back to article 'Apple ate my music!' Streaming jukebox wipes 122GB – including muso's original tracks

Apple Music users are being warned after one fella says the streaming service deleted more than 100GB of files from his computer. Studio director James Pinkstone said Apple's subscription-based service stripped approximately 122GB worth of music, including his own original compositions, from his machine seemingly without …

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Swinsian for the win

        When I got my current Mac, before copying my music collection over I looked hard for a simple music player. Clementine, my previous favourite, had a bug which consumed battery. Swinsian is actually refreshingly simple. When I buy music I usually look for it on Amazon because of the autorip feature when buying CDs means I get some mp3s additionally.

        Doesn't rip, though, use a separate program for that.

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "…no solution besides don’t use the product."

    Sounds like a plan to me.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: "…no solution besides don’t use the product."

      "Its my or the highway". Isn't that the Apple (or any "Cloudy" service provider) business model. Either you take all of what I want to force on you or you go somewhere else and I'll keep everything that you have done to date.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    The number of recent cloud-based articles of fail recently shows that...

    1. Only US Robotics/Palm really got syncing right.

    2. No-one gets what The Cloud actually is or how it should work. But we know it doesn't work yet.

    3. Physical media is King.

    We of generation Middle Youth know this. Generation Barista hasn't a clue.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      The whole modern concept of cloud is fail...

      The original definition of "cloud computing" was based on network diagrams. The "cloud" icon in a network diagram represented a network you didn't have a definition for -- most typically the internet. Academics were fascinated by the idea that the internet was not just a series of dumb switches, and that treating it as such was a waste of resource. There were a number of experiments with getting internet nodes to progressively process data as it was transmitted across the network, and the idea looked promising. But in reality, you would end up with a "tragedy of the commons" scenario, with a few antisocial heavy users using up the resource (like how a relatively tiny number of 24-hour DVD downloaders made unlimited internet packages unviable).

      The only true cloud application in use is peer-to-peer sharing (torrents and streams), because there is no map or fixed architecture to the computing/storage element; it is unknown, so can only be drawn on a map as a cloud.

      Modern so-called cloud services are nothing more than hosted solutions, the same as we've always had. However, they often use the cloud to obscure what's going on, and the client doesn't get full information. I'm sure this doesn't apply to really big players, but before I left managed IT services (about 5 years ago), I always argued that we should refuse to subcontract to cloud services because they prevented due diligence, or at least push that line until the client accepted that they couldn't hold us to SLAs on something we were utterly incapable of evaluating.

  3. Unbelievable!

    Never liked itunes. It just completely re-jiggers everything you thought you had. it doesn't work in a logical sense. Everything with iTunes, such as duplicates, it screws up or can't handle. for example it just creates more and more in the same library list... but allows the files to be overwritten in the folder if you drag them there. why keep the old stuff in the list? theres petabytes of files i dont also have itunes. at least you didnt list those. .. terrible shoddy thing is itunes. dont get me started on sync.. it wipes your phone with the computer version. regardless if you dont have the music on your computer anymore. instead of copying the phone version locally. . absolutely shocking! why the FBI want to spend millions to access to that crap is beyond me. sorry for the rant.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

      "Never liked itunes."


      I've got any number of little MP3 Music Players (Sony & endless off-brand).

      Connect. Drag and Drop. Takes only minutes. Never needs huge updates. Just works.

      Much much much much easier than trying to get music onto an iDevice.

      1. Michael Strorm

        Re: "Never liked itunes."

        Weren't Sony's "MP3" Players in the early 2000s actually ATRAC players that forced you to convert all your MP3s to ATRAC format *and* do it through their crappy SonicStage software (their equivalent of iTunes)? (*)

        I think they eventually ditched that for real MP3 players when they realised that not only had they left it way too late to promote ATRAC as a standalone format, but that as a result of their intransigence, general arrogance, NIHism et al, they'd missed the boat on the paradigm shift in portable audio (letting Apple steal the field from them), and were no longer in a position to brute force or bully everyone into using ATRAC.

        It's my opinion that had MiniDisc- which was out for years before MP3 gained traction as a standalone format- not been intentionally hobbled by Sony's anti-piracy paranoia and conflict of interest (caused by their having bought a movie and record company in the late 80s) into being little more than a jumped-up cassette, and had they permitted the free exchange of ATRAC music tracks between devices that the underlying hardware was almost certainly capable of (rather than real-time only digital dubbing intentionally limited by SCMS)- then these ATRAC tracks (i.e. *files*!) would probably have pre-empted MP3 when someone figured out how to transfer them to a computer.

        Yes, I know that the early 90s (when MiniDisc launched) was a different time, when computer technology was still seen as "geeky" and most people were far less comfortable with them than they are today. And most computers back then wouldn't have been suited to MP3/ATRAC playback either.

        So, sure- marketing it as "you can get files off your MiniDisc player" back then would have been met with indifference and "NEEERRRDDDDSS!"

        However, even then, the ability to freely share/exchange your favourite songs or "tracks" with your friends' MiniDisc players would have been a huge selling point, especially with younger consumers.

        Regardless, Sony blew MiniDisc and dragged their heels with MP3, so much as we're (rightly) slagging off Apple here, Sony were crap too and deserved to lose the portable audio market.

        (*) To be clear, I don't want to sound like I'm defending Apple by pointing out that Sony may have been crap too. Having barely used iTunes since the sealed-in battery on my iPod Nano died, this confirms that there's nothing to be gained by going back to it. That "unsubscribe a podcast if I haven't listened to it for a week or two" behaviour already p****d me off as well.

  4. ecofeco Silver badge


    Yeah, how's that working for ya? Too bad CDs are so gauche these days and creating your own "mix tapes" is now illegal and almost impossible for the average user..

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Cloud?

      To be honest, I care less about the gaucheness of my CD collection than I do about the truffle hunting season in the Loire valley.

      The mechanism is irrelevant: they're *mine* to do with as I will, and they will not evaporate into the fog...

    2. energystar

      Re: Cloud?

      Now that you mention it... Barely hear any music now. Maybe an eventual pause at some radio station. Who killed radio? MTV? Naaah!

  5. chivo243 Silver badge

    NO Cloud NO worries

    I store my music on an old G5, not sure if iTunes can do a sync to the cloudy final destination...

  6. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

    "...heavy-handed sync nukes files..."

    Apple Sync is so stupid. This news is from when, about 2010?

    E.g. 32GB iPhone. 275 GB of music. Do you feel lucky punk? Go ahead, click Sync. You feeling lucky?

    Apple Sync is STUPID. So stupid it's useless, and dangerous. And takes hours and hours.

  7. Christoph Silver badge

    But it saves space on your drive!

    It's so kind of them to want to save a few hundred Gigabytes of my local storage by deleting files without telling me. After all I only have 9 Terabytes on this machine.

  8. hellwig Silver badge

    I don't stream unless I gotta.

    If I can't access things that NEED internet access (Netflix, MMORPG, etc.), I expect to be able to do something else that should not require the internet for any purpose (like listen to music I paid for or play a single-player video game I purchased) . But apparently not in this day and age.

    DRM that requires an always-on connection. DVRs that require internet access (what's the harddrive for then?). Apple DELETES music and forces you to stream it.

    Maybe I'm just stuck in the past, but I don't have that much faith in internet connectivity. Remember the day when you paid for metered connections and they weren't always so reliable and often times they were really slow? I think it was a time called "right f-ing now". Hell, even if my connection was flawless, Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc... can't keep their own networks up all the time.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: I don't stream unless I gotta.

      Remember the day when you paid for metered connections and they weren't always so reliable

      Remember the day - I am reminded daily as that is still the way the internet is here in Oz for most internet users (and doubly so for mobile users).

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: I don't stream unless I gotta.

      but I don't have that much faith in internet connectivity.

      Out in the country, Internet is slow enough to make cloud services impractical. The 2Mbit download isn't bad, I can stream SD video, but the half megabit upload is what stops cloud being useful. That said, I'm a big believer in the idea that if you can't lay your hands on a physical copy of a file, it might as well not exist. Thus while I use Google Docs from time to time (it's the easiest way to deal with files on an iPad given how iTunes is crap and iOS can't Bluetooth sync to non apple devices), I keep local copies of files, don't sync to cloud, and don't rely on third party providers for access to my own stuff. To do otherwise seems somewhat...illogical.

  9. Nanners

    I choose

    To not use cloud services at all, and I also choose not to use location services. I also choose to block all scripts from my browser. If they can get you they will. I then incrementally choose which services and scripts I allow on MY computer.

    1. Rol Silver badge

      Re: I choose

      Yep. Risk management is a concept where you choose to mitigate for all eventualities.

      In that respect, I have instructed my family to obtain power of attorney over my affairs if my mind becomes so troubled, that I start trusting the cloud.

  10. Andy Non

    1Tb USB hard drive = £50.

    Why put your data exclusively in someone else's hands when you can buy external hard drives so cheaply? To be doubly sure keep one off site in case of fire. It ain't rocket science and it isn't expensive.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: 1Tb USB hard drive = £50.

      Especially if that shit is necessary for you to make a living.

    2. Rol Silver badge

      Re: 1Tb USB hard drive = £50.

      My off-site, is all my friends.

      By freely swapping all our stuff, we collectively back each other up, whilst avoiding the additional cost of redundancy.

      Well, some do argue my taste in music has made part of their storage redundant.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: 1Tb USB hard drive = £50.

        By freely swapping all our stuff, we collectively back each other up, whilst avoiding the additional cost of redundancy.

        Me too.

        But a better solution would be:

        - take all your MP3s, videos, confidential documents etc and encrypt them into one big archive. Then encrypt that again with a different key.

        Then upload it to Torrent sites as something like "TTIP_Full_Text.doc" or "Trump_Blackmail_Material.ppt".

        It'll be mirrored and distributed and seeded for evermore, even as no-one can ever figure out how to decrypt it.

        You can then pull it back down at your leisure.

  11. tekHedd

    I moved all my audio production tools to Mac recently...

    And now I feel supremely justified in repeatedly refusing to accept the iTunes terms of service.

  12. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Rows and flows of angel hair

    And ice cream castles in the air

    And feather canyons everywhere,

    I've looked at clouds that way.

    But now they only block the sun,

    They rain and they snow on everyone

    So many things I would have done,

    But clouds got in my way.

    I've looked at clouds from both sides now

    From up and down and still somehow

    It's cloud illusions I recall

    I really don't know clouds at all

    - Joni Mitchell – Both Sides, Now (1969?)

    (I prefer this version myself: Frank Sinatra - Both Sides, Now)

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Good song. I prefer the Johnstons' version:

  13. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Never bothered

    I have my old 24" iMac set up as a jukebox with iTunes 10.7 - any version after that was a turd IMHO.

    I tried the iClouding thing with my recent 27" acquisition running El Cap - completely underwhelmed. I'll be sticking to my own tried & true backup/archiving regime.

  14. chris 17 Bronze badge

    What do you do when your live copy breaks?

    luckily he has a backup, but who would he have moaned at if the live HDD / SSD failed.

    Yes i know iTunes sync sucks and i've barely listened to music since it mangled my library 7 or so years ago. The thing i hate the most right now is its stupidness for rearranging apps on an idevice, but thats only because i don't bother to use it for music anymore.

    Anyone recommend a good music sync app for macos?

    1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: What do you do when your live copy breaks?

      Anyone recommend a good music sync app for macos?

      Forget all that sync app wank.

      Try using a local NAS box containing at least two RAIDed disks. Use rsync (because its fast) to make regular backups to it. If you're properly paranoid, add at least two USB drives as an offline backup cycle. Each disk must be capable of holding a complete mirror of what's on the NAS box. Use rsync to back up the NAS box to the least recently written USB drive and keep all of the USB drives offline[1] except when making a backup (or recovering lost files).

      [1] The USB drives should be kept either offsite, in a firesafe or offsite in a fire safe. This way, at least one copy of your stuff is proof against both hacking and destruction from power spikes and from destruction of the building where your computers live. Protect your data this way and who gives a flying fart about the evil empires of Apple, Google, et al.

      1. OchaiThenoo

        Re: What do you do when your live copy breaks?

        Almost exactly my setup with the addition of a remote server I rent including backup. If i'm unlucky enough to lose all of that irrecoverably I'm probably not lucky enough to continue living much longer.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only getting press now?

    iTunes has been gobbling up files for years. I have been to loads of them to sort the mess out. It's nothing new at all.

    My advice, avoid apple at all costs., There is absolutely no reason to buy apple products, you just look like a gulible plonker

  16. The C Man

    Back to The Shuffle

    Having bought a Shuffle for my wife's mother we thought we would put some music on it for her. Months of transferring our whole collection of music to our computer totally wasted as everything disappeared in what seemed to be a flash. We bought three Creative MP3 players the next day which had better sound and are still usable even today although less so as we have later models and now have phones that give as good quality. None of them has an Apple logo on. Nothing changes. I still believe it is only takes one bite to find the maggot

  17. wolfetone Silver badge

    Dear Apple

    Try and delete my vinyl collection. I dare ya.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @wolfetone - Re: Dear Apple

      I wouldn't do that if I were you. The day when Apple's profits will be threatened they will send some third party to remove those dangerous goods from your home. Never underestimate a desperate multinational corporation :)

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: @wolfetone - Dear Apple

        You're right. Reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Bill Gates buys Homer out. He just sends the boys in and smashes shit up.

  18. MachDiamond Silver badge


    ALL of the digital download content suppliers have nasty little clauses that say in many words that the license you buy from them is somewhat ethereal. Amazon has had battles with publishing companies over licensing that has lead to titles magically vanishing from Kindles. Disney blacked out their movies one holiday season to force people who had already "purchased" the titles to tune into the Disney Channel and watch commercials.

    Any content you buy that isn't on physical media or backed up (if not DRM'd to death) is subject to revocation.

    Go ahead, "subscribe" to all of your entertainment and programs and see what happens, I dare ya.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which is why XKCD is right

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Re: Which is why XKCD is right

        Strangely enough, I've found the after sales service for pirated material is on a par to the legitimate service, sometimes much better.

        Might also add, installations on an air-gapped system are invariably only possible with a pirated version as the legitimate route demands access to the net.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    iTunes has encrypted all your music. If you want to listen to your collection again, just send 2 bitcoins to Apple. After 48 hours the price will be 4 bitcoins.

  20. tempemeaty

    Boycott time yet?

    Could BOTH Microsoft and Apple use a dose of that old concept...?

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

      Re: Boycott time yet?

      You are a little late to that game. I've always boycotted Apple products and dumped Microsoft when they released the steaming pile of DRM that was Vista.

  21. The Quiet One


    I will stick with my MiniDisc player, thanks!

  22. Saul Dobney

    Sync gets confused with backup

    I was using Humyo for a couple of years to keep a rolling offline backup of files. They got taken over by Trend and what was a backup service became a sync service with all the geewhizz-look-how-clever-we-are of developers ignoring the customer requirements. I took some old folders off my backup list. And so the new whizzo sync service decided I didn't want them and deleted GBs of files from my hard disk without warning or permission

    Now I do the backup with tools I can control onto servers I control with server backup I can control. Cloud services should never ever delete. And if they think they want to delete, then they must must ask. There's a corporate liability suit for vandalism and wanton destruction of private property if they think otherwise.

  23. Andy Towler


    Never. Use. iTunes. For. Anything.

    1. TheProf

      Re: Tip

      My feelings exactly.

      I installed it onto a Windows machine once because a newspaper had a free album download offer and it was through iChoonz.

      However to download the free album iGoonz wanted a method of payment. Credit card or BT phone account details.

      I never got the free album and iCaramba never got their sticky fingers on my credit card. Deleted the totally baffling program before it could wreak havoc on my machine.

      (In all fairness, Mr Google wants payment details before he'll peddle a 'free' tune. Nope, not going to happen.)

  24. bazza Silver badge

    I use JRiver Media Centre on Windows, I think they do a Mac version too.

    It's fab.

  25. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Microsoft Cloud - clear blue sky thinking.

    And Apple opt the more dramatic Tornado approach.

  26. wyatt

    I had to call Apple yesterday as I didn't know the answers to my security questions to login to one of their websites.

    They were unable to help me.. I couldn't answer the security questions to progress my issue. Guy at the other end wasn't able to suggest anything to help, glad its a work account and not a personal one.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      I had to call Apple yesterday as I didn't know the answers to my security questions to login to one of their websites.

      Been there, I feel your pain.

      Similarly: I lost my iPhone a few days ago (as in, I knew it was somewhere in the house/garden/car, but couldn't figure out where I'd left it). No problem - I have the Find my iPhone service set up.

      So on my Mac, I went to the Find-my-device page, to be greeted with


      Yeah, great, perfect timing Apple... when someone has lost their phone and is mildly freaking out, is EXACTLY when you should insist on changing their password to suit you (note: I don't keep anything sensitive on my iCloud account because I hate all things cloud, so a "strong password" is for Apple's convenience, not mine).

      Why not something like "Your password doesn't meet our latest requirements. Please change it at your earliest convenience"???

      So, anyway, muttering and grumbling, I changed the password. As most people in this situation do, I just capitalized the first letter and added a symbol and a number on the end e.g "Sesame^1"... that'll teach them...

      Then got hit with a blizzard of system prompts on the mac.

      ICLOUD needs your new passsord NOW!!

      MAIL needs your new password NOW!!

      ITUNES needs your new password NOW!! after the other, appearing as fast as I could deal with them.

      Once I found the phone, I got similar modal, non-skippable prompts. "Your password needs to be updated - go to settings NOW".

      What. A. Shitty. User. Experience.

      Seriously, Apple, WTF?

      What has happened to all the tech companies, that they now think THEIR requirements and way of doing something trumps anything up to and including user convenience?

  27. Andy A

    iTunes has always been rubbish on Windows. A horrible user interface intent on pushing ads at you, and no sensible options.

    Someone who should have known better wrote a Work Instruction for setting up iPhones here. Having run through the standard options and then configured email, we are supposed to use iTunes to back up the phone before handing it to the user. The user is NOT allowed iTunes on their box, so this has to be done on ours. BAD idea, since iTunes only allows one phone to be backed up. So, if I spend the afternoon setting up a batch of 8, I end up with eight phones all calling themselves "Andy's iPhone" (it renames the phone silently; you can't reconfigure this until after unplugging) and a backup of the last one.

    I was lucky enough not to set up an "Apple Account". If I had, there would be hundreds of iPhones PERMANENTLY tied to my name.

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