Apple Music – is it finally 100% safe to turn on iCloud music library?

lars666

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
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I have a big collection of rare stuff and live recordings in my iTunes library and I am very anal about my tagging, cover art etc. I would love to use Apple Music in my whole macOS/iOS ecosystem, but I am simply too afraid with all the bad experiences about changed cover art, replaced songs with different versions and even deleted music files on the local iTunes library. (Even tried it once, after seeing a lot of totally wrong cover art I turned Apple Music off again as quickly as possible to prevent permanent damage.) I have a backup of my iTunes library, of course, but with a big music collection, this won't help me too much if I discover years from now that Apple Music did delete mp3s and/or messed up my meta data locally on my iMac.

Is it finally safe to use the iCloud Music library with Apple Music without the service daring to touch my iTunes library "physically" and renaming/replacing/deleting songs permanently even after turning of Apple Music again?

Thanks in advance for the input, really appreciated!
 

Alrescha

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Jan 1, 2008
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Is it finally safe to use the iCloud Music library with Apple Music without the service daring to touch my iTunes library "physically" and renaming/replacing/deleting songs permanently even after turning of Apple Music again?
I used iTunes Match for years and tried Apple Music for a while. I have never had iTunes touch my local files in any way (except when I manually edit metadata, of course). That said, you should always have backups.

What can happen is that iTunes (or Music) might decide to display its own data (like cover art) instead of yours. That can be annoying, but it is a cosmetic problem - your cover art is still the one in your local file.

One thing that I did notice with Apple Music: it is not always clear *which* copy of a file you are working with. A rather well-known tech personality managed to delete most of his music collection this way, and he did not have a backup. So beware of that danger.

A.
 
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lars666

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Jul 13, 2008
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Hi Alrescha, thanks a lot for the answer. Yes, I have to admit that I struggle with the Apple Music concept a little bit, too, when it comes to local/downloaded/streamed files (Haven't used it longer than a few hours yet, though.) I have backups of course, but I would hate to have to be always in alert mode that no fatal error escapes my eyes in the background, not being able to trust the service - in comparison to testing something, it is clearly broke and simply restoring the last version again.)

If Apple Music only SHOWS the wrong cover art, that's okay for me when testing. It just should not even THINK about daring to change the metadata of my files or even delete them on its own hands in the background. If I find out that Apple Music is a total mess for me, I simply want to be able to turn it off again and have the EXACT same state of my local iTunes library as before.
 
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Alrescha

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Jan 1, 2008
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If Apple Music only SHOWS the wrong cover art, that's okay for me when testing. It just should not even THINK about daring to change the metadata of my files or even delete them on its own hands in the background.
I think Apple agrees with you - iTunes has its own separate metadata database and its own cover art directory. As a result, that 'Til Tuesday track I added in 2006 still has a 2006 timestamp on the file.

I do not know about yours, but these days my music collection is pretty static. Even if something went terribly wrong it would not be a hardship to just restore to my pre-match or pre-music days and then re-do my additions. Before I experimented with Match and Music I zipped up the iTunes Media/Music directory - and I still have those zip files :)

A.
 
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Grogfoot

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Dec 26, 2012
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I'm watching this closely. I signed up for the trial when it came out and read in horror about what it did to some people's personal collections. It was most definitely the reason I canceled at the end of the trial.

I'm cautiously optimistic about trying again, but would dearly love to hear more from people with experience and big, personal music libraries.
 
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lars666

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Jul 13, 2008
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I subscribed to Apple Music again yesterday evening after starting this thread – before turning on iCloud music library on my main iTunes Mac, I wanted to delete all the old songs from my first try one and a half year ago that are still in the iCloud music library (to really start fresh and minimize every risk of the library being messed up). Therefore I created a new blank iTunes library on my secondary Mac, activated Apple Music / iCloud music library and deleted all 20.000 shows tracks in the iCloud music library (not only iTunes Store purchases, but also other matches/uploads from my last try). iTunes gives a warning that those tracks will be permanently deleted from the iCloud Music Library and every device connected with it – nevertheless, the tracks come back as soon as I refresh the (locally 100% blank) library.

Tried this about ten times now and waited a few hours if maybe the iCloud music library need time to refresh server-wise. No luck, those 20.000 songs come back again and again. Doesn't give me too much confidence if this new try already starts with problems at those banal steps ...

EDIT: Permanently deleting tracks via my Apple TV seem to work in contrast to my MacBook. Unfortunately I am not able to mark 20.000 tracks on my Apple TV, am I?
 
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Stefan johansson

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As long as you have not deleted every file on every device manually before reconnecting any device to iCloud,iCloud will restore downloads from the device where it's not deleted,.
 

lars666

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
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My Apple TV and my MacBook (with a blank local library) are the only devices currently connected to Apple Music. When I delete single tracks on my Apple TV they disappear for good (also on my MacBook). When I do so on my MacBook, they come back. Annoying as hell.
 

Stefan johansson

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Apr 13, 2017
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My Apple TV and my MacBook (with a blank local library) are the only devices currently connected to Apple Music. When I delete single tracks on my Apple TV they disappear for good (also on my MacBook). When I do so on my MacBook, they come back. Annoying as hell.
Yeah,that's frustrating. Do you use family sharing? Another thing that might help can be to erase browser history on the Mac,for all internet browsers installed. Be sure to back up the links you want to keep first.
 

lars666

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
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No, I don't use family share. Already tried to only delete 500 iCloud library tracks at a time on my MacBook instead of all 20.000 at once. No luck. If I was just able to mark all tracks on my AppleTV and delete them this way, I would be fine, but that's not possible I guess. Even paired my Bluetooth keyboard to the AppleTV with the small hope that I'll maybe be able to use "CMD-A", but this doesn't work. Will keep on trying. If Apple only offered a "Reset iCloud music library" button ...

EDIT: I finally succeeded deleting all tracks from the iCloud music library. Tried again and again in chunks and the 20.000 tracks disappeared little by little after numerous tries in the end. Hope it stays this way. With this blank new start, I'll try Apple Music on my devices again as soon as my iMac (with my iTunes library) is back from repair from the Apple Store.
 
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Stefan johansson

macrumors 65816
Apr 13, 2017
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Sweden
No, I don't use family share. Already tried to only delete 500 iCloud library tracks at a time on my MacBook instead of all 20.000 at once. No luck. If I was just able to mark all tracks on my AppleTV and delete them this way, I would be fine, but that's not possible I guess. Even paired my Bluetooth keyboard to the AppleTV with the small hope that I'll maybe be able to use "CMD-A", but this doesn't work. Will keep on trying. If Apple only offered a "Reset iCloud music library" button ...

EDIT: I finally succeeded deleting all tracks from the iCloud music library. Tried again and again in chunks and the 20.000 tracks disappeared little by little after numerous tries in the end. Hope it stays this way. With this blank new start, I'll try Apple Music on my devices again as soon as my iMac (with my iTunes library) is back from repair from the Apple Store.
Ok,I see,good. Agree about some "erase iCloud files" function,where files can be marked and erased.
 

Tech198

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Mar 21, 2011
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Australia, Perth
Is it finally safe to use the iCloud Music library with Apple Music without the service daring to touch my iTunes library "physically" and renaming/replacing/deleting songs permanently even after turning of Apple Music again?

Thanks in advance for the input, really appreciated!
This is why Apple says keep backups, because if the unthinkable does happen, then u won't be the one with lost music.

I use Apple music, but anything that's on Apple music i add to my playlist i also have copies off.. This is a bit hard to do the 'legal' way, but this is your own music isn't it? Don't delete it.
 

lars666

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
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As mentioned in my original post I have a backup, of course (two, to be more precise) – but if we assume a situation in which Apple Music silently deletes some mp3s by itself (which I hope it doesn't), I just think it could be years until you finally discover that something is wrong and you lost music, especially with a huge music library. In this case, your old backup from long ago could already be replaced by a new hard disk with a fresh backup (when you assumed after some time that everything is fine) or deleted as one of your oldest backups on a full Time Machine. That's why I'm so very careful with Apple Music. Have a lot of rare stuff and live bootlegs I wouldn't be able to replace easily.

That said I am confident that I will be fine. I will give Apple Music the whole test in a week when my iMac comes back from repair.
 
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B/D

macrumors regular
Mar 30, 2016
105
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My main complain with iCloud Music Library as of today.

I collect mostly film scores and buy many albums from specialty labels like LaLa Land Records, Film Score Monthly and Intrada who release expanded and remastered score albums. I continue to have a problem with Apple Music not uploading these and matching some of the tracks to the old original album with non-remastered track that exist in the iTunes Store.



Some have a huge dip in quality, especially if it is an older score that was remastered.





It's really annoying that you guys think I want to listen to a 20 year old version of a track even though I just bought a remastered CD released last week.





Please Apple. Amazon Music and Google have a "fix incorrect match" option, which upload your local copy. Consider to add this to your service, please.





Thank you very much in advance and excuse my English.



Itunes 12.6.1.27
 

bigpoppamac31

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Aug 16, 2007
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If Apple Music were a separate entity from a persons local iTunes library (like Spotify is) than I'd have no issue using Apple Music. However given the horror stories others have mentioned about makes me not want to ever use it. I do buy songs from iTunes once in a while and still often buy CDs. Guess I'm not much into the whole streaming thing. I still want to own my music (and movies for that matter).
 

nigelw

macrumors newbie
May 1, 2010
2
0
If Apple Music were a separate entity from a persons local iTunes library (like Spotify is) than I'd have no issue using Apple Music.
Apple Music is separate from your local iTunes library. It's iCloud Music Library that causes problems with local music, and that feature can be toggled separately.

If you want to use Apple Music without risk of messing up your own music, go to iTunes prefs and turn on "Show Apple Music Features" but keep "iCloud Music Library" switched off.

This is what I've done the past couple of years while I wait and hope for an improved iCloud Music Library release. I'm curious if @lars666 has any better luck this go round.
 

doolittle27

macrumors member
Jan 20, 2016
80
25
San Francisco, CA, USA
I can confirm that iCloud Music Library STILL messing your music metadata. I literally spent more than 10 minutes wresting with it the other night when I tried to change the cover art to what I want, but every time the library being update, it would change my precious cover art. Ugh! This is beyond frustrating.
 
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bigpoppamac31

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Aug 16, 2007
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Canada
Apple Music is separate from your local iTunes library. It's iCloud Music Library that causes problems with local music, and that feature can be toggled separately.

If you want to use Apple Music without risk of messing up your own music, go to iTunes prefs and turn on "Show Apple Music Features" but keep "iCloud Music Library" switched off.

This is what I've done the past couple of years while I wait and hope for an improved iCloud Music Library release. I'm curious if @lars666 has any better luck this go round.
Hmm okay. Maybe I'm confusing it with iCloud music library or iTunes Match which I had previously. Is this also doable on the iPhone or just the Mac?

EDIT: I don't seem to have the check box to turn on or off iCloud Music Library as shown here.
https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204926
 
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Grogfoot

macrumors member
Dec 26, 2012
40
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I can confirm that iCloud Music Library STILL messing your music metadata. I literally spent more than 10 minutes wresting with it the other night when I tried to change the cover art to what I want, but every time the library being update, it would change my precious cover art. Ugh! This is beyond frustrating.
That is frustrating, but when Apple Music was first released it was literally deleting songs from people's libraries. Have you encountered any of that or is it mostly just things like metadata?
 

doolittle27

macrumors member
Jan 20, 2016
80
25
San Francisco, CA, USA
That is frustrating, but when Apple Music was first released it was literally deleting songs from people's libraries. Have you encountered any of that or is it mostly just things like metadata?
Never have a case with file deletion. Only with the metadata. I care about it because sometimes I would just buy songs from other country of iTunes Store just to get specific cover.
 
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