Several Apple Music users reported missing music in their collections on Wednesday after Apple conducted a surprise deletion of unrecognised files from customer libraries.
The issue went viral after a user under the name of JamesPinkstone published a blog post about their experience with Apple after the problems came to light:
“The software is functioning as intended,” said Amber.
“Wait,” I asked, “so it’s supposed to delete my personal files from my internal hard drive without asking my permission?”
“Yes,” she replied.
When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple’s database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn’t recognize—which came up often, since I’m a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself—it would then download it to Apple’s database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.
The blog post prompted other victims of Apple’s automated technology to come out too, prompting a storm of angry consumers on the internet.
“This happened to me too! Different versions & studio tracks replaced by live versions,” proclaimed one user.
“Happened to me. Was super frustrating & made me feel crazy,” wrote another.
Observers on social media were quick to react to the scenario, with Apple Music customers panicking that the same might happen to them.
“Jeez @AppleMusic. What’s next? Will the ghost of Steve Jobs turn up in the night and smash all my CDs and records?” tweeted one user.
“I’m officially no longer using #iTunes,” expressed another.
Despite the majority of users siding against Apple in the debacle, some users have used the example as a cautionary tale, with numerous tips and reminders to others on how to back up files making their way onto social media.