Kyle Seth Gray

Kyle Seth Gray's blog. Usually writing about tech, personal experience, but now leaning more towards health and fitness.

Apple Music - iCloud Music Library

In fun iTunes adventures, I’ve been having the joy of using Apple Music recently. One of the things that happens often is how confusingly iTunes seems to handle the whole iCloud Music Library merging, and making sure everything is in sync. And it seems to be the issue most people have with the service

The first issues I had with the service were it mismatching album art to albums, causing Michael Buble to have The Format artwork, and Nintendo to suddenly just have the most random art out there. I only had about 20 GB worth of music that was matched/uploaded, and most of that was in the iTunes Store. But regardless, the way Apple Music handled my iTunes Database seemed to just screw up the ordering of album art, and then sync all those errors to my devices.

The only way to fix this seemed to create a brand new iTunes library from scratch on my Mac. My normal, big iTunes libary is on my external harddrive, so I just made a brand new one on my actual Home Directory, and then the empty library seemed to kickstart iCloud in a way that allowed it to fix the issues it was having. I'm still not entirely sure how this worked, but it allows me to 1: use iTunes/Apple Music streaming without an external harddrive plugged in, which is nice. 2: edit directly what Apple Music has of my library in the cloud, since none of it is on the machine, and it's pulling all the data it has from iCloud.

This basically follows some of the steps Stephen had with Resetting iTunes Match. This is the way to go if you got data screwed up by iTunes. But the sad thing is it mainly works only if you have a backup. Which you really should. (One of the best backup services is Backblaze. I'll just leave my Backblaze Affiliate Link here)

Apple obviously wants to appeal to both main audiences that use iTunes: those that have had immense libraries built up over the years, with music that isn’t necessarily available in their store, and a lot of meta data additions, playlists, and customizations. And they want to appeal to those that just stream all of their music, and don’t worry about things like old CD imports or anything of that like. After all, Apple Music is a streaming service.

The only problem with all of this is there are going to be those that have an outlier that Apple couldn’t test for. With the millions of iTunes users, you can’t help but think there’s one guy out there who has one thing different in his library that screws everything up with iCloud.

I can’t help but think that maybe Apple should’ve pulled the Music App out, made it a separate app you download from the App Store, and kept that as the streaming service. At the very least, they should’ve had a matching service that simply scanned your library and uploaded to that app without touching your actual iTunes library. While I haven’t had any problems with how iCloud Music Library works, that seems to be the number one issue when it comes to people’s iTunes blowing up in their faces and either messing up album art, song order, or completely screwing over however you’ve organized your library over the years. Google Music works like this, Spotify even has a local music feature, and Amazon Cloud Library has that same feature.

It may cost extra bandwidth, or been slightly confusing, but it’s less confusing than canceling your subscription and worrying about whether or not that personal library you’ve made over the years suddenly has DRM hooked up with it.

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