I write this blog mainly for my own amusement and benefit. This blog post in particular is written for the benefit of my future self, in case I am ever tempted to use Apple’s iCloud Music Library again.
I mainly listen to music using an iPhone when out and about, and iTunes when at my Windows computer. I have a carefully curated collection of music purchased over a period of 40 years, with metadata entered. I then use this data in the rules of various Smart Playlists.
Although I’m not a huge fan of the Apple Music streaming service, I do have a family subscription as that makes financial sense when a number of my children use the service. To enable offline listening of Apple Music tracks requires that iCloud Music Library be turned on. I’ve resisted doing this, as I feared that doing so would stuff things up. This holidays curiosity got the better of me and I tried turning on iCloud Music Library, and soon discovered my fears to be well-founded.
- A whole bunch of tracks that I had de-selected became selected again, and synced to my iPhone. e.g. here’s a bunch of Simon Garfunkel tracks that I had previously deselected (as I have those tracks on the full album), but after turning on iCloud Music Library they’ve been re-selected and then uploaded as duplicates to my iPhone.
- The “Last Played” date on hundreds of random tracks got set back to dates in 2016, although I have listened to all my music collection in 2017. In some cases the Last Played date was set to a value before I had added the tracks. e.g. these tracks by Queen were added in June 2017, but show as being played in 2016!
- After listening to a track on my iPhone, and then syncing with iTunes, the Last Played date wasn’t updating in my iTunes library.
- The track order of some albums was screwed up. e.g. here’s Mark Knopfler’s album Cal on my iPhone. To fix this, I had to unselect all the tracks of the album in iTunes and sync to remove them from the phone, then select and sync to add them back on again.
- On all albums that I had purchased from the iTunes store, my star ratings on individual songs disappeared, and only the star rating of the album remained. Note in the image below how the stars on the song ratings are grey rather than blue, indicating that the song rating is inherited from the album rating.