Digital Music

The Case Of The Disappearing Tracks: Your Music Is Not Safe On Apple’s iCloud

image from kewynappadoo.com(UPDATED) Apple's iCloud appears to be a safe and useful place to store music. After all, few portable devices have the memory to store all the old CD's you've ripped, the downloads you've bought and the tracks you've "borrowed" from a friend. But the thousands of always changing deals that  Apple maintains with labels and rightsholders can lead to tracks suddenly disappearing from your collection.

That's what Gigaom writer Geoffrey Goetz learned when tracks that he had purchased  went missing. Here what Apple's customer support told him:

I understand that you are not seeing the songs on the list, I’m afraid to inform you that the items may no longer be available or if they are still available on the store, they have been modified by the content providers since you have purchased them.  I understand the inconvenience of this case, however, we won’t be able to make the songs available for you to download again. - iTunes Store Customer Support

"What is really bothersome about the whole thing is that these were albums that I previously accessed via iTunes Match; songs I thought were stored in my iCloud music library" wrote Goetz. "But since they were purchased from iTunes and not uploaded, they were not really in my iCloud music library to begin with."

When it comes to music purchased from iTunes, iCloud isn't an online storage locker.  It's just Apple's giant music lending library; and your privledges can be revoked at any time. 

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9 Comments

  1. That’s not something I’d like to learn during a show. It makes the case for downloading all of your iTunes songs and then keeping your own off line copy!

  2. I recently found out myself. They started deleting my purchases. When I went to the show pages on iTunes it said purchased but when I try to download my purchases I get a notice I did not buy them. I have receipts of purchases and can no longer download my content. When I contacted support they were no help, just givine me basic library steps, but I canon longer see my purchases on my iPhone, and other computers and they said I did not buy my purchases. I spent a ton of money with them since 2007 and now my stuff is no longer accessible. Convert all your music to MP3 and get away from Apple/iTunes they are crooks.

  3. I thought I was going crazy when music disappeared; now I keep track of purchases. Absolutely time for a class action suit. This is absurd!

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