Making songs available offline is a mess

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by MentalFloss, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. MentalFloss macrumors 6502a

    MentalFloss

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    Mar 14, 2012
    #1
    So this morning, I thought I would make a curated playlist from the "For You" section available offline for listening to it on the way to work. I tap the three dot button on my iPhone and choose "Make available offline". Once I found the download section (not so easy), I could see that the songs were being downloaded. Great!

    The playlist appeared among my own playlists. I tap on it, and... well... how do I know which songs are now available offline? They all look the same as before. No little icon. So I have to go back to the downloads to check if the download is finished. Well, now it's done. Still, no difference between songs that I have made available offline and songs that aren't. I tap on a song's three dot button, and it gives me the option to "Make it available offline". Huh? Wut? I thought I just did that. I tap that option. There is no download, but now the little "offline" icon appears with the song (the one that looks like a small iPhone/iPad). Uhm...

    I go to airplane mode and try to play the songs. They all play fine - both the ones that I made available offline once and the ones which I made available offline twice (i.e. the ones with the icon). But I have a "remove download" option only for the songs which have the icon. The other ones, I can still "Make available offline", even though they clearly are already.

    So it seems that there are songs which are available offline and others which are available offlinererer. Like a two class society with no discernible difference from a user experience. All the songs appear in my library, all the songs play offline, but to be 100% sure which ones are really available offline, I have to switch on the "Show Music Available Offline" option. It's not a real crippling issue (as long as there is no offline song limit which would force me to prune the offline-available songs), but it is just a weird mess.

    What's so difficult with just putting a big fat icon next to every song that I currently have on my device?
     
  2. lchlch macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Edited: the op was already aware of the feature I mentioned.
     
  3. imagineadam macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    The weird thing is that all my songs that were already saved to my local storage before I updated OTA to 8.4 showed the little icon just as it should have. I decided to download an album or two after the update (that I already owned) and yes it did download them but no little icon! So I just went and individually selected "make available offline" on each song to get the icon to display. That's my work around for now. It's gotta be a little bug. I wonder if it would show the icon if I make a brand new album purchase and made it available offline? Haven't tried it yet. I'm thinking it would be the same results. Hopefully they fix this!
     
  4. bucksaddle macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I see the same issues and I agree with imagineadam - i think this is a bug at the moment.
     
  5. schlaufox macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2013
    #5
    Also having this exact problem on an iPhone 6. Also agree that it's a bug, and probably one that will be fixed server-side, rather than requiring an iOS update fix.
     
  6. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #6
    Apple removed the indicator showing whether a track was available offline on an track-by-track basis fairly early in the Match release. It was controversial, but it is what it is. Looks like that remains the same for Apple Music.
     
  7. MentalFloss thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MentalFloss

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    #7
    Yes, but there is an indicator. It only appears after you chose "Make available offline" twice. ;) The first time you choose that option, it downloads the song and makes it available offline. The second time you choose it, it shows the offline indicator.
     
  8. SunshineFires macrumors regular

    SunshineFires

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #8
    I'm facing the same issue and I find it extremely frustrating. It's especially problematic when you do not have a wifi connection and you have no idea which songs are actually available offline and which are not, for fear of busting your data cap.
     
  9. hojx macrumors 6502

    hojx

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    #9
    I don't think its a bug.
    There could be a better way for Apple to show it, but right now this is how I have adjusted my mentality as such:

    (MAO=Make Available Offline)
    If a playlist is MAO, every song in that playlist is automatically MAO even if the icon is not shown in that song.

    If a playlist is MAO and I set a song in the playlist to be MAO, when I switch off the playlist's MAO, the song that is MAO will still be kept offline, every other song in the playlist will be removed.



    You can filter your songs to only show Offline ones by selecting 'Artists'/'Albums'/'Songs'/etc in the 'My Music' tab.
     
  10. MentalFloss thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MentalFloss

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    #10
    Ok, I get that. But even the playlists have that strange behaviour. I can MAO a playlist from the "For You" page, and when I go into the playlist then, it gives me the option to MAO it again, even though it already is. ;)
     
  11. CDaSilva18 macrumors newbie

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    #11
    I'm having the same issue. If you don't MAO each song individually, you won't get the icon. I also tried to MAO a 2,000-song playlist and I get an error after downloading about 200 of them. Then it skips a bunch of songs and only downloads like 1,000 total, not all 2,000. Anyone else?
     
  12. jmitch150 macrumors regular

    jmitch150

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    #12
    In my opinion, Apple Music is strictly a streaming option right now. Once the bugs are fixed I will work on recreating my old library from Beats. Luckily I took screenshots of my playlist/saved albums before I transitioned over.
     
  13. flur macrumors 68000

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    #13
    I'm getting that option on playlists that are mixed AM/owned. I thought, maybe I'm missing something, so I selected to make available offline, and it created duplicates of the songs I owned, even though those songs had the phone icon on them already. Fortunately I just reversed it and it removed the duplicates, but the app should be smart enough to use its own identifiers of what's on the phone.
     
  14. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I've also found that if you MAO a playlist with, let's say, 100 songs, and then you add 10 songs to the playlist the next day, you can't MAO these 10 songs at once. You have to MAO manually each song.

    Why? Because the MAO in the playlist is not showing the Remove Downloads option.

    I mean, from a company as big as Apple, I would have think these kind of things would never happen.
     
  15. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #15
    I think this is because the version you already have in your Library is not tied to an Apple Music subscription, so if you stop subscribing it'll still be available to you. I agree, the duplicate is a lousy way of showing this, but I think it's why it happens.
     
  16. kmj2318, Jul 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015

    kmj2318 macrumors 68000

    kmj2318

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    #16
    Adding a Playlist with Make Available Offline keeps it in the Playlist tab. When you select a song within the Playlist and choose Make Available Offline, you're adding it to your Library tab. Make Available Offline in this case should actually say Add to My Music. But it wouldn't say Add to My Music because since it's in a playlist, it's already in My Music.

    The bigger problem here is the language used. Instead of Add to My Music, it should be Add to Library if it's a song or album, and Add Playlist if it's a playlist. That way it's clear which tab the music is going to: Library or Playlists. And that way it's clear how to add individual songs to your Library even if you're viewing it in a playlist.

    Edit: Also, Making Available Offline works by cascading. Meaning if an album has it, every song in it is offline even though there are no icons on the songs. And you can't remove a download of a song that is on an offline album. But you can say to make a song available offline so that even though if you remove the whole album from your device, you will still have that song. Also, you can choose specific songs on an album to never delete even if you don't want the whole album on your device. The icons are more like cascading tags than actual states. It's like tagging a folder, but you still can tag the individual files inside the folder. I don't know if this was intentional or not. Looks like something a programmer would design. It's more powerful but harder to understand.
     
  17. flur macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Except it's not more powerful. It's just more confusing. The simple, as powerful way to do this is that when you MAO an album, each song in the album is MAO'd. Then each song is appropriately tagged as downloaded, you can see what's on the device and what's not, and you can remove selectively or the entire album.

    What's they've done is create a scenario where you can remove an album but not remove all the tracks, because some have secondary tags. That's a mess. They've made library management more convoluted. Probably because some developer thought they were being smart (and I say that as a dev myself).
     
  18. kmj2318 macrumors 68000

    kmj2318

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    #18
    I disagree. Say if you choose only a few songs to have online. Then you decide to download the whole album. Downloading the whole album is non-destructive so you can delete the album and still have the original few songs offline. I agree that it's confusing, and shouldn't work like this, but it does give more options.
     
  19. flur macrumors 68000

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    #19
    That option already exists in the model I described. You simply delete the songs you don't want.

    Simplicity is good design, pretty much always. If it's convoluted, there better be a darn good reason. Here, there isn't one.
     
  20. kmj2318 macrumors 68000

    kmj2318

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    #20
    Ok you're just misunderstanding my use of powerful.
     
  21. flur macrumors 68000

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    #21
    LOL. I generally go by the dictionary definition. Sorry if you meant something else, but I can't think of a definition of "powerful" in which I'd agree with you.
     
  22. kmj2318, Jul 1, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2015

    kmj2318 macrumors 68000

    kmj2318

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    #22
    Designers wouldn't use cascading styles, and programmers wouldn't use classes, if they weren't powerful. {SNIP}
     
  23. MentalFloss thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MentalFloss

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    #23
    Well, looks like I found a major bug in this whole mess. If I make a playlist available offline, and then I go into the playlist and click "Make available offline" on that song again, then afterwards, I will not be able to remove the song from "My Music" anymore. I now have two songs which offer the "Remove from My Music" option, but no matter how often I select this option, they don't go away (the are not included in any playlist).

    So these songs are now forever burnt into my library.
     
  24. lchlch macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Please file a bug report with Apple.
     
  25. MentalFloss thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MentalFloss

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    #25
    I'm doing that. Trust me, I'm not just whining here. This place is just for venting. ;)
     

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