw a post widely shared about an unfortunate individual who lost half of their local library and was blaming Apple Music for automatically deleting their local files.

I sympathize, and I'm very glad this person had a backup of their music, but I want to dispel some FUD here: Apple Music has definite problems and its matching algorithms aren't great, but this is simply not how the service works. Apple Music should never automatically delete files off your primary Mac's hard drive unless you specifically delete them first.

  • Update: A bug with iTunes on the Mac may be to blame for an extremely small number of users losing files. Apple is investigating.

How Apple Music on your primary Mac works

When you enable Apple Music on your original Mac, the service scans your music library and matches any tracks you own to its streaming library. This is so, when you're on a secondary device — like an iPhone, iPad, or other Mac — you can stream those tracks at their highest quality without having to download local files. These referenced files become part of your iCloud Music Library.

If you have tracks that aren't in Apple Music's library — say, personal recordings, for instance — they will be uploaded as-is to your iCloud Music Library, though songs encoded in ALAC, WAV, or AIFF will be uploaded as AAC 256kbps files for easier storage (opens in new tab).

Once this matching and uploading process is complete, you have two libraries: your locally-stored library on your original Mac with all your old files, and an iCloud-stored library that you can access from other devices.

Where it gets confusing

On your original Mac, Apple Music will never delete songs without your knowledge. Your original library is scanned into iCloud, but your songs are yours, and Apple will not automatically delete them, or replace them with its own proprietary copies.

On an iPhone, iPad, or secondary Mac, this process is different: Any songs you play on those devices are sourced directly from your iCloud Music Library, and even if you download them locally, they can be removed from your device if your iPhone's storage space dips too low.

You can, however, download iCloud Music Library-sourced tracks on your Mac if you delete your original copies — and this is what I suspect may have happened to Vellum Atlanta author James Pinkstone's original library, possibly unknowingly.

When you press delete on a song in your iTunes Library with Apple Music or iTunes Match enabled, you'll see the following dialog:

See more

If you choose "Remove Download," it will send the local file from your hard drive to your Trash, but leave the reference in your library — so that you can stream that track directly from iCloud Music Library. It won't delete the file until you empty your Trash.

This is great if you're on a laptop and want streaming access to your music library, but you don't want the hassle of having 40GB of music on your hard drive. But it should only ever be done on a secondary computer or secondary iTunes Library — never for your master library.

This is because iCloud Music Library's matching is far from perfect: It's been known to match live albums to studio ones, original songs to cover tracks, and more. If you delete your original files to save some space, you're putting those tracks at the mercy of iCloud.

Worse, iCloud Music Library only sticks around while you have an active Apple Music subscription: If you delete songs and replace them with iCloud versions — even if you re-download those versions to your hard drive — they'll disappear or become inoperable 30 days after you cancel your subscription.

As such, I've advised from the beginning to always keep a master copy of your original library when using streaming services that match your library, and back up that library before signing up for anything cloud-related.

Is this Apple's fault?

Sort of. iCloud Music Library is confusing as all hell, and it's been so since the first days of iTunes Match. That's absolutely Apple's fault.

In an ideal world, iCloud Music Library would work like Dropbox, or even iCloud Photo Library — whatever you upload is yours, it doesn't get "matched" to anything, and as long as you re-download everything before you cancel your subscription, you're fine. But DRM and downloading streaming tracks you don't have ownership rights to mucks things up. iCloud Music Library is always going to be complicated, and people are going to make mistakes because of it. And if they don't have backups, those mistakes might be costly.

There's also a possibility that some nasty bug wiped out Pinkstone's original library unintentionally. We haven't been able to reproduce this problem, however; Apple is currently talking with Pinkstone and investigating other reports from a small number of individuals.

Whatever the case, Apple Music was never designed to delete Pinkstone's source library, and it won't delete yours. That's simply not how the service works on your primary Mac. But if you're not aware of how iCloud Music Library stores copies of tracks, you may delete your local copies to save space, thinking you can get them back — and get screwed as a result.

For more information on iCloud Music Library and the Mac:

Serenity Caldwell

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.

  • I beg to differ! Back when Apple Music first came out, I did the free trial on my MacBook Air. While it was matching my library, I noticed a handful of seemingly random songs started greying out and wouldn't upload. When I checked for them in the filesystem they had been totally deleted. I never once told it to delete the songs, and I know the songs were there prior to matching, one because I'd listened to them recently, and two because I thankfully managed to recover them from a Time Machine backup from just prior to matching. There was no rhyme or reason, no pattern, it just decided to obliterate random files from my disk for no clear reason.
  • That is super-weird and not how AM is supposed to work. Glad you had a backup, and why I encourage everyone to use backups before turning on streaming or cloud services.
  • Considering the number of people telling that they, too, had the same problem with iTunes Music... shouldn't be better to update the title and the content of this post? Victim blaming - "It's not Apple fault, it's because the blogger was so stupid to click the wrong button an infinite amount of time suffice to delete 122GB of files" - is not so cool.
  • So if you run a stop sign, it's the town's fault?
  • No, but to further stretch your analogy, if someone is accusing you of running several thousand stop signs, it does seem quite reasonable to suspect that's not quite what happened.
  • Except there aren't several thousand.
  • Do you think people are that stupid and ingenious? A random no name blogger randomly posts that scaremongering story JUST the day before Apple announces student pricing for Apple Music? Yup! Like nobody would go online and lie about Apple... Sent from the iMore App
  • (
    There was a bug at launch where if you add the AM version of an album, when you own a version of it, and local iTunes shoves the duplicates under the same "album" entry on the Mac. I think either then, or when you removed the AM album on iOS, iTunes Mac would delete your original files. This happened to me, once, and I had to recover from the Purchased tab of the store. Obviously, I never added an album I knew I already owned again, so I can only assume in they fixed this bug — it's seriously nasty, and people expect AM to be smart enough to know that an album they own in My Library shouldn't be shown in Apple Music as something that can be added *again.*
  • It's called a bug, and today's Apple software is riddled with the stuff. Since this has happened before, maybe the bug isn't totally squashed. So yes, Apple Music might just be deleting tracks from your hard drive.
  • Ditto to this...there was no reason to have deleted local files and I certainly didn't tell iTunes to do so. Thankfully i had backups.
  • My experience was that the tracks would not play and or disapear momentarily while the syncing was in progess. When the icloud syncing would complete all the music would re-appear and work on all devices. Sent from the iMore App
  • I've seen iCML and iTunes Match be so buggy that I wouldn't rule out something like random deletion. Still, backups are a necessity for all sorts of scenarios. I would love to use Apple Music - I had the free trial and I was very close to keeping it, but the main feature that gives it a leg up on other services is the integration with your main library. That's where it falls down. These are the main things keeping me from subscribing to Apple Music, and please correct me if any of these have been made better: 1. Incorrect album matching. For the life of me I'll never understand why it doesn't trust my tags when matching, and if it can't match the music fingerprint to the track I said it was, let me keep *my* copy of it. This would prevent people from just tagging albums to be what they want (more an issue for Match customers). 2. In the event of a bad match, let me *easily* fix it. See how Plex handles fixing mismatching as a simple, bare minimum way to address this issue. 3. Unbelievably stupid "smart" playlists. They can't reference other smart playlists. This is a thoroughly solved problem (see: Tunes, i). I love fancy smart playlists and this hamstrings the whole service for me. 4. Forgetting my "sort as" tags. To be fair, THIS HAPPENS EVEN WITHOUT APPLE MUSIC (on my iPhone, I have to remove and resync affected tracks). For the love of Jobs, can we please just agree that the correct way to sort artists is the way it's been done for hundreds of years, by last name? Please? Tori Amos goes in A, not T. 5. Cache cleansing my iPhone at bad moments. I saw someone (maybe Serenity?) mention this as a problem recently and it's frankly unforgivable the way it works now. I listen to music on flights all the time. I either read or listen to music. If my favorite albums aren't on my phone when I want them I will go crazy. Oddly enough this also happened to me a couple weeks ago even though I don't subscribe to Apple Music anymore. I suddenly only had three songs from a recently purchased album that I was listening to a lot, and I was on a plane. Gah. 6. Album cover art? This was a catastrophe for me when I tried iTunes Match, I honestly can't remember if it was also a problem during my Apple Music trial, but I still see people complain about it. I used to have lots of problems with the phone's cover art cache, but I fixed it by removing all my music and re-syncing it. I own the 128GB phone because music is the #1 thing I use my phone for. The reason I have an iPhone instead of an Android is because of the first generation iPod Nano, which turned into an iPod touch, which turned into an iPhone 4 when I finally got rid of my flip phone. My music experience has seriously shaken my confidence in Apple as a software company, especially as it relates to services. I'm nervously watching my Photos database update right now...
  • #5 can be even more devastating. I have medically diagnosed anxiety and panic disorder which is triggered by large crowds. I happen to live in NYC where this is a serious problem. I use my music as a coping mechanism and sensory depravation in order to prevent the trigger of an attack in a place like a subway or bus. Apple Music cleansed my iPhone during one of the most stressful moments in my life. I was lucky enough to be able to get to my computer and resync the tracks, but were this to happen and I not notice before boarding a crowded train, I don't want to imagine what could happen. I know I'm not the only person with a mental health illness where access to music is important for one's health. Besides anxiety sufferers, those with PTSD also use music to block out sounds that could cause an episode. I don't think Apple understands that access to music is not just about enjoyment or convenience; for some of us, it is a serious quality of life issue.
  • Funny, music is the best cure for my anxiety disorder as well. Well, that and valium ;) Doctor prescribed! I have come to appreciate that better living through doctor monitored chemistry is possible. Best of luck, I know exactly how you feel.
  • "For the love of Jobs, can we please just agree that the correct way to sort artists is the way it's been done for hundreds of years, by last name? Please? Tori Amos goes in A, not T." I used to agree but then what does one do with Bon Iver? Or Franz Ferdinand? Or Abdel Kabirr & the Soto Koto Band? I eventually resorted my CD collection to match the way iTunes does it because why have to try to remember if the artist is using their name or not. "Album cover art?" I have >35,000 tracks in Match many with album art that I scanned in (because they never existed as a CD). I have Greatest Hits albums that, when I ripped the CD, I changed the album art and track names/numbers back to their original albums (ZZ Top). I have Greatest Hits CDs that I left as Greatest Hits albums in iTunes. I have never had any of my album art replaced by iTunes. I'm not saying it's impossible, it just never happened to me. For most of my tracks I have laboriously added lyric metadata.Those lyrics follow the Matched tracks from device to device. However, one has to download the track to the device to get the lyrics... it doesn't work with just streaming. I have added lyrics to some Apple Music tracks that I downloaded to my Mac. Those lyrics are available on my iPhone (if I download the track). While nothing is perfect; I would like Apple to provide an API so my DJay Pro app could stream non-downloaded tracks (like it can with Spotify), I have been generally happy with iTunes.
  • Oh really?
  • Feycat, that's what triggered her post in the first place. What I got from her article is that Apple Music isn't designed to do what it did there, and "Amber" either misunderstood him or gave him bad info. It's either a bug or user error; I personally lean towards bug, and what cheesed this guy off was that so many in the Apple community assume it's user error. I've seen that behavior myself and it is not constructive. Why anyone would give Apple Music the benefit of the doubt is quite beyond my capacity.
  • Well, why not give Apple Music the benefit of the doubt? This is an isolated case. Where are the thousands or millions of complaints? There are none. Where's the class action suit? There isn't one. What I'd like to know is why people assume it's a bug, and the user wasn't at fault. Haven't we all done something stupid at one point?
  • Not quite an isolated case. Jim Dalrymple wrote about having the same problem in July of 2015. "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."
  • That's only half the story. You can still get those files back.
  • [CItation needed]
    I mean unless you're lucky enough to not have that space on the hard drive overwritten and you can run an undeleter app those files are gone. I doubt it but it would not surprise me if iTunes overwrote those areas with random data to prevent recovery.
  • Yes, I'm sure Apple engineers are hard at work ******** people over. Can I roll my eyes any harder?
  • @starmikenj Ah, so you used to work for them. +1 Insightful. Oh wait, no. -5 Trolling.
  • how? ALL files that were not purchased through iTunes which includes all CD files are no longer in my iTunes...I can't find them anywhere on my computer. CD files are also missing on my fathers, husbands, and sisters do we get them back?
  • iTunes 12.2.1, the first update after Apple Music was released, fixed a bug where Match and Apple Music had crossed signals. That's likely what Dalrymple ran into. Really, the launch was terrible.
  • Dalrymple later indicated that it was attributed to user error. Not defending Apple here, just pointing out that you are not sharing the latest post on that story.
  • Jim's story is not a good example, as he acknowledges that he deleted his files off his source computer - exactly as Serenity describes. A.
  • I know your comment is from
    4 months ago but this comment just saved me probably thousands of songs!! So a big thank you. I am so fed up with Apple. They robbed me of my song purchases!!! Straight up! I was about to cancel my auto renew of the apple match. I had a feeling something would happen. Now I know for sure! Apple protects it's self through there small print. I have also found some songs are "not available"! I'm so glad I have to pay $10 a month and then an annual fee to keep some of my music I already paid for!
  • If you've read the original article you would have gotten the answer regarding lack of class action suit. Spoiler: The terms and conditions every user accepts.
  • Funny, I've gotten several class action mailings regarding Apple before. T&C doesn't mean they're bulletproof.
  • umm... "never" say never.
  • 40 gig of music.... how quaint
  • Do people really have giant collections of music... that they paid for? I have about 45gb of legally-acquired music, resulting from about 1100 albums (some are partial). To me, it seems like a lot. Most is 256 kpbs AAC.
  • Yes -- music professionals especially. DJ's have enormous libraries. I do original composition and songwriting. I record an uncompressed wav files for each take of each instrument. A three minute compressed song file is fairly small, but the project file that created that single song can easily be multiple gigs, because it includes uncompressed wav recordings for each and every take of each and every instrument performance. Holding on to the project file is crucial, because if a music supervisor wants to license my music for a tv show, they may want an instrumental version of a song, or they may want the voice, the instruments, and and the percussion as separate audio files, or they may need some other modification that will require me to go back into my project file, edit, and re-print the track. That's just the stuff I wrote myself. I also have a large collection of music CD's I've bought and imported to my computer over the years. And in my opinion, it kind of defeats the purpose of purchasing a high quality recording if I'm only going to listen to a reduced quality version of it, so I always import my music uncompressed.
  • I've had a similar experience, although not identical. I have music tracks I've ripped from CD which are now greyed out in iTunes and cannot be played at all in iTunes. I think this happened when I signed up for iCloud Music. However, the actual m4a files are still on my hard drive, just no longer 'linked' into iTunes.
  • tevendale, I saw that happen during my Apple Music trial, and as I recall it did eventually fix itself. It had something to do with the giant initial synchronization/matching it had to do... I think. So if you only recently added those tracks or joined Apple Music, maybe give it a day or two at most and see if it just sort of starts working. If they've been like that for a while now... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Dalrymple's posts in particular persuaded me to stay away as far as possible from Apple Music. Mind you, I tried iTunes Match before and that was a bit of a disaster. My problem is that about a quarter of my library consists of classical music I received through the years on cassettes, reel tapes, LPs and so forth, and digitized myself. Everything backed up of course (on- and off-site) but I use it for daily reference and I wouldn't trust any service with the task of matching that stuff - let alone one as apparently flaky as AM. Where, if my experience with iTunes Match is anything to go by, support is pretty much non-existent.
  • I learned that years ago. iTunes has always had undocumented ways of creating issues with computers. Around 2003 it had uncontrolledly duplicated my entire music library against my wishes and I never looked back. I'm just not surprised that undocumented actions of this heavy handed software are still causing issues today. iTunes has multiple dropdown lists that don't have a choice "Do nothing", it's intrusive. Combined with making it very difficult to do things like manage your own devices without iTunes, it's just **** on Earth. Install as few Apple software products as possible, unless you are comfortable in calling any bugs or annoyances as "features".
  • BULL.
    CRAP. YES THEY DO by default it deletes anything in your library it thinks is a match. you MISSED THE POINT of the article - it's not even about the deletions.. it's about UNRETREIVABLE deletions (ie: one of a kind items you can't get back when apple gets it wrong) and how there's no retrieving your original file's quality when it does get it right
  • "by default it deletes anything in your library it thinks is a match."
    sounds like a lot of FUD... AM buggy and matching unreliable? yea, I've been frustrated too. but this is just FUD until someone shows reproducible bug.
  • "by default it deletes anything in your library it thinks is a match." - No, it really doesn't. Like the guy whose problems triggered this whole media firestorm, I am an indie musician and have tons of my original stuff in my library. When I signed up for Apple Music I didn't lose a single local file, original or otherwise, and I had close to 20K tracks at the time.
  • I've noticed that too with ripped CDs. They load into iTunes no problem, but will not sync to my iPhone 6. That is until I turn off Apple Music Library. Then the CDs will transfer no problem. Of course now all the songs I've downloaded from Apple Music are gone and have to be redownloaded. And not only that but some albums that I bought from the iTunes store also disappear and have to be downloaded again. If they could get the transfer of ripped CDs while leaving Music Library turned on, that'd be great.
  • yea unfortunately they don't allow you to mix old school iTunes sync and iCloud library sync. so if you ripped CDs you have to let iCloud sync for you, I've done it so far. I do miss being able to just sync locally, sometimes more reliable.
  • I'm confused by your complaint. I sync my own ripped CDs as well as Apple Music tracks, via iTunes to my iPhone, all the time. It's automatic and wireless. I do subscribe to iTunes Match as well though. Now, iTunes Match shouldn't be necessary (as Apple Music can also match those tracks, and link you to their DRM'ed version, or just upload it without) but iTunes Match does it without DRM regardless, and is only $25/year. But it works perfectly for me, all tracks (regardless of origin) sync perfectly to my iPhone 6.
  • The problem I encountered is that my iPhone music will only play if I am on wifi and can access the music on Apple music; otherwise 2/3 of my music is greyed out. Any help would be appreciated.
  • Can you tell me how you got your music to sync to your iPhone6? Even after I turn off Apple Music, 2/3 of my music is greyed out and will not play. I have about 3500 songs, only 1/3 of which were purchases from iTunes and now they are not accessible on my iPhone.
    If anyone can help me solve this problem, I will be grateful.
  • Bells110st, I noticed on my iTunes on my PC that I had to check the box that said sync entire library. I had had only selected the box that said only sync checked items. I have a lot more songs in my iTunes library than I keep on my phone so I didn't want to transfer the entire library to the phone. But as an experiment I checked the box marked sink entire iTunes library and it worked. It still only transferred the songs that were checked So I didn't have to delete a lot of songs from my phone. You might give that a try and see if that works for you. Good luck.
  • "they will be uploaded as-is... though songs encoded in ALAC, WAV, or AIFF will be uploaded as AAC 256kbps"
    Rene wrote this line, right?
  • Serenity, even if we ignore the potential from random bugs and the experiences others have posted claiming that some other mechanism of iCML deleted their songs, relying only on the information in your article, I disagree with your conclusion that it's only "sort of" Apple's fault. Look at the warning message again. It is talking about removing the song from your "iCloud Music Library and other devices." The songs people are complaining about being deleted are their original, master copies that are on the computer they are currently using. Not the copies in iCloud and not the copies on other devices. I would never in a million years expect that "Delete Download" would affect my master song...the one that I UPLOADED, not downloaded. This isn't a matter of understanding how iCML works. Even if you know how it works, that warning message is completely wrong. Not merely a "misunderstanding" as Jason Snell tweeted; it's just plain, 100% wrong when the song it is acting on is a source copy. It only talks about "downloads" but affects both downloaded songs and your master copy that was uploaded. And "other devices" to me does NOT include the Mac that I am currently using. It means, you know, other devices. Even if you ignore the bad song matching, etc, iCML needs to be able to tell the difference between an iCloud version of a song and the original, source copy. It should never alter or delete a source copy without getting very explicit permission from the user. As you noted, iCML is confusing enough the way it is. Warning messages like this certainly don't help the situation. There is absolutely no aspect of that warning message that would suggest you were about to delete the master copy of your music file on your computer, and every indication that it is only deleting the iCloud copy of that song (both in iCloud and on other devices). The blame squarely rests on Apple for this one, if not for the mechanisms behind the scenes then certainly for the incredibly bad warning dialog box. It is sloppy arrogance on Apple's part and is leading to their customers losing data.
  • > It only talks about "downloads" but affects both downloaded songs and your master copy that was uploaded. That's not true, though. If you have downloaded the file (or it started life as a local file and got added to the cloud later) you have the option to delete the local copy only while leaving the cloud copy intact. > iCML needs to be able to tell the difference between an iCloud version of a song and the original, source copy. It should never alter or delete a source copy without getting very explicit permission from the user. It doesn't. I've been a subscriber since day one and I've never had this happen. It always asks if you want to delete the local version only, or local + cloud. (Maybe it could be worded better but I never had an issue with the actual functionality.)
  • "It doesn't. I've been a subscriber since day one and I've never had this happen." This has never happened to me, therefore this doesn't happen? Can you really not accept even the possibility that other people may have encountered a software feature or glitch that you have not seen?
  • What's more likely? posters saying files aren't really deleted are lying or you just aren't finding your files / user error?
  • How about everyone is telling the truth and are right about their experiences? Some people are having files deleted and some are not. I've never experienced the problem, but that doesn't mean others have not. Heck, I don't even use Apple Music. Does that mean no one else does?
  • And yet the author of the article didn't explain their specific steps, and nobody else has reported this happening. Putting my money on user error.
  • Could the iCloud and Apple Music work any more complicated? No wonder people can't agree if it was likely a user error or bad programming.
    Either way, in the end the program isn't clear enough for normal user, and that is Apples problem, try to make a OS that suits all and works for all as it is. Ends up being more complicated than i.e. Android. This is why I don't (can't) sync my photos on all devices withouth loosing photos on all devices rendering the feature useless for me. Just as this thing with Apple Music.
  • If the user chose "Remove Download" and clicked confirm, would this delete songs off his hard drive?
  • "The way it's supposed to work" and "the way it ends up working is sometimes two different things." I prefer to own my music and curate it to my devices manually.
  • Apple screwed up by having the match SUCK at first. I waited to try Apple Music until they raised the limit from 25k to 100k songs, because I already had over 50k, most of it live concerts (moe., Phish, dead, etc).
    At first it was abysmal, really bad matches. I'd be listening to my live show only to have random studio versions played back to me. Even worse, once I was listening to Pink Floyd's "The Wall" only to have a version from the live album pulse substitute in for a song... I reported it as a bug, reset my library, emailed and tweeted powers that be, but still crap.
    A couple of months ago I got an email my bug was fixed. A month ago I reset my "Music in the cloud" and watched, horrified, that only 5,000 songs were uploaded (rather than the 28,000 that had been uploaded the 1st time I turned this on). I was SURE it was epic fail, but as I started listening I found that the reason it was only 5k was because it kept the actual music in the cloud to match against, and ONLY uploaded the ones that were actually incorrectly matched. I have been using it for a month, randomly pulling up shows that had failed before, and so far not one mismatch. I think they finally realized that for the price of storage, they should ALWAYS err on the side of the end user and upload the music, unless they can be more than 100% certain it is a match. I have yet to have a failure, and it finally delivers the holy grail I wanted....
    Now if they'd only add handoff
  • This article commits a pretty serious fallacy: it claims to talk about what Apple Music is actually doing, but it only actually talks about what Apple Music is SUPPOSED to be doing, without offering any evidence at all regarding whether those are the same thing. Serenity, I agree with you completely when you say "Apple Music should never automatically delete files off your primary Mac's hard drive." But what something SHOULD do and what it ACTUALLY does are often very different. Mr. Pinkstone (and the commenter "detunedradios") have clearly had experiences outside the bounds of what Apple Music claims to do. Do you have any evidence that Apple Music ISN'T automatically deleting files off these people's primary Macs? In short: How can you be so sure that Apple Music isn't doing something that it "should" not be doing?
  • I can't reproduce it, nor can a number of folks I've asked. This article was written to quell the notion that Apple is intentionally stripping you of your files to force you to subscribe to Apple Music. If there's a bug out there, and it is possible even if I can't reproduce it, that really sucks and it's something Apple should fix ASAP. But I have a problem with angry people getting thousands of other users terrified that Apple Music is going to intentionally delete their music for nefarious reasons.
  • It has to be user error. I just can't believe it's not.
  • I'm of the school of thought that says there's no such thing as user error, only badly designed software that allows users to make errors. Also, "errors" on the scale of "accidentally deleting your entire music library" are not things that any software - let alone a flagship app like Apple Music - should allow to happen without waving several huge red flags in front of the user and requiring multiple, active confirmations. I doubt Apple are deliberately trashing people's files, but from the end user's point of view that doesn't actually matter. Gone files are gone. One might argue that negligence/bad design is just as bad as malice from that perspective.
  • Ok, so how many "do you REALLY, REALLY, *REALLY* want to do that?" alert dialogs are acceptable?
  • Personally, if I'd designed it, the option to automatically delete local files probably wouldn't even exist inside the app. User's files should be sacrosanct, deletable only by "normal" methods through Finder or whatever. Disk space is cheap. Recovering vanished files is not. Especially when the music matching system is known to be imperfect. If it had to exist, what I would do isn't an OK/Cancel dialogue because nobody reads those, it would be a text box that you have to type "Yes, please delete my files" into.
  • Ok, but again, does iTunes allow you to delete your files willy-nilly? No. The only time (I believe) is if you try to sync a device with a different Apple ID account. That could be what happened here, either intentionally or accidentally, without knowing the consequences. Either way, it was a choice the user made, but the article is written to sound like Apple deleted everything maliciously. The point is, there's a step missing in the article. Whether the author is aware of it or not, he left out a crucial step.
  • Even then, Apple Music must not delete my files. Ever!
    Not talking about files that originated from Apple store, but the ones that were on my hard drives. Doesn't matter what the situation is, hand off!!!
    If there is a feature that allows Apple Music to delete _my_ files it is wrong. Fix it, Apple.
  • I agree with you that I don't think they would intentionally delete music for nefarious reasons. But I do feel that they are probably deleting music, intentionally, because either through carelessness or arrogance, they have utterly failed to communicate to the user what the options are in that warning dialog box. Users who insist they didn't give permission to delete their files may very well not remember clicking that option in the dialog box because it appears to have absolutely nothing to do with deleting the original files. The end result is the same. Users have lost data and Apple's reputation for quality takes a hit.
  • Apple's reputation is fine. One blog by someone who doesn't understand how things work isn't going to tarnish anything.
  • Serenity, I'm a software developer, I currently work for a firm building web and mobile applications. We receive bugs reports from users all the time. Sometimes I can't reproduce them. Sometimes we go through every staff member, device and browser in the office, plus a bunch of virtual machines, and still can't reproduce the error. Sometimes we have screen grabs, proving 100% that the bug exists, and STILL can't reproduce them. That doesn't mean that the users are wrong. It only means that we can't reproduce the bugs. Your intent in writing this article may well be to quell fears of nefarious intent by Apple, but that's not what your article says. Nor what the title says. With your title "No, Apple Music is not deleting tracks off your hard drive — unless you tell it to". You are asserting, as though it's a fact, that everyone who has made this claim is wrong, and that your experience of Apple Music, invalidates their own. Please take a step back, and show some respect for other computer users who have their own experiences, that apparently differ to yours. If there IS a bug that causes files to be deleted, or even a poorly written confirmation box causing users to inadvertently approve deletion, then people should be wary of using the software, and getting the word out is important. Software screws up. All the time. Asserting other people's claims to be false, because you haven't been able to replicate it is also not particularly helpful.
  • If this were actually a "bug" then there would be thousands of similar blog posts, and pitchforks at Apple's gates, and protesters calling for Tim Cook's head. Anyway, the moral of the story is, "have a solid backup plan." Because yes, any software *could* screw up, and cause even more damage than this. iTunes isn't some unique boogeyman. And in my opinion, wasn't even the actual cause of the original blogger's issue.
  • "If this were actually a "bug" then..." You can't dismiss the possibility that there is a bug or crappy feature because it's not widely complained about - though I'd cite the fact that several on this blog have shared similar anecdotes of messed up, corrupted and removed tracks... - regardless: Bugs with limited proliferation occur and impact users literally every day. The fact that bugs so often occur only in limited circumstances, for limited users, with limited OS/software/hardware combinations, is exactly why bugs so often get through testing. Because you can't possibly test for every possible combination of things. Lets be clear, I'm not saying Apple are "in the wrong" if there is a bug with the claimed results (though they are in the wrong if it's an intentional feature). Bugs happen, it's a fact of software development. They do and will always happen. I'm saying that Serenity is wrong to categorically deny that there is a bug or feature with the claimed results.
  • This wasn't a bug. Think about it. For it to be a bug, that means the software had to be written with an entry point of "delete the user's files and then back them up from iCloud". That DOES NOT EXIST in iTunes. This mythical "bug" is a multistep action which means that there must be an entry point and reason to exist to be triggered accidentally. This is why I cannot believe it exists. User error. No other explanation.
  • Dunno about you, but I've seen a few pitchforks in this thread... I've seen enough people say this happened to them that I'm not at all comfortable calling it user error, and I hope Apple isn't either.
  • So where's Apple's response? They're pretty good at getting explanations out for real bugs.
  • They're probably on bug hunting mode. If they were 100% confident, they would have said something either way.
  • "Your holding it wrong" was one of those.
  • It's also not particularly helpful to accept every software bug opinion on the Internet at face value. If that were a viable approach, every single piece of software would be worthless and riddled with bugs according to the Internet.
  • My music files were irreparably altered when I tried the trial. Mismatching songs, titles, artists, album name... It was borked. The only thing I could do, after hours with support, was wipe my library and restored from Time Machine. They soon came out with a one click button to wipe the cloud files on AM so users could start fresh. Because turning it back on would have just caused it all to happen again.
  • From the original article: "Although several people had described problems similar to mine, they were all dismissed by condescending 'gurus' who simply said that we had mislocated our files (I had the free drive space to prove that wasn’t the case) or that we must have accidentally deleted the files ourselves (we hadn’t)." It's funny how you just confirmed that attitude. Are you seriously claiming that someone would repeatedly delete 122 GB of music by mistake through that dialogue?
  • Something tells me he actually deleted ~/Users/Music/iTunes from his computer, and started a fresh new library, syncing to his iCloud Music Library locker, without iTunes Match, and had no idea what he was doing in the process.
  • This. It's the only explanation, except for possibly syncing a device with a different Apple ID account.
  • Quote: "Apple Music ~~~should~~~ never automatically delete files off your primary Mac's hard drive unless you specifically delete them first." Of course. It SHOULD never work that way. But this blogger says it did. And she says most of the "experts" she talked to simply thought she was careless and deleted stuff. Quite frankly, what you describe here is a process that literally no one will understand. Click "remove download" to delete your files, or whatever the **** that means. Your headline is a bald-faced lie; Apple IS DELETING YOUR FILES WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT, because the setup is too complicated for users to understand. I am so ******* tired of companies deciding they own us, I feel like I'm going crazy.
  • And yet, we don't have the details of the problem itself. Why should we trust this person? If their misunderstanding of the issue is at hand, should Apple write out the dialogs in crayon? Users have to be responsible for what happens. For all we know, the user clicked too fast, did an "oh, crap!", and wrote the article to cover their ****. TL;DR: Do you trust some blogger or Apple?
  • TL;DR: I'm more inclined to trust "some blogger" than Apple. Apple have a history of
    1) lying in marketing materials
    2) steeling ideas from competitors, then claiming ownship
    3) releasing buggy and insecure software, then ignoring the fallout Plus, Apple have EULA clauses specifically to limit their liability when their software and hardware screws up, because they know 100% that they will, on occasion screw up. So yeah, random blogger with some supporting anecdotal evidence gets the benefit of the doubt, over Apple.
  • Classy.
  • …Kind of like your utterly classy kneejerk smearing of a blogger who identifies a problem you desperately don’t want to believe exists. "Doesn't understand how things work" indeed.
  • And yet this is the world we live in. We tend to believe a no-name blogger with no proof. I thought this kind of behavior died in high school. And yet the blogger still hasn't shown us their steps. Did they accidentally plug in their mom's iPod and blow their library away because it's a different account? Did they accidentally have a Terminal window open and blow away their /Music folder? These are the things we don't know and that's why I tend to call BS on the whole thing until we get concrete facts. But please, PLEASE feel free to believe it just because it's on the internet™. I can't believe that people aren't looking at the big, gaping "3. ????" part of the story and not questioning it.
  • Ok, I've been jumping on Apple for their music guffaws for a couple years now, but your post makes me wonder why you even check iMore... 1) Apple lies less than most competitors in their ads (they usually underestimate battery life, for example). I am granting them a statute of limitations on their egregious "fastest computer ever" claim on the G4 ads. 20 years ago.
    2) Everyone steals from everyone, and this argument is complete BS, for those who claim it of Apple AND Microsoft... and even Google. Samsung not so much ;)
    3) This is a valid complaint for several of their software releases; others do this to, but Apple is supposed to be better than that. And... 4? EVERYONE has EULA clauses that limit their liability if their software screws up. That disclaimer also provides very limited legal power. Hey, 1 for 4, not bad.
  • You sound like every blogger looking to trash Apple. Never ask who has more to gain. Ask who has more to lose by lying.
  • Search for "apple stole my music no seriously" this is the article that is being referenced, so you can see the details. The author was specific about what happened.
  • Um, there's no need to "search." The link to that exact article is literally in the very first sentence of this one. Yes, that's what this article is in response to. And no, the author of that article was NOT "specific about what happened. " Just that "something" happened, and his entire local library of music files was deleted. He even confessed in the comments later, that this may have been due to his own mistake.
  • I've been using Macs for over 28 years. So I'm a loyal customer and huge fan. But I've always hated iTunes (as well as iPhoto), because they exert too much control over file format and location. Based on what I'm reading here, things have only gotten worse with the "match" system. So I wouldn't touch iTunes with a 10-foot-pole now, except for one purpose (explained further down). I keep my music files stored in a simple directory system on a 4TB hard drive connected to my network. I use Plex on my Mac, connect to that drive, and there's my music, sorted exactly how I want, with file and folder names exactly as I want. As for streaming from the cloud, I admit I have no burning need for that, so my system doesn't completely duplicate what Apple offers (or seems to offer). I use my iPhone for music on the road, but mostly with Pandora. I do use iTunes for one thing—to create a playlist that's a mix of stuff I listen to while jogging. But as my main music app, no way. (For photos I use Adobe's Aperture, which organizes files for you, but using a much saner date-order system.) Anyway, I piped up because I read about all these hassles people have with iTunes, and my gut reaction is, "Geez, get AWAY from that thing!"
  • And yet millions of people use iTunes every day with no problem. Also, you proved that you can use your device for playing music without the need for the cloud, something the original author said you can't do. I have my "desert island files" as well, and that's part of where I checked out of believing the original article. The author doesn't understand how it all works.
  • Yeah, though my comment was a little beside the point, because I wasn't really agreeing with this line that Apple is bad, deletes your files en masse, and so on. I believe people do use iTunes without trouble, although I think they're more inside the iTunes "ecosystem"-- they buy, store, and manage most or all their music with iTunes and aren't concerned about the nitpicky stuff that I am, like file and folder organization and naming, etc. Bottom line: if it works for you, great; if it doesn't, there's always the option of trying something else besides iTunes, vs. complaining about Apple.
  • Millions of people use Adobe Flash and Windows every day without a problem, it doesn't mean that either of these is a beacon of good programming or software design.
  • Adobe Flash is an Internet standard and Windows is an operating system. People can't choose their own Internet and most have their OS chosen for them. There are many alternatives to iTunes on both Mac and PC so many are choosing iTunes.
  • Is there any legal recourse for all the music we've lost—from purchased CDs that I put on my computer, to music I have purchased from the iTunes Store. Many people with extensive music collections are not aware of the music that Apple has made disappear until they are looking for that cd, song, etc. Apple needs to be held accountable. It is a certainty they have been aware of this problem for years. How do we hold them accountable? Are they so big they can get away with theft?
  • This is the most naive article I've ever seen on iMore.
  • Im pretty sure it was written buy Apple marketing trying to stem the outcry over this.
  • "Pretty sure?" Did the link to that same article in the very first sentence of this one clue you in, Sherlock?
  • > iCloud Music Library is always going to be complicated, and people are going to make mistakes because of it. So, not only did Apple design a dialogue box that does what it doesn't say it will do (that is, it will delete a local copy), they also do not fix the software enough over the years to make it easier for people, causing inevitable mistakes that lead to these kinds of unfortunate events? This isn't a low-tolerance high-precision software for rockets, this is a mainstream music library manager I think that, regarding that dialogue box, Apple is completely at fault, in no way that dialogue box can cause user error, because the dialogue box is misleading in the first place, making it product error. Apple simply f**ked up in this case, I personally think it's better to just admit it and start looking for solutions instead of trying your best to defend Apple.
  • Serenity, the author, is full of ****.
    How does she explain this?
  • You didn't read this article.... did you?
  • It was this exact thing that James said he DIDN'T do, that condescending know-it-alls claims he "must have done" because Apple "simply won't do that to you". If you read more than the headline and the by-line of the article he wrote, you would have known that and could have saved yourself a lot of typing and later embarrassment.
  • But she's right. Even James admitted later in the comments, that this could have been his fault after all. If anything, iTunes' sin is that it's link between Apple Music and iTunes Match and the iTunes Store remains confusing. Something tells James he actually deleted ~/Users/Music/iTunes from his computer, and started a fresh new library, syncing to his iCloud Music Library locker, without iTunes Match, and had no idea what he was doing in the process.
  • This is what I'm thinking also, or he plugged in a device belonging to another account which blew away the current library. He did something wrong and either won't admit it, or doesn't realize it.
  • I don't know who is right here (and I'm not going to experiment with my own music collection to find out!) but this is how Apple itself describes iCloud Music (here: Maybe it's misleadingly written but it does seem to reinforce what Mr Pinkstone wrote in the original article. From the Apple website: "All your music, everywhere. If you’re an Apple Music member, your entire library lives in iCloud, so not only will you always be able to access all your music, but it won’t take up any space on your devices. ... iTunes Match also lets you store your other music in iCloud, like songs you’ve imported from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes — so all your music is always everywhere you want it."
  • Could you please clarify how you think that description "reinforces" what Pinkstone wrote in the original article? Because I'm not seeing it, at all. He claims his LOCAL music files were automatically and unilaterally deleted from his own computer. Which just doesn't happen with iTunes or Apple Music. Unless he did something else (inadvertently or otherwise) and just isn't remembering, or isn't telling us.
  • I read "on your devices" as meaning "on your iPhone, iPad or Android device" -- which is differentiated from "iTunes on a Mac/PC." Apple refers to smartphones and tablets as "devices" and computers as "computers."
  • Ah yes, that could explain it. I see that they do indeed do that, though only some of the time (see for example the Apple support page called "Check your Apple ID device list to see where you‘re signed in" (this site won't let me include a link), which was the first result I got when I googled "Apple device"). I am clearly not fluent in Apple-speak (though neither apparently is Apple).
  • Good point. Still, I don't believe Apple's "sin" here to be about unilaterally deleting (or "stealing") anyone's files. It's that their implementation of iTunes/iTunes Store/iTunes Match/Apple Music (and the inherent DRM required for non-owned tracks) is so convoluted and confusing, without much allowance for user intervention or correction, that people are making wrong assumptions, mistakes, and generally feeling uneasy. When all we want to do... is enjoy music.
  • I have yet to take the plunge with streaming music services, when I do I will take a measured approach, back up my music library, or even start a new library with the service and introduce my music bit by bit.
    There is nothing worse than losing your music collection - I lost 22,000 tracks from a disk failure last year, and Im still recovering.
  • Meh that's why I don't bother using streaming services. Perhaps I'm old school but I rather pay for my music. You pay for a streaming service and pay for the bandwith needed to stream it all in the name of convenience. I can buy about 10 songs a month plus what I normally spend. So 120 songs a year and I own them. They don't disappear when I stop paying for a service. Sent from the iMore App
  • Yes, you're old school :) For $120 a year I'd rather have immediate and on-demand access to nearly every song in music recording history, than a mere 120 songs I had to pay individually for... and got sick of, after 2 weeks. P.S. Those tracks now typically cost $1.29, no longer $0.99.
  • Just reading the "explanation" from Serenity is enough to make your eyes rotate. One doesn't need to be a software/ computer platform guru to listen to music. Also, the "cloud" is almost a religious representation. It's just a bunch of servers that can, even with the most sophisticated redundancy/ backups can disappear overnight. Buy CD's LP's, books and keep them at home.
  • I had a problem back when iTunes Match was first introduced. It was working for a few months and I went to sync my iPhone. I got a dialog box indicating that some tracks were not on the computer. I did recently purchase tracks on my iPhone and I clicked the ok button. Soon after 80% of my library was gone, including items in iTunes Match. My iTunes purchases all went missing as well. I tried to restore from match, but everything was gone. I was glad I had multiple backups and I restored from that. After that incident I do not trust any iTunes cloud service not to mess with my library or cloud purchases.
  • This whole thread sounds like the “vaccinations cause autism” debacle. While there is absolutely no scientific evidence that vaccinations cause autism people claim it is some kind of conspiracy or coverup and they firmly believe it does. No one has been able to reliably duplicate or prove Apple Music deletes files intentionally for nefarious reasons yet some insist it does and that it has happened to them. But then eye witness testimony is the least reliable form of evidence in any legal case. I will take Ms. Caldwell’s explanation over any eye witness testimony. She’s a real, credible expert who knows what she is talking about.
  • Hey Serenity, I have yet to subscribe to Apple Music (iTunes Match only), but I have had music removed from my library, as well as playlists simply emptied out to 0 songs. I have had songs that playlists were created by genius removed, and its not just on one machine, whatever is happening does sync to all devices. I tend to not delete anything from my devices, so whatever is happening its happening on the back end, no dialog boxes, no warning, just playing music one day, and gone the next. I have lost some playlists that were 11 years old (music of the year for me type stuff), things I'll never be able to recreate accurately. That type of failure makes me question the platform. On top of that, when the twitter apple support attempted to "help" yesterday, there responses were 10+ minutes apart, so five response over 50+ minutes...I gave up.
  • Just a follow up for all those following this. I just restored my library for back up, to bring back the playlists, the files etc. And all as there for a few moments, however, when I came back to iTunes after 5 minutes, all the items that were removed as previously mentioned, were removed again. This to be says that there is something broken/errored out on the server side synchronization of iTunes match. I can not stress how much I did not do other than restore from back up, to only watch the files basically vanish again. Apple may not be doing it on purpose, but I am sorry to say Serenity, that all other things being equal, they most certainly are the cause of it at this point, at least in my circumstance.
  • Please stop being the biggest Apple Apologists. You are trying to downplay an article because your eyes are blinded by everything Apple and it clouds your judgement. Maybe you should consider being a better journalist and contact Apple. Have them confirm what was said by the Apple support tech that clearly backs up the claim of the author. Better yet look to the Apple support communities that has been discussing this very topic for this past year. Also look for the forums of syncing issues with iTunes and iOS. What your article discusses is what the behavior from iTunes should be. I suspect that many iTunes users experience this type of behavior and have not one issue, but every user is not the same. Your article clearly underscores the reality of iTunes, its no longer the App to sync music to your iPhone or iPad. Ask yourself why every time you upgrade iOS that when you launch Music App you are asked to join Apple Music when you have told it each time that you don't. There are several examples of what iTunes does to cause me pain each day. One commenter above noted that iTunes will erase music from your iOS device without warning. If you think that this is not normal please visit this paige and ask yourself why this App has been developed for users. Please read this article about the App. My issues with iTunes began prior to Apple Music over a year ago and at one point had me explore using Android for a week and has me contemplating the same change again. If Apple were smart it would develop a Sync App for us that believe what Steve Jobs believed, that people would like to own their music rather than rent it. Our numbers may be smaller, but some of us don't live in large metropolitan areas where data is readily available, nor do we work in a place where Internet access is provided for free. Apple is pushing Apple Music onto users like a drug dealer and its simply got to stop. I understand they need to grow and make a profit, but if I pay a $150 a year in music purchases aren't I paying more? Yes, but its clear Apple's cut may be less or why else would they rather me pay only $120 a year for Apple Music service. If I did pay for streaming music, it would be through Spotify, because they simply know what they are doing.
  • Why are you even here? You can't even explain how iTunes works properly.
  • Serenity is not a journalists. She's just an enthusiast writer for a fan blog.
  • To the author, I noticed how you kept mentioned that Apple Music won't delete your music files "on your primary Mac." What happens if you own more than one Mac or you don't have a Mac at all? A whopping 90% of the world's computing population uses Windows (or Linux) PCs, not Macs. What behavior should we expect out of Apple Music or iTunes? If iTunes' murky history is taken into example, then Apple was arrogant and screwed something up with the design of Apple Music and of course the user is being blamed for it (because Apple never makes mistakes -- yuck!). I stopped using Apple products (namely iPods and iTunes) the moment that music players on regular phones (mostly Android) surpassed Apple's offerings and only required me to drag and drop my music files to the phone's hard drive (without using bloated iTunes software) or a microSD card. Before that, I owned a total of 6 iPods; up to 4 at once between my wife, son, daughter, and myself. The original versions of iTunes made it **** near impossible to manage the music files on that many iPods. When I plugged in my wife's iPod, iTunes would delete her music and put whatever was in iTunes at the time (it was called syncing). I guess Apple just never thought that a person or family would own more than one iPod. Of course this has been fixed over time, but the damage was done. I think this is where the problem lies: Either Apple treats its customers as completely computer illiterate (stupid) or Apple imposes its way of thinking on you or Apple's engineers just doesn't take into account multiple scenarios or a combination of them all. The user was not "smart" enough to dig into the settings and ensure that some random box was checked (or unchecked). Of course its not Apple's fault that you didn't dig through all the settings prior to connecting your device, even though it was Apple's arrogance or lack of foresight that defaulted the software to a behavior that would remove songs from your library. It was also Apple's arrogance or lack of foresight that imagined that you don't know how to properly label your music so they would relabel it for you (without your permission). We won't even mention the arrogance of Apple not thinking that someone would get their music from a source (ripped CDs, other music stores) other than iTunes. After losing my music library on several occasions to the awfulness that is iTunes and understanding the arrogance that is Apple, I side with the user on this one. I don't recommend any of Apple's music software to any of my friends or family. BTW, I learned from using iTunes to back up my music. However, since I stopped using iTunes (and Apple products) I haven't lost any of my music files on any of my devices. Funny how that works..
  • To add on to my previous post I want to say one more thing to the author and to those that blindly defend Apple: Just stop it! You are causing yourself and Apple to lose credibility, not helping. I was pro-Apple a long time ago. Not anymore. After I finally could afford Apple products and bought a few of them I started to have some issues with them, both minor and serious. Apple has almost always graciously replaced my device when they couldn't fix it. However, I live over 2 1/2 hours away from an Apple Store. I got tired of driving that far just to get issues fixed on devices that I was told would never break on me. I used to build computers so I'm literate enough to fix my own problems. When I'd go online to find help in several of the Apple centric forums, people failed to believe I was having any issues at all. Even when others were having the same issue and asked for help on my original post, we were all treated as liars. I also started to noticed that even the bloggers and writers on Apple centric websites like this treated us the same. After suffering through numerous problems with little to no help from a community that became increasingly zealous, and finding better and cheaper alternatives, I got rid of my Apple products. I make it a point now to call out biased writers and Apple zealots whenever I get the chance. The real reason that Apple is losing customers and their products haven't gained a lot of market share has nothing to do with price. It is because Apple products aren't as good as they are made out to be. Blaming the user for this won't fix it. Apple has to do better. Making a lot of money and making good products isn't synonymous. If you've been on this Earth long enough, you will learn to realize that. But back to my original point... I trust companies or people who are honest about their issues and work to make them better. I have no trust for companies or people who are dishonest and blame everyone but themselves. This community and Apple have lost my trust. Stories like this one won't regain it.
  • I'm a huge kool-aid drinking Apple apologist but this reads like someone trying to justify why their husband beats them.
  • This is a helpful, balancing perspective. Serenity. But it also raises a question: Why does a company renowned as a leader in consumer products design create a service that is so clunky that people can do stupid things like deleting their software? We'd all be using Microsoft products if we preferred illogical, confusing designs.....
  • Man, I think there is some real misinformation being offered in reply to these songs being "deleted". Could someone answer this one question for me. If the user chose "Remove Download" and clicked confirm, would this delete songs off his hard drive? If the answer is yes, isn't this recreating how the songs could have been deleted off the hard drive?
  • I think i will not use Apple music just to be safe.
    Google play music uploaded and matched all my songs, why would it delete any song?
    If I choose to delete a song in play music app, it will just delete from my account, it doesn't even know where the original files are.
  • Well. Just spent 2 hours with apple care about this issue. I've been using iTunes since ... 2002. iTunes match member since the beginning and AppleMusic also ... This morning, I noticed that HALF of my iTunes lib from my external HD was gone and little cloud logos replaced my music - so I could only listen thru my wifi access ! 537 albums gone - 35GB of data up in the cloud ! Spoke with 4 persons ... The only solution, redownload MY music, and make sure du do a BU of my iTunes library ! Very frustrating.
  • I tried the service 3x, and turned it off each time within a day. The way it handles libraries and instances of DRM tracks being downloaded on devices that were being used to make the purchase were way too bad. Apple Music is great if it's your first service and you're just starting you music library. For me, I prefer to keep the subscription stuff completely separate, so I'll likely go with Spotify (which works on PS4 as well) instead. It feels like they did very little usability testing with the service, and like you'll have to wait for major iOS releases to see any major fixes to the UX as well. I don't have that kind of patience for something that costs this much.
  • The issue isn't with Apple Music. If anything is suspect it's got more to do with a bug between ITunes Match and the cloud. I had thousands of songs vanish but they were all songs I'd ripped from CDs. I suppose what struck me as odd was that my deletion didn't occur after a change had been made. There was no software update, I've used Apple Music since day 1 and have had no issues, my problem literally happened out of nowhere about 6 weeks ago. I always have music on and closed iTunes when I was done listening, as I always do, the next day I put on a playlist and everything on intend different. My Top 25 Most Played Songs playlist was totally different because most of my *actual* most played songs sisappeared into some abyss somewhere. A lot of that music was ripped from CDs with the exception of the pay-what-you-want download copy of Radiohead's "In Rainbow's", which I'm still heartbroken to have lost. Stay on top of external backups, kids. I got lax with mine and who knows how much music I've lost. :(
  • So.....I've just discovered that I am one of the "very small number of users" to whom this has happened - and I'm here to tell you that I've never gone anywhere near Apple Music! So perhaps it's a bigger problem than they think......and I am singularly unimpressed. Yes, backups; no, it's still not okay.
  • Something is deleting music off of my iPhone, and the iCloud Music Library is my prime suspect. Prior to subscribing to Apple Music, which I did just a few days ago, the music I had locally stored on my iPhone 6s (64 gb) (iOS 9.3.2) would be randomly deleted. All of it. I once came out of the subway listening to a song and the song stopped mid-track. I looked down and my entire library was deleted from my phone. This would happen every few weeks, and I would have to reload the music by connecting my Mac to my iPhone. The other day I subscribed to Apple Music and turned iCloud Music Library on. That program then deleted my entire library of music stored on my iPhone, even though I had more than 20 gigs of free space on the phone. When I look at music files stored locally on my phone, nothing is there except for a few tracks I downloaded from Apple Music. Maybe I'm also one of the small number of users but this problem has been haunting me for a while and since I work long days I haven't had time to talk to Apple about the issue. I tried to email about the issue but it got circulated to the store and rather than relayed to tech support, so no luck there. I was hoping they'd push a fix through an update but nothing has been forthcoming. It's enough for me to want to leave iPhone altogether.
  • All I can say is the exact same thing happened to me the day I signed on to Apple Music and had 120 go of curated music turn into an inaccessible library every time I try to burn a cd from that OWNED PRIVATE music only to be told by Apple that I could only burn track residing on my hard drive. I love iOS but they will become the next Yahoo if they keep this behavior up.
  • I registered implicitly to reply to this thread: Apple DOES delete music. I had a full library of music, and I installed iTunes so I could put them on my iPad Mini. Things went... weird. I went to go play my music, a couple specific songs- and they did not exist on my iPad. I went to my computer, and found these songs were simply wiped from the computer. I usually have it on random music, so I didn't actually 'miss' the songs- I thought they were just in the scramble somewhere. Fortunately- I keep backups. *multiple* backups. On CDs, on memory sticks- mostly because I forget where I put the **** things if I just have one copy. I am done with Apple, its software, and its products. I will NOT have anyone besides myself ******** up my files.
  • Duplicate Files Deleter help me a lot when i have an issue like file deleting or renaming the file.
  • I'm missing about 4000 songs after replacing broken iphone 6+ with new (used) iphone 6+. I properly backed broken phone (still worked screen had shattered), confirmed I'd done so, swapped sim cards and restored backup to new phone. Just like that I went from around 5500 songs to 1500. I took someones advice to drag folders: itunes music library xml and itunes library to desktop, close itunes and then import the filesm using itunes...long story short, now I can't find itunes music library xml in itunes. Perhaps I should be honorary mayor of Idiotville but any help would be grand.
  • Apple Music is a huge problem it self to me. I need to keep my local albums in my iphone and not rely on data all the time. Maybe Apple thinks we're always on a wifi network or have unlimited data service but this is not the case, at least for me. Because of the mess it cause, I will never buy Apple music and remains on Spotify