Vanishing and empty playlists in iTunes

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by Mark Booth, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. Mark Booth macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
    I've had iCloud and iTunes Match swimming along nicely for several days. No serious hiccups. Then, this morning, I went down to the Apple Store and purchased the new iPhone 4S to replace my iPhone 4. Since my iPhone was backed up to iCloud, it was able to be restored right there in the store. It worked beautifully. After it was finished, then it started automatically downloading all my apps. The Apple specialist warned me that when I left the store and lost WiFi, the apps would stop downloading. However, when I got home and got connected to my own WiFi, the apps continued to download on their own. Neat! The settings and folder & apps arrangements on my iPhone 4S ended up looking EXACTLY like my iPhone 4, all done wirelessly!!

    But what DOESN'T get restored is your music. That required me to plug my iPhone 4S into my Mac Pro via USB. But before I even got to the point of restoring my music to the iPhone 4S, something else happened.....

    All of the iTunes playlists that I normally sync to my iPhone are now EMPTY on my Mac Pro. All of the songs have disappeared from those playlist. The songs are still in my iTunes library, they just aren't in the playlists. And it ONLY affected the playlists that I normally sync to my iPhone. Any playlist on my Mac Pro that doesn't get synced to my iPhone is still fine with all of the songs in place.

    It gets worse.... Because my Mac Mini and my MacBook Pro are also iTunes Matched through iCloud, the playlists that I normally sync to my iPhone have COMPLETELY disappeared from those two computers. Vanished, gone!

    Obviously, iTunes Match/iCloud somehow thought I had deleted the playlists on my iPhone 4S. Just as a single song would disappear from the playlist on your Mac if you deleted it from the playlist on your iPhone, the "cloud" mistook the "empty" playlists on my new iPhone 4S to mean I had deleted all of the songs. Then iTunes Match/iCloud repeated that move on every computer associated with my iTunes Match/iCloud account.

    I didn't lose any music. I just lost the playlists. Maybe 6 or 7 of them. Some of them will be easy to recreate but a couple of them had over 60 songs. No fun going back and recreating those!

    They say that the "cloud" is the "truth". I saw evidence of that today. My new iPhone 4S apparently told the cloud that I had deleted all of the songs in a given playlist, when in fact, I just hadn't put the music on the phone yet. Then the cloud went and told iTunes on all of my Macs to delete the songs in those playlists.

    Why the (empty) playlists are still available on my Mac Pro but the playlists completely disappeared on my other two computers is beyond me. I guess the "cloud" sees my Mac Pro as the "master". But if that's true, then the songs should STILL be in the playlists on the Mac Pro.

    Apple definitely has some bugs to work out in iTunes Match/iCloud!

  2. WisdomWolf macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2010
    I'm dealing with a similar issue, but all I did was disable iTM on my iPad. All my smart playlists vanished. I was actually sitting at the computer and I watched them disappear one by one. Absolutely unacceptable!
  3. Norrin macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2011
    This just happened to me, the same as the original poster, with one exception.

    I don't use itunes in the cloud or music match. don't have either one setup. the cloud stuff might be automatic for all i know, but i know i don't have music match.

    anway, ONLY the playlist i sync to the phone have been emptied. This either has to do with i updated iTunes, or because i just switched iphones last week. switched from one 4s to a different 4s. i switched ipads also (same model, just a switch). something causes my playlists to be emptied....

    I know itunes keep this "previous itunes library" files in the music folder. can i somehow use that to be my plastlists back????

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