Apple fails yet again in the cloud: How to use Apple Music without iCloud Music Library

“iCloud Music Library, which is independent of yet complementary to Apple Music, has caused serious problems for people with iTunes music libraries,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville. “In some cases, it changes artwork; in others, it added DRM to files in the cloud. There are some reasons for this, but there are also situations where it screws things up without any known reason.”

“Yesterday, Jim Dalrymple of The Loop said that ‘Apple Music is a nightmare and I’m done with it,'” McElhearn writes. “I’d come to more or less the same conclusion; not so much about Apple Music, but rather about iCloud Music Library.”

“iCloud Music Library causes problems with existing libraries. If you don’t have any music in your iTunes library – which is the case, most likely, for hundreds of millions of users – then there will be no problems if you turn it on. If you do have music, however, the matching process can result in weirdness,” McElhearn writes. “Not just tracks that end up in DRMed versions, but tracks matched to different versions of the same songs. You, too, can use Apple Music, without turning on iCloud Music Library. You’ll lose the ability to add music to your library, and to save it for offline listening, but your library will be safe.”

“It’s a shame I have to go to this much trouble to use Apple Music,” McElhearn writes. “It’s a shame it doesn’t just work.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s a shame alright. It’s also incompetence.

This is just the latest in a years-long litany of outages and issues.

If Apple, the world’s most valuable company, can’t figure out cloud services by now, there is something wrong with Apple’s management. There is something wrong with Apple’s priorities. The cloud is the future. It needs to be a top priority, not an afterthought. It needs to work. Not be a running joke that fouls up people’s lives. An iPhone with a wonky cloud is a wonky smartphone. A Mac with a faulty cloud is a faulty personal computer. The same goes for iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

The success of Apple’s hardware products depends on iCloud (and all that it entails) just working.

Time’s up. What’s it going to take to finally get your iCloud act together, Mr. Cook? Who’s responsible (Eddy Cue is Apple’s Senior Vice President, Internet Software and Services) and what’s the price, if any, that they pay for repeated failure?

Maybe it’s time for Cue to button up his shirt, park the Ferrari, and get to work? Or perhaps it’s time you threw some cash at some Google and Amazon employees in order to get some people in there who can perform competently since your in-house staff obviously can’t handle it?

Jim Dalrymple: Apple Music is a nightmare, and I’m done with it – July 23, 2015
Apple Music, Beats 1, App Store service restored after four-hour outage for some users – July 21, 2015
Why Apple’s iMessage is unreliable: Apple is juggling too many balls in the cloud – June 23, 2015
Apple’s iTunes and App stores’ costly 12-hour outage – March 12, 2015
Apple’s iTunes, app stores, iCloud services experience outages worldwide – March 11, 2015
iCloud is a major weakness: Will Apple ever fix it? – January 25, 2015
iCloud accounts at risk after hacker releases tool allowing access to any login – January 2, 2015
Apple’s online stores hit with 2nd outage this week – September 4, 2014
Overnight outage of Apple’s iCloud, online store lasted hours – October 9, 2013
Service outages affect Apple’s App Store, iTunes, and FaceTime for hours – August 7, 2013
Apple’s iCloud services again hit by worldwide outage – April 23, 2013
Apple confirms multiple service outages; App Store, iTunes and Calendar still down for some – February 21, 2013
Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime suffer another significant outage Sunday – November 19, 2012
Apple’s iTunes Match down as Apple’s iCloud problems continue – November 19, 2012
Class-action lawsuit accuses Apple of botching MobileMe to iCloud transition – May 18, 2012


      1. No, I don’t, because I have NEVER had ANY of the major issues that EVERYONE else has. I mean, it’s freaking ubiquitous. Guess I’m the one lucky person who’s never had a major issue with Apple’s cloud service. It’s like they made it just for me. No one else has had the same experience as me.

    1. Yeah, all he does all day is just goof off on stage. Then he only works for about 3 minutes. He really does seem to have it backwards. Then again, of Apple would stop having these events that never end, he could get off the stage. BUT, for now, stage goofing for hours, and 3 minutes of work. Definitely not the other way around.

      1. Because, above all else, Kent is a homophobic bigot. He therefore has no credibility and, in addition, makes me sick to my stomach. Tolerance and equality are Also the future, even more so than cloud services.

        When Jim “The Beard” Dalrymple is unhappy with Apple, we’ve got a problem. I trust him as a reality check more than any other tech pundit in the business. (Pogue sold out years ago seeking notoriety and the big bucks at the Times, NOVA, and now.. Yahoo?!?)

        1. “Queer” is a good word. It describes the demographic Apple is now making its prime focus. Queer. As in unnatural. As in Queer. Apple, the Queer Company. Do Things Queer.

          This is Tim’s legacy.

      2. Tim has made his sexuality the main product of Apple for the past 6 months. That is his focus. That and demonizing people who don’t agree with him on this. You reap what you sow. It’s in a book.

        1. Let me fix that for you…

          I have made his sexuality my main Apple preoccupation for the past 6 months. That is my focus. You reap what you sow. It’s in a book of bronze-age myths.

        2. I didn’t know you also made a big issue of Cook’s sexuality. It is a good topic since according to the CDC the 1-2% homosexuals in the population account for 75% of the syphilis cases in the U.S. It is malware intentionally used because it is dangerous. It is like Flash and Android. A bad idea that spreads harm and destruction.

        3. kent has the right idea.
          He just has the wrong target group.

          Clearly, from the Great Book, those who are REALLY abominations in the eyes of the lord are those who:
          – eat shellfish
          – shave
          – wear mixed fabrics

      3. Easy. He brought his sexuality into his role as CEO. Maybe he should pay more attention to iCloud and Apple Music instead of whining about homosexual “rights” constantly.

        1. Sex aside, somebody better get their head out of their ass (did I insult anyone) and fix services. Apple sucks at services. How can they consistently fuck up services? Unbelievable!!!

  1. “Maybe it’s time for Cue to button up his shirt, park the Ferrari, and get to work? Or perhaps it’s time you threw some cash at some Google and Amazon employees in order to get some people in there who can perform competently since your in-house staff obviously can’t handle it?”


    1. Have to agree. At the last keynote, Cue was all about flash, style, and look-at-me demeanor to then be followed by the bumbling Iovine. Can’t help but think that Jobs’ would have shoved a stick in the wheel of their clown unicycle.

  2. Tim Cook’s motto for Apple should be: “It’s Just Buggy”.

    Everytime I want a good laugh, I watch the keynote of him unveiling the Apple Watch.

    Watching him raise his hands in the air like he has actually finally accomplished something in 4-years, while those gay, delusional, douchebags cheer him on in the background is hilarious… who needs antidepressants!

    This guy is pathetic on an individual level, and completely incompetent as Apple’s CEO.

    Tim Cook is Steve Job’s last joke on us from the grave!

    1. I think you can criticize things without having to stoop to bashing Tim because he’s gay. Granted, he made it an issue, so it’s unfortunately fair game now, but it does detract from your argument.

        1. My observations of the homosexual leadership, like Dan Savage, suggests people who do quite a bit of beating up. Nasty people besides being Queer.

          And I don’t see Apple doing anything to promote the lifestyle of those who prefer “opposite sex” partners.

          And now would be a good time for the new Apple to come out for the rights of the Unborn, who have no ability to defend themselves from the liberal mothers and fathers who create them and then want to murder them, and sell their body parts. That would be a great PR move for Apple if it really had any shred of humanity. Defending innocent lives. And its so much more virtuous than the constant promoting of all forms of odd sexual gratification that Apple has made its new mantra. How about defending the right to live for tiny creatures, even those conceived by leftists.

        2. What I mean is that Cook made his sexuality public and promotes Apple employees marching in gay pride parades, railing against religious freedom bills, etc. This sets up Cook for criticism for not being focused on his job whenever there is a failure at Apple. He brought that bit on himself.

        3. For the prices CEOs charge shareholders, ABSOLUTELY NOT. In this new modern world, everyone is electronically tethered 40-80+ hours a week. But CEOs take 300-400 times what the average professional earns, no matter what their performance. So they damned well better be working at least twice as many hours.

        4. Because if you don’t celebrate the gheys you’re a homphobe. Whatever. Tolerance was never you whackjobs wanted. Nothing short of pure agreement and you’re bullied and called a “homophobe.” Go pound sand… of pack fudge. Whatever it is you do.

        5. Ohhh, yehhhhh. Soooooo bullied. All those teenagers committing suicide because of heterosexual bullying.

          Right wing dictionary:
          – Criticism with my verbal nastiness and bigotry ALWAYS equals “overly politically correct”.
          – Disagreement with my point of view equals bullying and discrimination.

  3. I too have seen the specific problem of getting the wrong version of a song (it’s as if it merely looks at song name and not also album and release date, size, compilation flag etc) and weird partial matches of albums. Super aggravating.


    I have a backup of my iTunes library (non-DRM mp3/CD rips etc.) plus I can always redownload purchased content forever if needed (highly unlikely).

    My fix was to say “all my shit is backed up, fuck it: delete all from my iTunes and go on a “shopping” spree of adding (to My Music”) all the albums to all my favorite artists. It was a huge benefit to be able to get complete albums vs what I used to do which was buy only songs that I could afford or really loved. My current Apple Music library is gigantic and working flawlessly, and I now that if I change my mind, i am a few clicks and drags away from being back up and running using the old files I have.

    Now, not apologizing for the messy matching process (there is absolutely a glitch or 12) and it needs to be solved and a slew of QA testers need to be fired—plus their managers, especially Eddie Screw.


    I find it AMAZINGLY AMUSING that tech giants such as Jim Dalrymple etc.would be so butthurt by diving into a 1.0 release while not having a backup.

    The average person? They hardly ever backup and are disinclined to bother doing so, so if things get fucked up oh well.


    This seems to only hurt tech people because the average idiot has only purchased 1 hit wonders and can just redownload them (not ever knowing DRM from non-DRM anyway), iPods not withstanding (which is a separate issue but equally serious and ending addressing).

    Bottomline: this seems to be affecting THOSE THAT SHOULD KNOW BETTER more than average people.


  4. The same types of issue were heard when Apple rolled out iTunes Match. The main difference is that the Apple Music rollout involves MANY times the number of customers, and adds complexity because the service is for streamed (subscribed) music, not owned music. Therefore, DRM is involved.

    The fractional percentage of customers with problem is probably on par with the iTunes Match rollout. But because 100x (or more) customers are part of the Apple Music rollout, the absolute number of customers with issues is much larger. Therefore, we hear more about these issues. I haven’t had any deal-breaker issues with Apple Music. I only wish Apple had devised a way to sync and play downloaded (“off-line”) Apple Music songs on my older iPods. But that’s a limitation, not a problem…

    I think Apple used iTunes Match as “practice” for Apple Music. iTunes Match had a similar iTunes music library in iCloud. Some customers had issues with it initially, but those problems were resolved. iTunes Match also used a form of revenue sharing based on customers playing “matched” songs. Imagine the larger scope of technical problem Apple would be facing now with Apple Music, without the “lessons learned” from iTunes Match and its more limited customer base.

    It’s to Apple’s credit that such an immense and complex service endeavor is being attempted. Apple has courage…

    1. Apple has courage… to destroy people’s music collections.

      What has Eddy Cue done over the years? iTools, .Mac, MobileMe, iCloud. Cue can’t get ink on Apple’s Internet TV contracts without Steve Jobs by his side. Cue is an overpaid clown.

      1. Customers with problems complain loudly. The vast majority of Apple’s customers are silently happy. They express their satisfaction by continuing to buy Apple’s hardware products, as the world’s most loyal customers.

        I’ve never had any significant problems with Apple’s services, and I derive great satisfaction from them. “Eddy Cue” being involved (or not) is mostly irrelevant to me. 🙂

  5. I honestly don’t want my stuff in the cloud. I don’t trust it. If my data is in the hands of a third party company, then that means I am not in control of my data. I’ve purchased and use every day, multiple external hard drives.

    For those of you who do use the cloud, I must agree with this article: IT NEEDS TO WORK. PROPERLY.

    1. I like to own my music. Since I can’t trust the cloud, I will avoid it. Fix it, Apple. I know you can, and will. The rest of you- go fly your confederate and KKK flags and protest something else.

  6. Eddy Cue has been the executive behind every cloud related failure Apple has ever had, it’s striking that he still has a seat on the management team. He must have some pictures or knows where the bodies are buried.

    1. actually maps failed on Scott Cook, that’s when it was given to Cue.
      I don’t even think MobileMe was under Cue.

      that said Google has had some major outages as well, we just forget about them over time. I’m more concerned about Apple loss of UI design leadership. It’s now decidedly average.

  7. Not being able to add Apple Music to an existing library without screwing it up completely defeats the idea of Apple Music and using it’s music offline for many. Not the kind of bungling “it just works” Apple can afford. Apple Music selections should be simply compartmentalized on their own and leave existing user libraries alone.

    Being a natural skeptic I am SO glad I did not turn on iCloud Music Library. Only fools rush in.

      1. Too much of what made Apple “simple” has gone by the wayside I agree. I bought a new iPod last week and discovered I could not use it on a Leopard G5 Mac Pro (where I manage my music library with older Classic iPods) and copied my library to a 1Tb 2.5″ drive to use with my 2014 MBP. iTunes is not nearly as easy to use and Cover Flow has been removed to my dismay. Who is making these godawful software decisions? At the very least there should be a way to turn stuff like this back on or use the “classic” iTunes UI.

        1. Yeah! I’m wondering if I should have been archiving old versions of iTunes, just so I can go back to better previous versions. I’m also getting that old feeling that ‘If Only I was There….’

  8. I was wondering what was going on. *sigh* Another Apple bungle. That, I expect, is what 3 months free is for. It’s beta testing time!

    Yesterday I received a message from about this situation. I haven’t heard from them in yonks!

    Where’s Apple’s integrity?

    When we say people and groups lack integrity, we mean that they’re corrupt and deceitful. Similarly, when computer scientists say that a file lacks integrity, they mean it’s been corrupted: unintentionally or maliciously modified. Apple’s recent decision to impose Digital Restrictions Management — the favorite anti-feature of proprietary format developers — on many music fans lacked integrity, and took away the files’ integrity as well.

    Apple Music, Apple’s subscription music service, allows listeners to upload their music to Apple’s “iCloud Music” servers, regardless of the song’s origin. Apple markets this option (also available in another paid service called iTunes Match) as a simple way to move music across devices, but users may be tempted to think of it as a backup service. If the user subscribes to Apple Music, iCloud Music saves storage space and bandwidth by checking to see if it already has a DRM-encumbered copy of the song in the Apple Music library, and doesn’t upload the non-DRMed version if it does. When Apple Music users try and retrieve their non-Apple Music songs (which rightfully ought to be DRM-free) from iCloud Music, they end up with the DRM-corrupted versions instead. . .

    Rather than quote the entire message, here is’s web page regarding Apple:

    I suspect a lot of this mess is simply bad coding at Apple. As the article title here suggests, Apple never has had a great handle on all things cloud-y. As default beta-testers, reporting this nonsense to Apple is our default response.

  9. I really hope these guys have a car in the works. TV then the car.
    That watch is… symptomatic of some problems. There, I said it.
    I they had released a TV instead of that watch, the stock would
    be at $170.00. Provided the TV doesn’t rely on (takes a deep breath)
    iCloud. Probably it will, sigh.

  10. I have to admit that I expect better of Apple. I thought that Apple might be on the right track when it gradually evolved MobileMe into iCloud (although I lost some stuff that I liked, including the webpage development and hosting resource and photo/album sharing).

    Apple failed to include a lot of functions in its iCloud development, such as a DropBox-type of feature or a file system, and that frustrated a lot of people. But the deliberate pace of development actually inspired confidence that Apple was taking the time to “do it right.” That confidence has since wavered.

    In recent years, Apple has folded a lot more complexity into its iCloud approach, and it is not working so well. Other than iTunes Match, I do not actively use iCloud at all. The limited amount of free storage greatly limits iCloud’s utility for device backup, and the rest just appears to be a mess. The farther that Apple goes with OS X and iOS, the longer that i wait before installing an OS update or trying any of the new functions. It is definitely time for an iCloud reboot, Apple.

  11. Has anyone attempting cloud services on this scale before? I can’t imagine they have, because Apple has the world’s largest user base, doesn’t it? So it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s been a struggle. But you’d think it would be less of a struggle and that Apple PR would be out ahead of the issue.

    1. Uh…Google has hundreds of MILLIONS of users and their cloud services are amazing. Amazon operates cloud services for thousands of companies. That you are a diaper wearing rabid drooling Apple fan boy just shows how blind you are.

      Apple is a dismal, dismal failure at cloud services.

      iCloud has been one clusterfsck after another and is not one day closer to being fixed.

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