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paradoxal

PSA: Don't use Apple Music, it might remove your local music files

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Original blog post here:

https://blog.vellumatlanta.com/2016/05/04/apple-stole-my-music-no-seriously/

 

Quote

“The software is functioning as intended,” said Amber.
“Wait,” I asked, “so it’s supposed to delete my personal files from my internal hard drive without asking my permission?”
“Yes,” she replied.

 

I had just explained to Amber that 122 GB of music files were missing from my laptop. I’d already visited the online forum, I said, and they were no help. Although several people had described problems similar to mine, they were all dismissed by condescending “gurus” who simply said that we had mislocated our files (I had the free drive space to prove that wasn’t the case) or that we must have accidentally deleted the files ourselves (we hadn’t). Amber explained that I should blow off these dismissive “solutions” offered online because Apple employees don’t officially use the forums—evidently, that honor is reserved for lost, frustrated people like me, and (at least in this case) know-it-alls who would rather believe we were incompetent, or lying, than face the ugly truth that Apple has vastly overstepped its boundaries.

 

What Amber explained was exactly what I’d feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users’ computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple’s database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn’t recognize—which came up often, since I’m a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself—it would then download it to Apple’s database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.

This led to four immediate problems:

 

1. If Apple serves me my music, that means that when I don’t have wifi access, I can’t listen to it. When I say “my music,” I don’t just mean the music that, over twenty years (since before iTunes existed), I painstakingly imported from thousands of CDs and saved to my computer’s internal hard drive. I also mean original music that I recorded and saved to my computer. Apple and wifi access now decide if I can hear it, and where, and when.

 

2. What Apple considers a “match” often isn’t. That rare, early version of Fountains of Wayne’s “I’ll Do The Driving,” labeled as such? Still had its same label, but was instead replaced by the later-released, more widely available version of the song. The piano demo of “Sister Jack” that I downloaded directly from Spoon’s website ten years ago? Replaced with the alternate, more common demo version of the song. What this means, then, is that Apple is engineering a future in which rare, or varying, mixes and versions of songs won’t exist unless Apple decides they do. Said alternate versions will be replaced by the most mainstream version, despite their original, at-one-time correct, titles, labels, and file contents.

 

3. Although I could click the little cloud icon next to each song title and “get it back” from Apple, their servers aren’t fast enough to make it an easy task. It would take around thirty hours to get my music back. And even then…

 

4. Should I choose to reclaim my songs via download, the files I would get back would not necessarily be the same as my original files. As a freelance composer, I save WAV files of my own compositions rather than Mp3s. WAV files have about ten times the number of samples, so they just sound better. Since Apple Music does not support WAV files, as they stole my compositions and stored them in their servers, they also converted them to Mp3s or AACs. So not only do I need to keep paying Apple Music just to access my own files, but I have to hear an inferior version of each recording instead of the one I created.

Of course, there are more issues than this. Apple has faced widespread complaints regarding Apple Music displaying incorrect album art, mangling file information, and Apple “geniuses” being ill-informed on the subject, thus unable to offer working solutions.

If you’re wondering why Apple hasn’t been sued yet, it’s because the iTunes Terms of Use vaguely warn of this issue, then later indemnify Apple and preclude any litigation from users who’ve been boned:

“iCloud Music Library is turned on automatically when you set up your Apple Music Subscription…When your Apple Music Subscription term ends, you will lose access to any songs stored in your iCloud Music Library.

 

…YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE, THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK.THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE AND ALL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES DELIVERED TO YOU THROUGH THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE ARE (EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY STATED BY APPLE) PROVIDED “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” FOR YOUR USE, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED.

 

…IN NO CASE SHALL APPLE, ITS DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AFFILIATES, AGENTS, CONTRACTORS, OR LICENSORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING FROM YOUR USE OF THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE OR FOR ANY OTHER CLAIM RELATED IN ANY WAY TO YOUR USE OF THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN ANY CONTENT OR APPLE MUSIC PRODUCTS, OR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF ANY CONTENT OR APPLE MUSIC PRODUCTSPOSTED, TRANSMITTED, OR OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE VIA THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THEIR POSSIBILITY.”

 

I recovered my original music files only by using a backup I made weeks earlier. Many people don’t back up as often as they should, though, so this isn’t always an option. Amber relayed to me that she’s had to suffer through many calls from people who cancelled their Apple Music subscription after the free, three-month trial, only to discover that all of their own music files had been deleted and there was no way to get them back.

 

So my files were temporarily restored; but the only way to prevent this from happening over and over, according to Amber, was to cancel my subscription to Apple Music (which she herself doesn’t use due to the above-listed reasons) and to make sure my iCloud settings did not include storing any music backups.
 

For about ten years, I’ve been warning people, “hang onto your media. One day, you won’t buy a movie. You’ll buy the right to watch a movie, and that movie will be served to you. If the companies serving the movie don’t want you to see it, or they want to change something, they will have the power to do so. They can alter history, and they can make you keep paying for things that you formerly could have bought. Information will be a utility rather than a possession. Even information that you yourself have created will require unending, recurring payments just to access.”

 

When giving the above warning, however, even in my most Orwellian paranoia I never could have dreamed that the content holders, like Apple, would also reach into your computer and take away what you already owned. If Taxi Driver is on Netflix, Netflix doesn’t come to your house and steal your Taxi Driver DVD. But that’s where we’re headed. When it comes to music, Apple is already there.

 

Audacious. Egregious. Crazy. These are just some of the adjectives I used in my conversation with Amber.  She actually asked me how I wanted to move forward, putting the onus of a solution back on me. I understand why, too: she’s just as powerless as I am. I would love for Apple to face public backlash and financial ramifications for having taken advantage of its customers in such a brazen and unethical way, but Apple seems beyond reproach at this point. It took three representatives before I could even speak to someone who comprehended what I was saying, and even when she admitted to Apple’s shady practice, she was able to offer no solution besides “don’t use the product.” When our data is finally a full-blown utility, however, “just don’t use the product” will cease to be an option. Apple will be in control, bringing their 1984 commercial full circle into a tragic, oppressive irony.

 

TL;DR: Apple Music might upload your local music files to their servers, encode them to AAC 256 kbps and remove the local copies.

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...

 

Seems like I ended up a victim of this as well.

I noticed when modifying metadata on recently imported tracks (w/ artists I already had), I couldn't get certain albums/singles in their respective spots. Come to find out a good chunk of my library has been uploaded to the cloud (I also unintentionally made it worse sharing my library between both my PCs via. said cloud.) While It looks like I haven't lost anything, apparently I only have 111 GB in my Music folder v. the 124 GB stated on the status bar. 

Fortunately, I still have mainly 320 rips, and backups of my collection in both my Ipod Classic (which I haven't synced in months =P) and Google's Cloud (although I should take caution w/ that as well.)

 

Apple Music is a great service when it comes to listening to artists that do midnight releases (up to the label.)

That being said, I'm probably going to actively backup my tracks to my secondary drive and start using MusicBee again.

 

Gratz Apple, you now have a bunch of VK rarez xD.

 

 

 

Edited by colorfuljinsei

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I use iPod long time ago I have 1‚500 band visual kei in 2011 

 

my music never lose 

 

only bad your iPod no work no more say good bye to the music  you no buy it ... Mean the music you download you no buy it,in iTunes store that music you lose .

 

My music I buy I never lose because I have account with iTunes 

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I don't use any physical Apple produts but I do have iTunes installed on my PC for the sole reason of buying that occasional digital VK release I absolutely need, but can't afford to buy a physical copy at the moment. 

 

I know I'm being just paranoid but now I feel so insecure by having even iTunes installed on my computer even though it's pretty clear that by only having iTunes this can't happen. Fortunately I already have two online back ups of my music library (CrashPlan + Google Play Music), but now I'm sure I'll buy an additional external hard drive and perhaps set up an off-site back up at my parents' place with CrashPlan. 

 

But even though I barely use any Apple products, I'm fucking furious about this. Just the thought of someone touching my FLAC collection, encoding them to AAC and deleting the original local files makes me wanna kill people. Multiple people. In very violent and unique ways.

 

EDIT: ALSO PEOPLE, BACK UP YOUR SHIT AND HAVE THREE UP-TO-DATE BACK UPS AT ALL TIMES.

Edited by paradoxal

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RE: Apple as a company: I used to consider myself an "Apple-stan" but there are just some things I refuse to get on board with. And Apple Music marked the beginning of the company treading into new technologies and services that I want nothing to do with. I still appreciate Apple for their core devices and operating systems, but the "Apple-stan" in me is slowly dying over time.

 

RE: streaming services: I'm so glad I never got on board with any bullshit streaming subscription services. I'd rather just pay for each song/release individually, and keep it on my hard drive forever.

 

@paradoxal you are being paranoid. As long as you don't have the Apple Music or iTunes Match services, your music collection, that apparently only exists in Foobar (if I'm guessing correctly) is perfectly safe. But there's nothing wrong with having library backups. Hard drive failures happen everyday, and the trauma I faced from that 3 years ago still haunts me.

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I remember 

Google Play Music

UPDATE new shit delete all music is no from the store 

 

I never update my phone because that shit delete all my music like clean APP 

 

Fucking mad when I no read this shit update 

 

When  I stop 

I turn off my phone I turn off the Wi-Fi  so I no use no more 

Google Play Music for listen my music 

 

I read the new update 

Is shit fix delete all music is not from the store ( copyright)

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I should also clarify, as someone who as experienced this, this situation will only happen if your library is WITHIN Itunes and you're using Apple Music IN CONJUNCTION w/ Cloud services activated (which the individual who wrote the article alluded to w/ the "cloud icon".) The cloud is also automatically activated, but I did turn it off initially...

Itunes takes liberties to make your collection "easily accessible" over the cloud and locally, which can mean lowering the bitrate in some cases. Apple Music's recognition also is not always up to par either when it comes to recognizing metadata, so mix-ups can occur. 

 

but...

 

I have yet to experience a situation where I couldn't access my files locally w/o wifi even w/ an ended subscription (which happened once since my Itunes JP balance ran out.)

Edited by colorfuljinsei

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I use some products from apple... but we never know when some shit like this can happen. Because this i have many HDD that i can keep all my files. Streaming /cloud services are good but u never can trust 100%. 

 

To dont have problems, have many copies from your files. its more safe than trust in one any software. 

Edited by Delkmiroph

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brb burning my iphone

 

Seriously, though, this kind of shit is inexcusable. Years ago I experienced something similar, but much less damaging, when I allowed Microsoft Windows Media Player to scan my mp3s. For some reason, it took all the album art named "folder.jpg" (which, at the time, was basically every piece of album art I had) and converted them into tiny hidden thumbnail pictures. 

 

I also lost my entire music collection one time, due to some weird error (or maybe virus?) that caused Windows Disk Cleanup to delete every single file in my hard drive. ... so now I have an external backup drive.

 

Anyway, if you still have to use iTunes, you should go check the options again and make sure everything related to Apple Music, iTunes Match, or iCloud is disabled. Also, it's worth doing this check everytime iTunes gets updated. You never know what kind of shit Apple is up to.

Edited by peffy

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Glad I'm not using apple products or software, I've had iTunes installed a few year ago for buying some j-rock releases but I've formatted several times since then and haven't installed it anymore. How do you guys back up your stuff online? Is there a size limit? For example could I keep a 3tb backup of lossless music on google servers? (I don't think I'd ever do that but just out of curiosity)

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Wow, that's pretty disgusting. I never planned on using Apple Music. I'm still not even a fan of Spotify. I like owning copies of my music. As if hard drive failures and power surges weren't already nightmare enough for digital music fans, then a program can help itself to your files and take them away from you just like that. I already stopped buying Apple products (like ipods) because I had multiple issues and their "genius" staff were not only ill informed on their own products but also rude. And if I could find a better alternative to move away from iTunes for buying digital music, I certainly would. 

 

Thanks @peffy for reminding me to disable Apple Music Connect.

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I just simply don't synchronize them to iCloud when I was on a trial. So I don't have that problem.

 

I have not use it since, music streaming is not for me, I enjoy buying CDs or even digital albums better :D

 

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LOL crap my comment never submitted. Thanks Comcast. It was all long and explained a lot. Shame.

 

I use an iPhone, and all I can say is you have to be aware of what is going on with the software/apps you are running.

Make sure the Download managers you use have an easy locale to your files, in case you need to set up another backup solution. Check off any options that use backup sync, or makes copies of the data on another location on your PC. There was a program that was introduced a while back (I completely forgot the name, it sucked doe) that had the option to backup your files into their selected format, and REPLACE your file with the newer version. The problem was that is was the DEFAULT OPTION. Holy shit did that company go under quick lol.

 

Basically, you guys need to understand that it is not just APPLE (Amazon and Spotify were just like this too). Anything with direct access to your files (whether synchronized or not), may have a small chance of modifying, corrupting, or even losing them. I've known this since the introduction of these ridiculous things back in 2013.  Not just on your PCs, but your phones too.

 

DRM is a son of a bitch and needs to be put down soon, but that's a story for another day....

 

Wait until Cloud-Based Services/Storage Solutions become cheap enough, where the average consumer will fall prey to their "terms and conditions", knowing full well that many of us do not even take a 5 second glance at those rules.

 

 

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