I got my music back. At least most of it

It’s been an interesting and confusing day. 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.

Now to talk about my missing music. I am an iTunes Match customer and have been since the service started. This allowed me to have all of my music in one library, match it to iCloud and then stream my songs from any device. It worked flawlessly for me. When I bought a new device, I just logged into iCloud, turned on iTunes Match and all of my songs were there.

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.

So now I have the iTunes Match service that I pay for separately, and Apple Music, both of which use iCloud Music Library. There is really no way to get away from them if you want to use the latest and greatest from Apple.

I’ll admit, I’m still trying to get my head around how this works.

Some of the songs I own were incorrectly tagged as Apple Music, but that’s been fixed too, which means they show up correctly in iTunes. That is great news.

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.

Here’s where my confusion comes from. I own all of Ozzy’s albums and quite a few compilations. I can’t think of a single reason why I would download an album I already own, and album that is in my iTunes Library, only to delete it. I can’t think of a good reason for that.

Here’s one possibility. Perhaps I deleted an Ozzy compilation album (I believe I did do that) that contained tracks that were also on some of his studio albums. I’m wondering if iTunes Match deleted my version of those same songs—songs that I own from my own CDs, purely because the titles were the same as those on the compilation album.

At any rate, I have most of my music back in my library. Since I don’t have access to my original Ozzy library, I will have to buy those tracks again because he is one of my all time favorites.

At this point, I’m just glad to have most of music back, but I still have no idea what happened to the other songs, for sure.

Update: I corrected the description of iTunes Match being bundled with Apple Music. They are separate services. 7/24/15 4:03 pm

  • Ronnie

    I’m still not trusting it. iTunes Match has always been a disaster for me. I’m going with Spotify for streaming and iTunes for purchased music stored locally.

  • Good to hear. Is it safe to say you are still not “going back” to Apple Music though?

    • Graham Cooper

      How the hell Eddy Cue still has a job is beyond my comprehension. He’s had years to get this and other Apple cloud services to work – and not only failed, has badly damaged the brand in the process.

      • Zepfhyr

        That’s a bit hyperbolic. iCloud Photo Library has been very well-received and performed quite well. iCloud has been rock-solid for years. Apple Music and iCloud Music Library are by no means perfect, but the number of issues reported appear to be fairly low and have been addressed very quickly.

        • Odysseus Ithacan

          I think you are being a bit hyperbolic in claiming that the number of issues reported with AM and especially ICM are fairly low; how do you know that? ICM in particular appears to be very buggy, resulting in artwork corruption and worse. There has been very little explanation of how all this works — and it really doesn’t!

          • Zepfhyr

            Ah, but the wonderful thing about my position is that the burden of proof lays upon you. I can, however, offer anecdotal evidence from my own experience. I have, as yet, experienced none of the issues reported, though I have no doubt that they occur.

          • Vic O

            Save your breath. Even if Apple recreated the world, haters will still hate.

          • SlapOn

            congrats for the weirdest comment contribution in this thread.

            it seems it is entirely based on the rather confused assumption that “the World” recreated by Apple is somewhat synonymous to a perfect utopia which then gets rejected by so called “haters” (an umbrella term used by people lacking the ability of coherent description for describing everybody else).

            that is probably the weirdest notion one can come up with in this context. simply amazing. thx!

          • Zepfhyr

            Whoops. Hit the send button accidentally. Had a whole second paragraph.

            If you’ll re-read my first comment, you’ll see that I was referring to Graham’s statement that Apple’s cloud services as a whole not working was hyperbolic, as iCloud Photo Library and iCloud proper work very well.

          • FWIW, my experience with Photos and iCloud Photo Library has been stellar. I still don’t get exactly what I want to see in my screensaver mode on the AppleTV, but there are a few wonky things on it that I know need to be ironed out in an OS overhaul.

            Two anecdotes do not equal data, but, there you go.

          • satcomer

            The problem is two fold, large music libraries and the constant upgrading.

          • Says you… and very few others.

          • Zepfhyr


          • Odysseus Ithacan

            You wrote, “Apple Music and iCloud Music Library are by no means perfect, but the number of issues reported appear to be fairly low…” Do you have any data to support that assertion?

          • Zepfhyr

            How shall I present this data? A lack of complaints is quite difficult to procure. It’s like trying to prove a thing does not exist. You can simply provide observations that a thing was not seen in these tests with these parameters. I can simply posit that, in my experience, I have not seen issues, nor have the Apple and tech blogs that I read daily brought said issues to light. However, you have presented no evidence to the contrary, but instead have used Apple Music’s failings as proof-positive that iCloud Photo Library must also have issues.

            Therefore, since I cannot present a lack of complaints against the service, I shall instead direct you to two positive affirmations of iCloud Photo Library from John Gruber and Marco Arment respectively (both of which have been critical of Apple Music and iTunes’s kitchen-sink approach):

            http://daringfireball.net/linked/2015/07/26/apple-music-marco-arment http://www.marco.org/2015/07/26/dont-order-the-fish

          • Swissdude

            @Odysseus Ithacan well I have seen or read many complaints.. this is the first I came across from Jim. So I would say compared to number of installations it might be that the complaints in the 1 digit persentage.

        • William D

          Somebody managing iCloud Photo Library at least decided to put it into beta for several months and roll it out slowly with ios first then mac.. But look at Google’s offer and frankly the whole UX (even if we ignore the pricing) is lamentable given apple’s access to the hooks etc.

          • Zepfhyr

            I’ll grant you that a beta for Music would have helped iron out these issues, though a service requiring content deals is harder to sell to content providers with a beta sticker on it.

        • Cranky Observer

          Well received? Experiences differ I guess. Everyone I know who has tried it who is not a hard core reader of obscure Apple tech support documents and independent Apple tech forums has found Photo Library a confusing mess. A confusing undocumented mess which they cannot trust, especially with images from non-Apple devices.

          Perhaps you could direct me to an article or document which clearly lays out how to use the Apple image management cloud that is understandable by a non-techie? thanks.

          • Zepfhyr

            I suppose I’m confused as to what “mess” people are experiencing with iCloud Photo Library? I don’t use it myself, as my library is far too large to be affordable, but those I know using it simply turned it on and waited for all their photos to upload. Once complete, all their photos are on all their computers and devices, and new ones are synced within moments of getting a Wi-Fi signal.

            Is there supposed to be more to it than that? What features of iCloud Photo Library are undocumented or confusing? Maybe there’s a power user feature set that some users are seeking or attempting to exploit, I don’t know. Please, elucidate the confusing mess for me, so that I may understand. Otherwise, I’ll stick with the anecdotal evidence I have instead of the supposed anecdotal evidence of imaginary others.

            In the meantime, perhaps you should read two of the more well-respected Apple bloggers that have both taken Apple Music to task while touting how well iCloud Photo Library works:

            http://www.marco.org/2015/07/26/dont-order-the-fish http://daringfireball.net/linked/2015/07/26/apple-music-marco-arment

      • arthur

        Because you only see the failures.

        Because he’s good at negotiating and signing contracts.

        He needs better developers working on his projects.

  • Aryno Wyrth

    Congrats, Jim!

    “So now I have the iTunes Match service that I pay for separately, and iTunes Match as part of my subscription to Apple Music, but the Apple Music iTunes Match overrides my subscribed iTunes Match. In order to see all of my songs, I have to turn on the Apple Music iTunes Match, because the subscribed iTunes Match will only show my purchases, which is different than how it worked before, when it showed all of my music.”

    Ok, I do not even drink, but I need a drink.

  • 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: http://www.macworld.com/article/2943703/how-itunes-match-and-apple-music-work-together.html

    • The Gnome

      So I’m lost here. I have the free trial of Apple Music but I don’t plan on renewing. I want to cancel but do NOT want to lose all the Match work I’ve done over the past may years… it sounds to me like I might be stuck subscribing to both and that you can’t pull them apart? Incidentally I have NOT downloaded any Apple music. There are no songs tagged in my library, currently, as Apple Music. I feel like I might be ok.. if I can figure out how to cancel this dang subscription.

      • RDGEEK

        I’m worried about the exact same situation: don’t want to renew AM after the trial but don’t want to lose ITM as well. …

    • William D

      It doenst help that – even when you don’t sign up to Apple Music – they’ve removed all mention of iTunes Match from the UI.. And yet the subscription when you pay is called iTunes Match. It’s madness.

  • Richard Townhill

    Like you, I’ve been an iTunes Match customer from the beginning. Since the fees for Apple Music are much, much higher than iTunes Match, I’ve resisted even signing up for the free trial. As a result, I suspect that this is why I did not run into your library issues. As an iTunes Match subscriber, one benefit was to be able to listen to iTunes Radio ad free. I’m not sure why I would move from paying $30 per year to $10 per month with the only perceived benefit being access to Beats 1. Is there something I’m missing here?

    • I guess you’re simply missing “being able to stream” any music you never bought. Don’t get me wrong, I still dislike streaming, I prefer to buy — but that’s the main reason to pay Spotify or Apple Music: People prefer to “rent” their music, which I still don’t understand…

      • I prefer to rent music I am not sure I want to buy, that is try before you buy. I listen to a lot of new music and if I really like it I buy it. Most I do not, it gets one play and that’s it. Then every now and again I have a friend who wants to listen to something that isn’t in my library and again problem solved.

        I used to use Google Play for this and it worked well considering it was a browser based solution. Apple Play works much better for this and is integrated in with the rest of my music so bye bye Google Play… hello AppleMusic.

    • dbolander

      iTunes Match and Apple Music don’t offer exactly the same things but there is some overlap. By paying $10 a month you’ll also be able to stream or download for offline usage most of the iTunes catalog not just stuff you already own. You also get human curated/created playlists and recommendations which, for many, is a very desirable thing.

      If, however, you prefer to own your songs outright, you can skip right over Apple Music and keep using the iTunes Store as you did before and you can keep using iTunes Match for the matching function, syncing of your playlists across all your devices, and the ad-free radio function in the US and Australia.

    • BC2009

      Beats 1 is free either way. Only difference is being able to stream any album you like. The “For You” tab suggests entire playlists you might like and you don’t even own the music but get to listen to it and save it to your library.

      That said, the whole thing is a buggy beta mess that should have been part of the iOS 9 beta test — not part of iOS 8.4

    • Chris

      You don’t need iTunes Music to listen to Beats 1, just an Apple ID, aka iTunes. The difference is if you a person with a massive library and don’t have a desire to listen to new music. If you have a small library, or even a big library, but listen to new music daily, clearly iTunes Music is the way to go. Without iTunes Music you could pay $10 and get a single album. With iTunes Music you could pay $10 and listen to that album plus a million others that month any time you choose. Or another example would be some people have a big collection of dvds/vhs they watch over and over other people prefer to use Netflix pay $10 and get unlimited movies. For Netflix users who typically binge watch it would cost them hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month or maybe far more if they were to buy those shows/movies (that they may only watch once).

      • Scott Johnson

        “If you have a small library, or even a big library, but listen to new music daily”

        I have ~17000 song library and listen to “new” music daily. AM destroyed the metadata (artwork/titles/albums/files) for my entire library. I’ve been using Macs since the late 80s and I can assure you it’s not a user error.

        Soundcloud is a great music discovery/”new” music platform, and I think I’ll stick with that.

        • Swissdude

          Out of curuosity what steps did you do that the metadata got destroyed? (so I know what not to do). Thanks for the feedback 🙂

          • Scott Johnson

            Subscribed to Apple Music and turned on iCloud/music. Should note at one time I was an iTunes Match subscriber (a nightmare itself) at one time but haven’t been for a few years.

    • And to add a bit more to the mix of “How We Use iTunes” here, I do not subscribe to iTunes Match. I can, however, stream any music I have purchased through iTunes. So, I have playlist made up of a few albums I’ve purchased via CD or another service that syncs to my iDevices. When I’m out and about, those play directly from the device. Or, I can stream other purchases from iTunes (by clicking on the play button and not the little cloud icon to download them).

      On top of that, I can create a “Radio Station” based on a song or artist, and that will stream music I do not own, so I discover things that way. Sometimes I click to buy them. I get some advertisements sprinkled in between the songs. No big deal.

      And on top of that, I can listen to Beats One Radio, which has surprised me by introducing me to some cool stuff, especially the special host shows.

      Maybe some day I’ll go iTunes Match or Apple Music subscription, but I think I’m good for now.

    • The Gnome

      Beats1 got old fast. Just another top 40 station. Some songs I swear repeat every 3-4 hours or even less. Way too much hip-hop… this is good music? Yikes.

    • marcoselmalo

      My experience with Apple Music is a mixed bag. I’m having other issues different from Jim’s problems. The content that I “make available offline” disappears the next day. Poof! However, I’m really liking the “For You” section. And I am also really enjoying some really obscure local bands I used to follow. They would sell their CDs at shows, so that must be how they got on Apple Music.

      I’ll continue using Apple Music for now and hope they get things fixed before the three month trial is up.

  • Could you fill us in a bit on what Apple did for you that you hadn’t done before getting their help? Thanks for the report.

  • StruckPaper

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

    • Idon’t Know

      Yeah that was my question too. Also Apple knows what is going on but isn’t telling their customers about it?

      • dbolander

        Been playing with the public beta of iOS 9 and already the UI is more streamlined. Menu items and buttons are simplified quite a bit. There is hope!

      • BC2009

        I hate the fact that so much of the new interface shoves things in your face that you might not even want.

    • Eugene Kim

      That’s a point sometimes I think Apple doesn’t get. They have access to so much more than the normal person when it comes to troubleshooting, that I think they lose track of reality, of the lay-person’s experience: google searching for tech support, Apple’s nightmare forums (ask a question, any question, and I bet you the first answer you get will be to reset your PRAM), and no way to gauge what advice is good and what isn’t. Same thing when Tim Cook said that “you or I could write an app” with Swift. I have no doubt Tim Cook could, with experts setting up his Xcode environment and presenting him with the absolute best resources to get started. Software dev was my job and I still had trouble setting up Xcode for the first time because the defaults were so damn awful and foreign to me.

  • Steve Riggins

    Thanks, Jim! Good to hear things are being worked on and that Apple is taking this seriously.

    However, this whole delete it once to delete from the cloud, delete it twice to delete from disk, this UX is at the core of your issue. It’s too confusing.

    iTunes trains us to delete songs and they won’t be deleted, well, maybe they will. iTunes puts up a dialog that looks the same for either case with some different copy. Itunes hopes that we are not tired or frustrated. And iTunes hopes that we are an above average customer. iTunes leaves us to figure this out.

    This is the core issue with this software. There should be a clean delineation between what I own. MY MUSIC. And what Apple has put into the magical cloud.

    When I want to delete something from existence, there should be one simple way to do this. It should come with warnings, bells and whistles, Eddie Cue’s icon asking “WHY U NO LIKE U2?”

    If we want to simply remove something from the cloud, that should be a separate interface entirely. Nothing confusing. Apple needs to stop conflating My Music with The Mix of Stuff I own and I have given to Apple to hold onto as well as the stuff I have rented via Apple Music but saved into my library for later reference.


    No wonder this is a mess. Keep up the great work, Jim. Hammer on them, help them, and I will do the same through normal channels. I think they get it, but this really needs to change if the average person is going to be able to make sense of it and even more importantly, trust it.

  • I’m very glad to hear they’re working out the kinks. However, for many users, I suspect it’s too little too late. You only get one first impression, and frankly, they blew it.

  • redoak

    I’m when I look at the options for an Album or Song, I see one of these two option

    “Delete”. When I select, it says “Delete from iCloud Music Library”


    “Remove from My Music” When I select, it says “Remove From My Music”

    Does anyone know what each of these is doing or what each is associated with (eg purchased vs ITunes Match vs Apple Music)

    The whole thing is incredibly confusing. And can’t even tell what is downloaded to my device

    • jsd

      “Remove from my music” deletes the locally downloaded copy of the item. The item will still be visible on any device and can be streamed or re-downloaded at any time. “Delete from iCloud Music Library” deletes the locally downloaded copy and removes that item from your accounts “cloud database” of music, so it won’t show up on other devices. You can re-add it to your library at a later point and then start streaming it or downloading it again.

      You can tell what is downloaded to your device in several ways. There’s a little iPhone icon in a corner tab either over the album or playlist artwork if the entire album/playlist is downloaded, or the same icon is at the end of each row for individual items in an album/playlist. You can also show only downloaded items by going to the main Library page and tapping where it says Artist/Albums/Songs. An action sheet will appear with a toggle switch at the bottom that says “Show Music Available Offline”. Turn that on and you will only see locally available content.

      Hope that helps!

      • redoak


        But below “Remove From My Music”, there is “Make Available Offline” option. In this example, the Song is not downloaded locally (I believe)

        And, I think I selected “Deleted from iCloud Music Library” for a CD I had loaded up using iTunes Match. I can’t find it know. I’m assuming it is gone

        What a tangled mess. Do you know if there is anywhere on the Apple site that explains any of this? I can’t find it

  • jonny evans

    Great you got to speak with Apple about this. What do you advise people who are similarly affected should do? Is there a good approach people should follow?

    • Meaux

      “What do you advise people who are similarly affected should do? Is there a good approach people should follow?”

      1) Have a lot of traffic and influence

      2) Generally speak highly of Apple

      3) Raise holy heck when something goes wrong

  • HowmaNoid

    You’ve got your music library backed up on TimeMachine or something, right Jim?

    • BC2009

      You would think he would, but if you read his originally article somehow he ditched the original CD’s but failed to actually backup the ripped songs. I backup my entire iTunes library — video and audio and apps.

      Why apps? Its nice when Apple removes an app from the App Store, but I can still sync it when restoring an iPhone from backup because I have a copy in my iTunes or I can grab an old copy of an app if the developer screws up and releases a bad update.

      • HowmaNoid

        I’m manic about backups, TimeMachine for recovering things I accidentally delete (it happens), a local CrashPlan set to my NAS and a CrashPlan copy to their cloud. I also use Carbon Cloner on my server to keep a bootable copy of it’s HDD + the above. I really feel sorry for Jim. I’ve lost so many hard drives in the past, I vowed it wasn’t going to happen again. Discs are cheap, off-site backup is cheap. You music and memories, not so much.

      • Aryno Wyrth

        “You would think he would, but if you read his originally article somehow he ditched the original CD’s but failed to actually backup the ripped songs.”

        I saw that too, and it’s a bit… well, I am pretty sure that’s not quite legal. You’re supposed to keep the original CD after ripping it. Not sure that anyone has ever faced any ramifications for violating this dictum, but it’s a reasonable requirement. Otherwise, all one would have to do is buy a CD, rip it, then resell it at a small loss (admittedly a harder proposition nowadays)… NOT legal.

        • rick gregory

          Eh. Not a lawyer but I don’t have an issue with buying a new CD (not used), ripping it and reselling it. If I bought a new CD the artist and everyone else in the chain got paid and the fact that I prefer to have their music on my computer vs a disc feels like a nit.

          Too, think of it this way… I rip my CD collection, all of which I’ve bought new. I back it up locally and in the cloud using something like Backblaze. My house burns down and my CDs are lost. Are we really going say that I have no right to listen to my ripped music? Or that I need to get insurance to reimburse me and then buy the CDs again (resulting in everyone getting paid again)? That feels silly to me even if it would be a legal requirement.

          • Aryno Wyrth

            You may not have an issue with it, but the RIAA certainly does… but, again, I’ve never heard of someone being investigated or prosecuted for it. I think your fire scenario, ridiculous though it be, is probably accurate.

          • immovableobject

            It seems fair that when you purchase a CD, you should absolutely have the right to copy the music to another media or device for archival or convenience purposes. But if you then resell the original CD to someone else, those rights should go to the new owner and any copies you retain in effect become pirated as you are no longer the rightful owner of the CD. When copies are retained, the artist only gets the benefit of the original sale while multiple customers now enjoy simultaneous access to the music.

            It is one thing to retain a copy when the original CD becomes damaged (ok), and quite another to do so after reselling a CD to someone else (not ok).

            If your CD collection is lost in a fire, the insurance company should absolutely pay to replace it just as they would any of your material possessions. They can’t and won’t deny you by claiming that because you may have backed them up, you can just get along fine without them. But if you subsequently take the reimbursement and don’t replace the exact CDs you have copied, then you should delete those copies.

            When your other material possessions are destroyed in a fire and then replaced, “everyone in the chain” sees the profit of an additional purchase. Why should media companies be excluded?

            I realize that it is idealistic to expect everyone to adhere to those policies, but it does seem morally consistent.

          • rick gregory

            Good points. Thanks for commenting… some things I’d not considered.

  • Idon’t Know

    I’ve been using iTunes Match a long time including when it was in beta. But I turned Apple Music off and it will take a lot for me to turn it back on again. I’m as big an Apple fanboy as you can find and thought for sure Apple Music would mean I would cancel my Spotify and Pandora paid accounts but the opposite has been true.

  • hakuna matata

    Apple has consistently made a mess of music – iTunes needs to be shot. Match doesn’t match. Why the surprise that Music isn’t fully baked?

    There’s a lot to like about Apple. But they do create and keep distributing software that has significant deficiencies. It’s good that people who have presence in the minds of the corporation make the flaws known.

    • dbolander

      Apple really struggles with services. Hardware they nail every time. Software most of the time. Services, rarely.

      • BC2009

        I think the best Apple service that worked out the gate was Find My iPhone — it took Google a while to come up with a nice version for Android.

  • djslaurel

    So if Apple is “fixing” this, does that mean releasing a new version of iTunes, or something internal that we’ll never hear about?

  • BC2009

    That’s great Jim, but most of us are not going to get the kind of support you just got. I had no problems with Apple Music until tonight when it decided that some songs on some albums I ripped off CD’s I own were “Apple Music” status instead of “Matched” or “Uploaded” status. I am requesting that they discontinue my free trial as I write this comment.

    Not worth the headache.

    • Jordan Merrick

      Have to agree 🙁 There are a lot of people on the Apple discussion boards with similar issues who won’t get this type of support.

      But, I am really happy to read that Jim’s music is back. Even for the most apathetic of music listeners, losing almost 5,000 tracks isn’t something to just shrug at.

  • freedonuts

    Congratulation for getting your Music back. Don’t forget to make a backup this time! So do we all fly to Cupertino when this happens or is this a Genius Bar thing?

  • I think Jim went a little out of bounds with his rant. He had an obligation and the connections to research further before posting. That said everyone deserves a bad day and in my opinion Jim deserves more then most for his honest, thoughtful posts over these many years.

    • Hieronymus Washington

      A big problem with people these days, and not just on the internets, is the immediate reaction. New service, “I love it it’s great”, next day something goes wrong ” I hate it it’s ruined my life”. There seems to be no room for perspective anymore. I remember when Apple changed scrolling in OS X and on the first day so many people immediately said how awful it was when you have to give any change a couple of weeks to get used to.

      And can we all give the backup pontificating a break? He said he didn’t have a backup, can’t we just all grasp the obvious from that?

  • I believe that it is more helpful to look at these two services as appealing to to different generations of users. I believe I see in the skeleton of Apple radio a service of meant for my generation ( a little older then Jim) sort of a Sirius type world wide radio later to include news , sports and different genre. And a streaming service in Apple Music for those that like a different experience .

    • The Gnome

      I’m in the older department.. I like having my own music collection, rarely like suggested songs, definitely am beyond Top 40 (Beats1 is this mostly). I like the ability to listen to a whole song, but if I want something I’ll buy it… maybe if I was young and starting over I’d get into the rental game. Apple wrecked their radio service – you can’t remove or add full artists anymore or change settings like before… thats a bummer. I love Apple but hate when they dumb stuff down to the point where they aren’t usable anymore even though I realize I’m probably not in the majority. If they keep it up though they may drive away from their services… if Match gets any worse I’ll switch to Amazon or Google or the like. At that point the ecosystem starts to fall apart and there is less and less keeping me buying Apple.

  • Erik

    I’m reminded of what Steve said to the MobileMe team just before he replaced their leader and disbanded the team in 2008:

    “you’ve tarnished Apple’s reputation … You should hate each other for having let each other down.”

    It’s ridiculous that Apple would release software that wreaks this havoc on music that people have paid for. It’s too bad that people generally accept that Apple’s cloud services suck.

    Apple – you’ve got $2 billion in cash laying around. Please hire more software engineers.

    Oh, and please get the current version of iWork up to the standards of the 2009 version. That was awesome software.

    • BC2009

      I agree with you with the exception of iWork — I prefer the new versions. The cloud-based functionality and the document compatibility across iOS and OS X is so much better.

      With the 2009 versions I would start something on the Mac and open it on the iPad and have a warning about all the things that weren’t going to transfer over. The only thing I missed when the new versions first released was the absence of Page Layout mode in Pages. But since they have added that back in with File -> Convert to Page Layout menu option, I am happy as can be.

      I am all for tearing down the old if you can release something new and better that will exceed the old software within 12 months of release. They did iWork correctly. The old version was still installed. You could still use it and then within a year they had the new version up to snuff so that I don’t even touch the old version anymore.

      With Music they screwed the pooch. I could once decide which button tabs showed up in the Music app. Now I am force-fed the “New” and “Connect” tabs (which I don’t want) along with the “For You” and “Radio” tabs. I can remove “Connect” tab by activating restrictions (way too complex), but then it just gives me “Playlists” tab — no “Albums”, “Artists” or “Songs” tabs. I understand that “Audiobooks” and “Podcasts” are now their own apps.

      What I want is an app that is strictly for managing my music library. Let’s call it “iPod” (you know, one of the three pillars on which the original iPhone was introduced?) The new Apple Music app makes me want to go out and buy an iPod to be my music player since the iPhone doesn’t do it correctly.

      That doesn’t even scratch the surface of the complexities of the cloud service associated with Apple Music. This should have been part of a beta trial with iOS 9. They could have just released the new radio stations and Connect and For You to the public with iOS 8 and called it “Apple Music Preview”. Then go all-in with the streaming and all-you-can-eat-buffet with iOS 9 after the beta testers worked out the kinks. The roll-out was way too aggressive.

  • Uncle Bug Music

    If we thought mp3s and iTunes were killing music, we totally didn’t see Spotify and Apple Music coming. I tend to love Apple stuff but lately…I dunno…

  • BC2009

    I successfully cancelled my Apple Music free trial today by calling Apple support. I did this at the first sign of strangeness in my iTunes Match library. I didn’t want to end up in the same boat as Jim. Having to repurchase even one song would be bad. Having to re-rip a bunch of CDs is time consuming. I only miss the “For You” tab. Apple can keep everything else about Apple Music.

  • crateish

    Still working fine for me. Sticking with Apple Music. It will only get better.

  • The biggest issue for me is this: Apple does not provide is with a solid-made site with some OBVIOUS answers. For example: if I have my own, offline music, and I’m now using iCloud Music Library on OS X. Will I still have my music when Apple Music free trial is over?

    Apple launched AM like it was some kind of experiment, which would be OK IF Apple provided some more, official answers or guides: in case of A do A_1 in case of B do B_1 etc etc

  • SuperMatt

    This is great news for you! Time to make a backup of it all now that it’s back…

  • RediPonto
  • Zepfhyr

    Jim, I have a theory on what happened to your still missing Ozzy tracks, though it’s just a theory. Several times, in attempting to remove downloads of a song on my iPhone, I have almost deleted the tracks from my iCloud Music Library instead because I selected “Remove from My Music” instead of “Remove Download”. Perhaps that’s what happened to Ozzy?

    I can say that I have been using Apple Music from day one and am also an iTunes Match subscriber. Aside from a brief period of trying to figure out the difference between iTunes Match subscriptions, I have not had any issues like the ones I’ve seen others describe. Of course, maybe the reason I’ve been spared is because my primary music library is on a computer at home that is only used as an iTunes sync station and media server, eliminating any modification of the data that could result in this problem. I have a feeling that is NOT the common use-case.

    It seems to me that the biggest flaw in Apple Music is confusion and a lack of clear language on how things are affected by the things users do. Hopefully, the promised updates are coming very soon so that no one else has to go through what you and some others have. Good luck!

  • BenRoethig

    Honestly, iTunes and Apple Music should have been separate services with separate apps.

  • fpsantangeloswingman

    Must be nice to be able to go to Apple corporate and have your problems fixed. Joe Schmoes like me turned off Apple Music and restored the music library with a backup.

  • MarkJH

    Happy you got your music back, Jim.

    Now, do the rest of us also get personal audiences at Apple to remedy our various iCloud / Apple Music problems?

    I’m hoping that when you write, “I arrived at Apple this morning,” you mean that you showed up to your local Apple store’s Genius Bar.

    Because if not, then what does your solution mean for anyone else who’s had similar problems? Again, I’m glad that you “arrived at Apple” and received personalized explanations and solutions–but can I also “arrive at Apple” with my problems and expect swift remedy?

    I worry that this article moves us from “I’m Done With Apple Music” to “Apple Music can work pretty well if you’re as ‘in the loop’ as Jim Dalrymple.”

    Hopefully, I’m wrong about that.

  • Cynthsa

    I subscribe to Pandora because I can listen to a wide variety of music without having to buy it all. Great for discovering new stuff (at 40 I discovered I adore dub step and glitch hop — who knew!) I pretty much only buy songs when I want to use them in a workout compilation. I have an Apple iCloud subscription but am utterly baffled by iTunes and have yet to fully utilize the service properly. (Which explains why I still have 9,000+ photos on my poor iPad!)

  • J

    I am still having my music labeled at apple music and I can’t convert it….the vast majority are matched but a ton are not. any ideas?

    • BC2009

      It may be that you need to make sure that any Mac that has your music library is enrolled in iTunes Match. Go to iTunes Store and find the link on the right that says iTunes Match. It should give you the option to add that Mac if it is not enrolled. If a Mac is not enrolled and attempts to update your iCloud Music Library then it will fall back to the Apple Music track.

      There are several ways your Mac can get removed from enrollment. Maybe you had to sign out or deauthorize your iTunes account at some point and then sign back in or reauthorize it. Anyway, double check. I think that is what happened to me.

      I still cancelled Apple Music free trial this morning. I know I am not going to pay $10 per month for it so I might as well end the free trial and get back to having things be predictable. I’d rather buy a new album each month than rent the music for $10 each month. I would feel like I was paying a ransom to keep any new music I added to my library from going away. I don’t buy 12 albums per year so for me it doesn’t make sense. I’ll just use the iTunes Radio stations, Pandora and FM to discover music and buy it on iTunes as I see fit. Then it is mine forever.

  • Michael Wilson

    I used to work at Seagate and Western Digital. I trust no Hard drive, whether in a server or in my computer. Before I started Apple Music, I bought 10 2.5″ drives. I cloned my entire itunes library to each drive. I sent five of them to other states to relatives. Two were kept at work and three at my home. I then turned on Apple Music. I have had no problems with my 25,000 tunes, but I trust no one and trust no HDD

  • Chris Ensor

    “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.”

    I simply don’t have the time or mental energy to work out what this means. iCloud Music, Apple Library, iTunes Match… I just want to listen to my music, not negotiate my way through all these opaque “services” just to play a track. I’m totally confused, easier to just use Spotify.

  • Andy

    Just a hint for anyone else with “missing” tracks – check to see if other albums by other artists have multiples of the same track with differing file sizes.

    My experience is very similar to Jim’s – most of my music hasn’t been deleted but the metadata is completely screwed. For example iTunes played a Chopin piece on random the other day that sounded very suspiciously like Ben Folds.

    I have over 40,000 tracks meticulously ripped from my CD collection with all the metadata very carefully checked – so far it looks like somewhere between 20-25% of my library has had the metadata replaced with metadata from other tracks within my library.

    I can’t put into words the sheer rage that this stokes up within me. Putting this right will take weeks if not months. I switched to Apple to get away from crap like this, now I am looking for iTunes alternatives. I’m not sure I’ll ever trust it again.

    What Apple seems to miss in all this is that my music collection is something so very personal. It’s the soundtrack to my life. Songs are like friends whose company I can enjoy. Now it’s like some friends have moved without sending me their forwarding address. The only thing that would get to me more is if my photos and home videos were deleted….. so now I am seriously looking for a Photos alternative.

    In short this is making me question the faith I have placed in Apple, and that’s something that a self-confessed Apple fanboy doesn’t say lightly or easily.

  • Andrew McCann

    I would like to use Apple’s music service, but it seems a bit expensive. Also, I’ve had sporadic and time-wasting problems with Apple’s cloud services (all the way back to iTools). So I’m reluctant to trust them, especially with any new service.

  • seancairne

    I wonder if Apple just figures they will loose some customers and that is okay with them. I put a lot of years into selecting my collection, which I use for work (I’m a musician). Of course I back up. One of the back-ups is the Apple Air Time Machine – and 2 months ago an issue had Apple Service have me wipe it to get Time Machine working again. I have lost all trust of Apple – all. I’ll keep using Apple but will now buy my important new purchases in the old form, CDs. I’m in the market for a non-Apple back-up hard drive. I’m looking for other platforms other than iTunes. Apple, you failed. Jim, I’m glad your music is there but will you trust Apple any more? I do not suggest it.

  • Craig Jacobs

    Spotify for me. I agree with Arment’s comments on iTunes. I use it as little as possible. My music library is safe on my NAS as far away from iTunes as possible.


  • Kel Dommage

    No problems here, but still…NO BACKUP? FFS, seriously??

  • Cranky Observer

    I just don’t get a warm fuzzy that technical management is looking at its cloud services with the perspective of an ordinary non-techie human being outside their supercharged tech world. It is why I am dubious about the interstellar donut HQ currently under construction: when organizations isolate themselves from the rest of the world with that type of architecture the results have historically been implosion within 5 years. Unscripted variegated interaction with the rest of the world and people NOT like yourself and your organization is a source of strength; Apple seems to be going the other way.

  • marco1959

    Glad to hear you got your music back: losing 4700 of the songs I’ve gathered over the last 40 years sounds like my worst nightmare. But what if you weren’t a famous journalist? What if you were just an average Joe like me? Right: those 4700 songs would be gone forever. iCloud just isn’t getting anywhere near my valued music or photos.

  • CreationNation

    I stopped letting Apple automate my collection long ago for many of the reasons you’re bringing up. One example, it’s inability to smartly discern compilation/best-of tracks from studio album tracks. I’m OCD about my folders and hard drive arrangement of albums. Years ago I had it checked to let Apple arrange my stuff in files/folders etc. and it jacked my whole library up. I tried customizing it and all but in the end I turned it all off and have STILL yet to clean it all up.

    I would love to see them master this but it’s doubtful. I’m a little stumped how all this can be so hard (relatively speaking for Apple, not me!). Analyze the folder, tags and possibly the sound file and compare it against a library of known music – and if nothing matches, at least say so and let the user do with it as they will. One piece of software that came the closest for me was called TuneUp (Media), but they folded/were bought out and now it’s a giant piece of dysfunctional adware, sadly.

    I think apple has great intentions and ideas, but any more a lot of the cool stuff they promote as wiz-bang features come out half baked, or way too lowball consumer oriented.

  • I’m glad you got this straightened out. But the overwhelming majority of people don’t have that kind of access.

    I’ve had some pretty serious AppleMusic problems, and spent several hours on the phone with support. After them looking into it for 3-4 days they told me they can’t/won’t help me. I lost my trial period. And now our 5 phones on our Family Sharing plan are a mess. They aren’t even in sync. Apple support simply said “Sorry.”

  • John

    Backups or no, I’m baffled anyone at Apple could have thought combining users’ iTunes libraries with DRM tracks from Apple Music was a good idea.

  • qwerty12

    It’s nice someone with an in, with Apple, got positive results. Waiting now for someone like me, without an in, to get some kind of satisfaction from this whole debacle. I’ve been waiting since April, myself.

  • marcoselmalo

    I’m not having the same problems as Jim, probably because I don’t use iTunes. I’m an iPad only user and use OTA for everything. My main problem is downloading music for offline use doesn’t take. I spend time downloading and the next day it’s all gone!

    That said, I’m enjoying many aspects of Apple Music. Definitely continuing with the free trial. I hope Apple fixes the problems before the free trial is up.

  • Swissdude

    Well still remains dude (Jim Dalrymple), read the f$*@ Manual (RTFM) befor you s art complaning like an old maid. And yes it is likely that while you tried to rectify the prolem you mistakenly deleted your songs or albums (but even then with a Back up easy to put them back in iTunes). So please if you do not know how to use a tool, don’t complain about the tool look between the ears first! I have gotten Apple Music and sofar have no complains at all. All works as I have been used to (incl. the hickups unfortunatly).

  • Nicholas Williams

    I don’t understand why Apple insists on smashing Apple Music together with my personal music library. Why can’t they be separate? No other music service does this, why does Apple have to? I will never, ever sign up for a service which messes with my personal files.

  • Richard Flack

    Root causes… (possibly) I think there may be a couple (at least).

    In regard to Apple Music, it seems to me that all the stuff relating to streaming their catalog and users discovering (and obtaining) new music etc actually work pretty well. (I make no comment on the merits of the curated playlists etc). The stuff that’s broken is managing existing libraries (which weren’t simply previously downloaded from iTunes) – with possibly hand-made metadata, bit rates > 256k, etc etc. My guess is that they just aren’t focused on that – its not where the money is. Even so, one has to wonder how their beta user group was selected.

    More fundamentally, I think its their culture, which tends to assume they know better than their clients. (iOS Mail, anyone? etc). Coupled with their general lack of communication. For example, Do we know for sure the criteria by which tracks are matched … metadata (which exactly) or ‘fingerprints’ (and which one(s))? Armed with that knowledge we can stat to make informed decisions as to whether / how to use the iCloud aspect.

  • al

    MUSIC sucks ! i got on a plane today (offline!) only to find ALL my music missing that i had been listening to before i want off line – it then sucked up 2GB of my data trying to get some back (that was already on my phone!) now been through hours of updating and downloading and more data and more wasted tim wtf apple you are becoming like NAZIS! YOU VILL DO IT OUR WAY JA! F&^% you! really sick of it my 2 macbook pros both broke 4 days before a long over seas lecture trip none of my iphones made it to 1 year warranty and now my 5 is not going to make it to 2 years and the new 6.x – battery life is down to 4 hrs the touch screen is packing up – uber will work on my macbook but refuses to work on my iphone – i have invested over 19 grand in apple macbooks and phones and 100x of hours of downloading CDs I OWN To iphone it worked great until apple tried to copy spotify et al and cocked it up big time! time to get a samsung? better camera better control etc!!?? SH1T!!!!

  • RUTH


  • John

    I was channeling Mr Dalrymple a lot last night. I’ve been traveling a lot and finally had to break to sit down and figure out this mess.

    It took me 2 hours (thank you iMore) to get my iTunes Match music back and more than an hour to figure out of how download music to my iPhone so I could listen to it while flying.

    OK, I’m in my 50’s and maybe I’m slow. I talked with my daughter who is mid-20’s, tech native, iPhone owner for 10 years, and works in the tech field. She and her friends all struggle with Apple Music. I figured out a few things she didn’t know and helped fix up her library.

    I was messaging her while she was hanging out with a bunch of her friends and when I told her a trick that I had found for downloading music more easily. She told her friends and most of the group said “Oh my God, is that how you do it? F@ck, that’s confusing.”

  • William
  • Javier Huerta

    As an Apple and Windows avid user, I can honestly say anyone using iTunes or iTunes match deserve everything that happens to them. Sorry, but it’s true.

    Spotify? Won’t touch your stuff and will serve 95% of everything you could ever want. Tidal? Won’t touch your stuff and will send you the highest quality music you can stream. Google Play Music? Won’t touch your stuff – AND will upload it to Google servers, AND you can listen to tons of new music.

    Apple? Will delete your stuff, force you to buy iPhones and iPads to listen to it, and will lock you to their insane ecosystem because “they know better”.

    Honestly. As I said before, I own and love a nice iMac, Macbook, and a couple of PCs, and I can’t understand why anyone would fall for the iTunes scam.

    • Brrr

      iTunes works great as long as you never activate the streaming/cloud sharing services. Leave them off, and you’re golden.

  • Gabriel Feycat Cuellar
  • “It’s going to be fixed shortly,” he says. In July 2015. Meanwhile, in May 2016…https://blog.vellumatlanta.com/2016/05/04/apple-stole-my-music-no-seriously/

  • konradical

    basically, you got gaslit by apple.

  • AR_Libertarian

    Just another part of the evil empire. Why worry about N. Korea, when you have Comcast, Apple and M$?

  • starberry697

    this is so clearly paid for apple shilling lol

  • Seumus O’Seaghdha

    There is a reason I despise Apple products.

  • Vince Karen McElhose
  • krisandra daniels

    if you were the go on the apple site and download their program and music you would be in court so fast that your head would spin. but when you use their programs they do the same thing to you and yet they get away with stealing …yes that is what it is called when they take what is yours with out your permission and if you give them permission but they wont give it back that is still stealing if you have to pay to get it back then that is extortion. If the music was of your own composition then they are in violation of the DMCA and each of those three situations breaks their own TERMS and CONDITIONS clause. take them to court for violation of the DMCA.

  • I’ve been using iTunes Match since it was available to beta testers, and signed-up for Apple Music on day 1. Other than thinking that Apple still sucks at radio, I have had zero issues with iTunes Match (a.k.a, iCloud Music Library).

    You said:

    I can’t think of a single reason why I would download an album I already own, and album that is in my iTunes Library, only to delete it. I can’t think of a good reason for that.

    Quality. I still have some albums left over from the Napster days, hanging out at 128 bitrate MP3. While I’m older now and have a steady paycheck (having been in college in 1999), these are albums that I would not likely ever buy, but listen to on occasion. Anyway, I had read that iTunes Match (pre-Apple Music) was paying copyright owners (i.e., record labels) per-download of matched tracks. Because of this, I didn’t feel too bad about upgrading my 128 bitrate MP3s to 256 bitrate AACs.

    Maybe this isn’t your use-case, but it was certainly mine. The only issues that I have legitimately had are when downloading matched tracks to my iPhone, sometimes I get “clean” versions of “explicit” tracks. I would happily re-format my tracks to use an M4A container and add the “explicit” atom if I thought it would help. But that hasn’t been confirmed, and I haven’t cared enough to be the guinea pig.

    Also, Time Machine, my friend. Time Machine.

  • Verena Block

    It’s not getting better. A few weeks back the playlists on my iMac got deleted and replaced by the playlists on my husband’s iMac. I have managed to recreate some of them. Yesterday the playlists on my iMac replaced the playlists on his iMac, and his are all gone. I’ve tried replacing the iTunes Library.ini file with an older one, and I unchecked the iCloud music checkbox in preferences so it wouldn’t overwrite that data when I reopened iTunes. iTunes opened, the old playlist appeared! For about 2 seconds. Then they got overwritten by the iCloud music playlists, and when I checked the preferences the iCloud music box had been rechecked. I tried it again, same result.

    It also keeps removing playlists/music from my iPhone. I check the Manually Manage box when I have the iPhone connected, and after some unbeknownst period of time that box gets unchecked by the iTunes poltergeist and everything gets wonky again.

  • 01_findus

    I am sick of Apple Music. Just canceled my subscription. Spotify does not loose the playlists and the songs all the time.

  • Suz

    I don’t believe that you deleted your own files. Apple has an attitude against music not purchased from them. They also intend to cost you as much as humanly possible, so they routinely make you re-purchase. They are simply greedy, and have no love for their patrons. You mean nothing to them. But, they are THRILLED to keep taking our money.

  • Annie Harding

    I’m glad that you got some of your music ….I don’t know where mine is and i’m VERY UPSET ABOUT IT