Jim Dalrymple: Apple Music is a nightmare, and I’m done with it

“I love Apple. I love them because they take difficult problems and come up with innovative, simple solutions. The things they make just work and we trust them. Unfortunately, my experience with Apple Music has been exactly the opposite,” Jim Dalrymple writes for The Loop. “As of today, I’m missing about 4,700 songs from my library with little hope of getting them back.”

“My problems started about a week after installing Apple Music. While Apple Music Radio and Playlists worked well, adding music to my library is nothing short of a mind-blowing exercise in frustration,” Dalrymple writes. “I started to notice that whenever I added an album to my library, not all of the songs would get added. When I looked at the list of songs, there would be some missing—sometimes, most of the album would be missing. ”

“I’ve tried logging out of my accounts on all my devices and allowing Apple Music to rebuild itself. I’ve turned iCloud Music Library on/off and I’ve done just about everything else I can think of doing. Nothing I’ve tried works,” Dalrymple writes. “The only thing that changed since I started using Apple Music is transferring my Beats account to my new Apple Music subscription. I can’t say for sure if that caused all of these problems or not, but it was around the same time.”

At some point, enough is enough. That time has come for me — Apple Music is just too much of a hassle to be bothered with. Nobody I’ve spoken at Apple or outside the company has any idea how to fix it, so the chances of a positive outcome seem slim to none. As if all of that wasn’t enough, Apple Music gave me one more kick in the head. Over the weekend, I turned off Apple Music and it took large chunks of my purchased music with it. Sadly, many of the songs were added from CDs years ago that I no longer have access to. Looking at my old iTunes Match library, before Apple Music, I’m missing about 4,700 songs. At this point, I just don’t care anymore, I just want Apple Music off my devices. I trusted my data to Apple and they failed. I also failed by not backing up my library before installing Apple Music. I will not make either of those mistakes again. — Jim Dalrymple, July 22, 2015

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

1. Always back up your data.

2. If Jim Dalrymple can’t get satisfaction from Apple, no regular customer who’s similarly affected likely can either.

3. We have all of our songs. Every single one. We did not transfer a Beats Music account to Apple Music. We simply started with our music library (a mix of many ripped CDs purchased over many years – it took months and months to rip them! – and iTunes Store-purchased music), as iTunes Match subscribers (all of our tracks ripped from CDs were long ago upgraded via iTunes Match for better quality), and as users of iCloud Music Library. We’ve had no issues whatsoever (knock on wood).

4. We hope Jim gets all of his music back (Apple needs to make this right), that Apple figures out what’s happening to some people, and that Jim can eventually trust and come back to Apple Music as it really does work like a dream, especially when you have all Apple devices as we and Jim do (Macs, iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, and Apple Watches). Spotify is crap compared to Apple Music.

5. Hopefully, this is a relatively isolated issue that is affecting the least number of customers possible.

6. We are thankful this didn’t happen to us, but we also have multiple backups, so if it did, we wouldn’t be pulling our hair out today.

7. Always back up your data.

Apple fails yet again in the cloud: How to use Apple Music without iCloud Music Library – July 23, 2015
Oh ok, Spotify listeners are upgrading to Apple Music – July 19, 2015
Oh ok, Spotify: Apple’s iOS 8.4 adoption already at 37 percent – July 7, 2015
Apple Music could kill more than just Spotify, it could kill music labels, too – June 25, 2015
Spotify founder: Oh ok, we don’t need to be number one in music streaming – June 11, 2015
Why Apple Music will gut and publicly execute Spotify – June 10, 2015
Spotify CEO claims to be ‘ok’ with Apple Music – June 9, 2015
Jimmy Iovine and Eddy Cue: Apple Music gunning for Spotify, YouTube, and terrestrial radio – June 9, 2015
Something about Apple Music betraying Apple’s brilliance by ignoring ‘The Harry Potter Theory of Marketing’ or some such nonsense – June 9, 2015
Bob Lefsetz on Apple Music: What team is Jimmy Iovine on? – June 9, 2015
Apple Music’s huge advantage over Spotify – June 9, 2015
Apple Music is a major mess and it won’t beat Spotify or something – June 9, 2015
When Apple Music arrives, what happens to iTunes Match? – June 9, 2015
What Apple Music says about how Apple views musicians – June 8, 2015
Apple’s revolutionary Apple Music just might prove its skeptics wrong – June 8, 2015
Apple unveils revolutionary Apple Music service – June 8, 2015


  1. My problems with Apple Music.

    1. When looking on iPhone for an artist that is in your personal library, you will get two tabs: Apple Music of that artist and My iPhone of that artist. The problem is that this doesn’t happen on every artist…in fact what initiates it is searching for that artist in Apple Music and then you will see both tabs on that artist. If you do not search, you will just get your the My iPhone tab. So in order to see the Apple Music tab on all your music, you have to search for every artist in your library…which could be in the thousands if you like music a lot.

    2. About 1 out 3 times that i search an artist, the page for that artist won’t load (in Apple Music), and I have to force quit. Not a huge problem, but very annoying.

    3. I wish they would let you organize artist by date, alphabetically, and other sorting options in Apple Music.

  2. I have found that with apple music, sometimes I have to add the songs of an album individually to get the complete album. Of course this is a royal pain, but I started doing this after checking the album and noticing the missing songs. It’s a pain, but it works.

  3. Jim is a most respected Apple source. If he has trouble anybody with an existing collection has trouble. Apple needs to get together with the music producers and find a way to be sure anything you’ve matched can be downloaded DRM free.

    However, I only have a small collection and no longer care about it since I now have everything I’ve ever dreamed of. But, most importantly I’ve renewed my love of music. By ‘Making Available Offline’ I now have hundreds of songs I didn’t have to purchased. I’ve velcro’ed my iPad to my Xterra dash and put a bluetooth receiver in the Aux port and am loving it.

    1. “If he has trouble anybody with an existing collection has trouble.”

      That is a patently false statement.

      I and plenty of others, dare say the vast majority, have had absolutely no trouble at all. There is obviously something nonstandard about Jim’s music library and/or the Beats transition is the culprit. There were less than 150,000 Beats Music subscribers when Apple Music came online.

      1. From what I have read the problem occurs when a person has music from non-apple sources. Apple tries to match and does so incorrectly sometimes. Then you end up with the wrong music, the wrong artwork etc. My father has a lot of esoteric music from other countries and iTunes Match messed up his library. He isn’t going to bother with Apple Music.

    2. Here’s a few details of how I’ve set up my iPad Mini as an equivalent of the expensive options auto manufacturers are selling.

      Turns out my iPad Mini placed horizontally on my Xterra’s dash fits perfectly over the radio and CD player still allowing access to on/off and volume controls.

      Purchased the adhesive backed 3M Hook and Ladder (equivalent of Velcro). Purchased the 10 foot 1 inch wide rolls (includes one roll of Hook and one roll for Ladder). Placed 2 inches of hook on the dash and 2 inches of ladder on the iPad Mini.

      Purchased an MPOW Bluetooth 4 Receiver which plugs into my Aux port. So there are no wires needed. Since I just rip the iPad from the dash to use it elsewhere I have no need to charge it in the car.

        1. All audio on Apple’s native iOS apps exports only 2-channel audio. Better quality receivers can create multichannel sound stages.

          If you want great multichannel audio — use your Mac and do it in an immovable room. Car audio will always suck because of horrible acoustics of the vehicle and tons of external noise. You might as well stick with 2 channel audio in your car, assuming you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to fix all the fundamental problems with your current car audio, which are too many to list here.

  4. He did all of the things he could think of. Each thing he mentioned omits one thing – TALKING with Apple Support. The forums are often useless. Sometimes Apple Support can come up with a solution that others had not suggested. Worth a try.

  5. My first reaction was the same as #1 in MDN’s take. Back up your data. My second was Jim Dalrymple doesn’t know to make backups?!

    I know, it’s easy to get sloppy about backups, but that one _really_ bad data loss will be a life (and habit) changing experience. Mine happened in the late 90s and you should see the stack of drives I have here! Fortunately I use SuperDuper which has great scheduling.

      1. If he had a backup he could have restored his library. He didn’t therefore he couldn’t. Read the referenced article.

        Any self-proclaimed Apple guru who neglects backing up long enough to lose 4700 songs by testing a new Apple feature added to a known buggy program on his main system loses all credibility.

        Having your own blog doesn’t make you any less stupid than average, just wordier.

        1. Any reviewer needs to keep a separate system strictly for reviews and it should be similarly spec’ed to his main system. Otherwise how well your current configuration works with the new software while keeping your main system safe.

          1. Yes, a separate system for reviews makes sense. I test on an older MBA that I copy my current system to and test there. There only one program that won’t run due to the MBA not having a discrete GPU but any devastating bugs are confined to that one machine,

  6. In addition to Apple Support, Apple Music just came out! It is bound to have bugs in it as a new release. I would expect Apple to address some of these issues in a point release, probably sooner than later. In addition, I have not seen any of these issues in my collection which has about over 6000 tracks. I may have to go looking! There is a 3 month free trial, so it it pay to wait and see if these isues are corrected before having to make a decision to cut the cord.

    1. Apple has 80,000 employees/guinea pigs. Not ONE of them saw ANY of this, or tested any of this, before it was released?? At least Microsoft can blame all of the third party hardware and software for some of their problems. Every bit of all of this stuff belongs to Apple from the boot ROM to the clouds. Apple. Is. Not. Doing. A. Good. Job.

      1. Amen. They suck at services! And there is no excuse. They have money,engineers but absolutely no idea how to make services work. AMZN stock was up in part because of their cloud computing business. The iPhone will slow and when it does AAPL had better have something else to milk.

  7. Part of the problem is that Apple may be trying to make the system “too smart.” For example, if I already own a few (but not all) songs on an album from previous iTunes Store purchases, and I add that same album (as a complete album) to My Music through Apple Music, the system adds all songs except for the songs I already own through iTunes Store purchases. That can give the impression that Apple Music is not adding all the songs from that album. But when I sort my music library list by Album, I see that I already own the “missing” songs so the album is actually complete in My Music.

    I noticed that for a few albums (where the above situation was true), the system did not correctly identify my previous iTunes Store song purchases. So that album in My Music (after adding the complete album from Apple Music) now had a duplicated song (one purchased and one subscribed) and a missing song. I can manually remove the duplicate (the subscribed one), but since the system thinks I already own the missing song, there is no way to add that one song using Apple Music.

    Perhaps it would be better if the system did not try so hard to be smart (and complicated). If the customer asks for the complete album through Apple Music, add ALL the songs of that album through Apple Music, even if the customer already owns one or more of the songs through iTunes Store. After all, if I own a song that I did NOT get from iTunes Store, the system would not know I already have it. If I then intentionally ask for the complete album (with that song), I would have a duplicated song. The customer can deal with it manually, or maybe not care if the duplicate exists. And that would be fine.

  8. I love Apple but I’ve long given up getting music fromApple Music. Too many issues over the years. I find Amazon Music easier, fulfilling and cheaper…I long for the days when iTunes was simple.

    1. Note: The brand new subscription service is called “Apple Music.” What you describe from your past experience is the “iTunes Store.”

      I’ve never had a problem with iTunes Store, for purchasing songs. The best part is being able to go to the Purchased screen (from iTunes Store main screen) and re-download any previously purchased item (except for audiobooks) on any computer or device that is logged in with my Apple ID. Apple Music is separate service…

      For me, iTunes Store is cheaper, because I buy iTunes Store “gift cards” when they are on sale for 20% off (or more). So I can get $100 in store credit for $80 (or less). This also avoids numerous tiny “99¢” charges on my credit card. Buying songs (and other digital media items like apps, ebooks, movie rentals, subscriptions, etc.) deducts from store credit first. I assume the Apple Music monthly subscription fee (after the “three months for free” period is over) will also draw from store credit first, which means the $10 fee is actually only $8 for me.

      Customer service is also excellent, on the occasions when needed. I recently complained about songs on a “69¢ specials” screen being priced higher when trying to buy them. I did not buy any; I was just letting them know there was a pricing “glitch” in their system. I was planning to go back later when the pricing was corrected. Within a few hours, I got an email reply saying “sorry about that” and that five FREE song downloads were added to my iTunes Store account. And my next five song purchases were free.

      Amazon is fine too. They sometimes have album deals for less than my 20% “discount” in iTunes Store.

  9. So I have had some similar frustrations.

    Ever since I lost my G4 Cube due to graphics card destruction I HAVE never had any of my ‘ripped’ music from Apple’s prey iTunes store days. All of the music in My Music library is purchased directly from Apple.

    While I obviously haven’t lost any of that music, it has been nearl impossible for me to add music from Apple Music to My Music. Like Jim each time only four or five tracks are synced. When I try to redo it I get doubles and triples of the same four or five tracks. I can listen to anything I want within Apple Music. But I can’t add any to my own successfully.

  10. Even if he has backups, Apple Music is still broken and still screwed his library, did it not? How is that Jim’s fault?. Cripes. Some of you can’t handle even a little bit of justified criticism. At the end of the day, Jim can restore his library. And at the end of they day, Apple Music is still very much BROKEN. He went right back to Spotify… which oddly JUST WORKS (where have I heard that slogan before? Now we’re content with “Hey, new things have bugs! It’s still AWESOME.” BS! Broken is broken.)

    1. Yup. And we’re not talking about a few dozen files. 4700. YOU ALL go figure out which ones to restore. And if he does “restore” the missing songs what’s to keep them from just disappearing again?

    2. All you “he shoulda had a backup” — hello? he did have backups, that’s how he knew 4,700 songs were missing. I presume he meant he did not make a backup immediately before embarking on the shiddy path that A.Music has turned out to be, for some of us. I kick myself for not selling half my A. stock last week, Apple seems broken to me too. Don’t tell people who have been staunch supporters that they are imagining it when things go badly wrong for them. Smell the coffee.

      1. From the referenced article: “I also failed by not backing up my library before installing Apple Music.”

        With the price of hard drives being at historical lows and software like SuperDuper that has a great scheduling feature costing <$30, not having backed up a music library is simply foolish.

        1. I think we agree.
          He didn’t make a backup right before installing Apple Music.
          But he had backups.
          I am huge fan of SuperDuper in fact I am personally thanked in the About… credits.

          Nobody is disputing the wisdom of frequent backups. How is that done anyway?

          But this Jim D. person is not as ignorant as some are happy to assume.

          We all want to “blame the user” ( I work in IT ), but sometimes the problem is really what it appears to be.

          1. I fully understand that a certain amount of complacency can creep into a person’s backup regimen over time, but the loss of 4700 audio files in one fell swoop just screams neglect! How long do you have to neglect backups for that much non backed up music to accumulate?!

            When trying out a new feature of a new version of iTunes (which is buggier than a beehive at best of times) a person should be booted from a clone. At this point I’d place the blame on the user but I also think Apple should do all it can to make this right.

            I feel for the guy, but maybe he’s been lucky until now and this is his first major data loss.

            BTW, your name shows up at the end of SD’s about screen after you register it. 🙂

  11. I say “No” to cloud, streaming, IMAP, etc. If it’s not on your computer or device you have no control, no ownership, and it can vaporize at a whim. I hate this new stuff. I lose/can’t find emails, things disappear/don’t show up, photo don’t sync anymore, etc. It’s a mess.

  12. There have been some issues with my library. Some songs are missing and in some cases files that are titled as songs are actually videos.
    I went to watch a movie last night and couldn’t find it. After some searching it had been moved to the Home Movie section along with 100 more. That was an easy fix.
    Since my library is so big I now use a Drobo with raid backup. That protects the library from drive failure (already had one) but doesn’t help with iTunes deleting songs.
    So whilst I generally do like the new features there are certainly some issues with the setup.

  13. Similar thing happened to me – I lost several hundred songs, some purchased and some ripped from CDs. Luckily I had a back up (I have been backing up once a week for years) I first got rid of the new iTunes and went back an older version, however before going though the hassle of restoring my collection I had called Apple support and they did not how how to fix the problem, they even told me there was nothing they could do about some songs not showing up and that perhaps they no longer were licensed to Apple since the time I purchased them. I don’t think Apple knows what is going on with iTunes and Apple Music at this time.

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