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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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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