Accidentally deleted Apple Music library - infuriated

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by ahoydecoy, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. ahoydecoy macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2015
    Today I tried to select and delete two or three albums from the middle of my music library on iTunes. After highlighting them and selecting delete from my library, I noticed that everything before what I'd selected (or meant to select) was gone.

    I mean, 1,000s of songs from a library I'd built up over the last 15 years or so. Including a tonne of great music that I'll admit I don't know the details for and the rest will take me years to remember.

    I was sure that I could restore my library somehow, but no. A long chat with apple and a bunch of research later and apparently once you press 'delete from iCloud library' it's gone forever, no back-up or file save will help you.

    I know this is my mistake, but surely Apple should have a safety net. I'm really ****ing angry about it.
  2. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    they do have a safety net... They explain on their website u should have a backup..
    however by safety net, if u mean an "undo" function, then no.... It's users responsibility to know before they delete something...

    Same thing on a Mac,,, Once u delete it from Trash, it's gone unless u have a backup, so no difference.
  3. ahoydecoy thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2015
    When you delete something on a Mac you can literally press undo, or find it in the trash, no such thing with Apple Music.

    I was intending to select 3 albums, an incorrect key or slip of the trackpad or whatever it was (yes, this means it was my fault, but at the same time not really my fault) meant I wiped thousands of songs from my library with no way of undoing it.

    I backup both my phone and my MacBook every day, but there is no way of restoring Apple Music as your library is instantly updated and unaffected by other backup files. That's what I mean by no safety net. Not even a 'you're about to remove x amount of files permanently, are you sure' warning.

    So what - we're expected to regularly export our iTunes library and file that away also? Seems ridiculous.
  4. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    It is a little unclear what exactly you are talking about. You wrote that you've built your library for 15 years; since Apple Music is only 2 years old, most of that music must have come from other sources than an AM subscription. Can't you just add your original files to the library again?
  5. neverhereagain69 macrumors newbie


    May 17, 2019
    Hello. I know you wrote this 2 years ago, but now I have the exact same problem. Did you find any solution? :(
  6. actcyclist macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2017
    Just think of it as an opportunity to find some new music and be careful with the delete button next time.
    No point steaming over an accidental delete, most people have done it.
  7. LizKat macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    But see it's not necessarily the Apple Music tracks alone that can end up affected. Your iCloud Music Library may contain tracks from an iTunes base library that may have been pointed at (via a prior sync of your mobile device's music through the laptop/desktop iTunes app) when you established the Apple Music subscription. If you agree to merge that library and your AM music --which is what happens if you turn on iCloud Music Library, and which must happen if you wish to download AM tracks instead of just streaming them-- then the tracks in that library get examined and if Apple doesn't have them on hand already as AAC files, they get uploaded and then redownloaded as AAC files. This is so that your iOS device can contain the equivalent of a mix of your own stuff and Apple Music stuff you have elected to download.

    With iOS Apple Music, it's do it their way re library merges, or don't plan on downloading any AM tracks. There's an option to stream from AM without downloading. That's what I have to use because I sync all my mobile gear's music to iTunes libraries on laptops.

    I do have one laptop library that I use just for Apple Music and download tracks to, so for that iTunes library only, I have iCloud Music Library turned on. So really I mostly use (and yes, download) Apple Music on one laptop. Everywhere else I don't turn on iCloud Music Library and so cannot download AM, only stream it.

    The iOS on a mobile device gives you the option to say "Not Now" when you turn on Apple Music feature and it asks if you want to "merge your library into iCloud Music Library." So I take that "Not now" route with my iPhone and iPod touch gear. The iCloud Music Library stays shut off on all my mobile gear. Not least because I want my mobiles to retain their independent views of my music. None of this "when you delete this track, it will be deleted across all your devices." What? No thanks. Different iOS devices that I own all have intentionally very different collections of music on them. I'm not going to have the same music on a 32GB iPod touch that I have on a 256GB XR.

    I do have one small iCloud Music Library that was created for use only with one particular Apple music oriented setup on my laptop; sometimes I might option-drag data files into its media folder from other iTunes libraries of mine and then using iTunes menu File option "Add to library..." at which point they then also end up added to iCloud Music Library, but they're added from the viewpoint of that target library, not the original library from which I dragged copies of the data files. Then really I don't care that those few copies or the AAC equivalents if Apple doesn't have them in the cloud already might take a hike if and when I make a mistake and delete more than I meant to, or even ditch the AM subscription altogether, since they're just copies of data files that reside in an iTunes library not referenced at all by my laptop use of Apple Music.

    I must remain very careful never to turn on iCloud Music Library for an iOS device that I sync to some other of my iTunes libraries though, because that would actually trigger the process of adding what could be tens of thousands of tracks from that library to my now (and intentionally tiny) iCloud Music Library. So "Not now" is my watchword when I'm using an iPhone and turn on Apple Music feature and then get that question asked about do i want my library MERGED... uh no... no way!

    So bottom line, when using your Apple Music, you happen to delete more than you meant to delete, it might not be just your AM stuff, could also be stuff that you own. If you don't already have some physically separate backups of the latter tracks, then you do have a problem that can't be resolved if the deleted material was not purchased from Apple, i.e. if you originally ripped it from your CDs etc and don't have a backup of those files stashed away somewhere.

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6 November 19, 2017