Apple Hates Music Lovers Who Want to Own Their Music

| Devil's Advocate

Page 2 – iTunes Track Management, Error Messages, and Local Files

iTunes Track Management – Now With More Incomprehensibility

Apple’s horrid lack of attention to iTunes has just created what is now an untenable mess. For example, there still is no easy way to differentiate most if not all the following types of iTunes music from one another:

  1. my ripped music
  2. my purchased DRM free music
  3. DRM free iTunes match songs in the cloud but not local to my machine
  4. DRM free iTunes match songs that have now been downloaded local to my machine
  5. the revolting DRM laden crap from the Apple Music service in the cloud but not local to my machine
  6. the revolting DRM laden crap from the Apple Music service now downloaded and local to my machine.

It’s so bad, that even Apple’s software cannot understand what’s going on. iTunes can and does obliterate your original tracks because it too cannot distinguish among the above different track types. Just like should never touch or edit your original photos, iTunes should never touch your original sourced tracks. iTunes should never replace your originally ripped or purchased tracks.  It should lock them as originals, and if it must match and/or get different versions, it should do it in a way that does not ever affect the originals.

But currently, iTunes may confuse and replace a rare live concert track you ripped with the plebeian radio edit track (either with a DRM free iTunes Match track or worse yet a DRM laden Apple Music track). It would be like Apple’s Photo replacing your wedding photos with some non-royalty-free stock wedding photos.


Those Error Messages and Cloud Status Icons

Then there is the baffling error messages about the crapfest that is Apple’s cloud music. I purchased this track, yet it’s ineligible for the cloud when you try to add it to a playlist? WTF?

Now Playing

iTunes Music Error

“Super helpful,” said no one ever about the above dialogue

Other than my bad taste in music, what does this bizarre list of download/ineligible icons and dimmed entries mean? Does anyone know?

iTunes Library with Download Icons

iTunes Library with Download Icons

All of this music should be local on my Mac. Yet some things are dimmed. Some things show they can be downloaded from the cloud. Does that mean they are not on my Mac? If not, WHY THE HELL NOT! That’s where they came from. Did iTunes nuke a local copy and move it up to the cloud only ask to download it again. Is the dimmed “Mission Impossible Theme” killed from my local machine, or is it some dupe made by the cloud service? Then some of those tracks are purchased music tracks that I set iTunes to automatically download, but yet, iTunes hasn’t? Why? There is neither rhyme nor reason as to what or how iTunes is managing these tracks.

Please Take My Money and Let Me Buy This Track Apple

Apple hate’s you owning your own music so much, it won’t even take your money. If you listen to Beats 1 (the only good thing from the Beats acquisition), and you like a track, you can’t just click the ellipsis in iTunes and buy the track. Sure you can share the track on social media, because you know, every one of your friends is waiting with bated breath to see what track you’re listening to on Beats 1 at that moment. But actually buy the track? Screw you. No tracks for you.

Apple Music Sharing Options

Apple Music Sharing Options

This feature used to be in iTunes for a while, but has just vanished. Why? Red stapler closet man in charge of iTunes probably went on vacation. Basically, your easiest option to buy a track you’re listening to on Beats 1 is to Shazam it with your phone, and buy it from there. Thanks, Rube Goldberg.

Much like Apple has abandoned creative users, at this point, if you like owning your own music, you’re persona non grata to Apple. It’s time to start looking for different apps for your music library before Apple destroys it entirely.

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“Apple letting iTunes become a serial murdering music library terrorist”. Beautifully described. I am still hurting from boldly buying my first Mac in 2012, starting up iTunes, pointing it to my extensive music collection on a server, and watching a chaotic disaster unfold that I had no say in (as it happened) and no warning it would happen, and if you want to say that I should have reasonably expected it to happen, you are kidding.


Thank you John Kheit! Totally with your opinion. And I´m also with you furbies, Lancashire-Witch, Paul Goodwin, archimedes.. Finally someone from the writing folks writes about it. I was wondering a long time, if I´m the only one (or the last user remaining) to be deeply worried and upset about, what has been done to iTunes over the last years. Especially on macOS (“Music” or former “iPod” on iOS has never been that capable as its parent app on macOS, but has been pretty good – but, by the way, where the heck has this “recently played” list gone in… Read more »


Actually even if you avoid Apple Music and iCloud Music Library like the plague… iTunes still messes things up. Awful rubbish.


It’s such an un-Apple-like user experience. There is no sane reason for breaking iTunes syncing, but it seems nearly impossible to get it to peacefully coexist with Apple Music and with iCloud Music Library. Damaged playlists, deleted music, damaged metadata… it’s a complete and total nightmare, and it feels so awful to have a piece of software ride roughshod over your carefully selected music.

When long-term Apple fans like John Kheit say “Apple hates you” – well, that might be a sign that something is rotten in the state of iTunes/Apple Music.

Would people pay a monthly fee (or Any fee for that matter) to listen to the music they already own by using Apple Music? Did I miss something? Are people so involved with their daily lives that they don’t care they are being financially raped?! Yes, I said ‘raped’. First, (not just Apple) you MUST upgrade because the reliable equipment you had suddenly becomes obsolete. I am all for technology marching on, in fact I embrace it; I am a big sci-fi fan who enjoys when imagined invention becomes reality and continues to improve. BUUUT, when you are FOrCed to… Read more »


I’m pretty disappointed with iTunes 12, and haven’t upgraded to iOS 10 or Sierra. I’ve stopped buying iTunes music because it’s hard to find the songs or artists I want.

Is there a way to go back to iTunes 10?

Lee Dronick

“Is it impossible for Apple to get with the plan and let ME choose what’s shown/playable?”

It is not impossible, but maybe it is not as profitable.


In large part I agree with the article author.

iOS 10’s Music app UI is a step backwards.
I too don’t want my music purchases that I’ve decided not to “download” to my iPhone showing up in the Music App. Is it impossible for Apple to get with the plan and let ME choose what’s shown/playable ?

And while I didn’t “manically” star rate my music, it was a handy way to build a playlist of lesser played songs that I could either “prune” or play as a seperate group to “refresh” my appreciation of an artist/group.

Paul Goodwin

I personally think taking star ratings out of iOS shows a ridiculous lack of vision of what their own products are capable of. Maybe an iPhone is too small of a device too be a creation tool. But an iPad isn’t. Why can I have similar smart playlist creation capability (using star ratings) on the iPad that I have on the Mac. It’s like they’re thinking of the iPad as a consumption only device. I want to sit on my deck with the iPad to do that work instead of having to go back inside on the iMac. And a… Read more »

Paul Goodwin

Lancashire-Witch. I agree on iTunes 10. The best one ever for music organization and playlist creation was 10.6.8 (if I remember the version right).

Paul Goodwin


Where did you get an address to send a note to a Product Manager? I’ve never seen anything but the general feedback to Apple in their contact info.

Lee Dronick

I’ve completely given up with Podcasts.

I recently renewed my interest in them, I listen to them during my Apple Watch inspired fitness program. One of the things I like about iOS 10 is that when listening to podcasts raising the iPhone shows a the Podcast player and I can quickly hit the 15 second rewind to hear something that bears repeating or pause when I need it to.


I manage all the household’s music (about 12,000 tracks) on a G5 with iTunes 10 – works well. Home sharing and Airplay ensure that all the family can access and play the music they want. Quality ripping (and re-ripping!) and iTunes purchases mean I don’t need iCloud music library (iTunes Match) or Apple Music. From a UI perspective iTunes 12 on newer macs is not as easy or intuitive as iTunes 10. Apple’s penchant for removing features (and applications!) often causes disappointment and frustration. Do they think we don’t mind seeing hours of work just vanish, sometimes without warning? I’ve… Read more »


I also kind of have to agree with dlstarr7. I don’t care how many years someone has written here or anywhere, when an article is titled like click-bait and reads like click-bait, it’s kind click-bait, or at least click-bait-ish. Apple doesn’t hate music lovers who want to own their music. Total click-bait title. Apple is indifferent to music lovers who want their own music. If they hated those who want their own music, they would not offer import capability of CDs into iTunes and they certainly wouldn’t offer iTunes Match. Apple is very tolerant of music lovers who want their… Read more »


Wow, lots of emotion. I will add my 2 cents. I love Apple music. Sure, I have a ton of CDs already in iTunes, but I have three daughters that love the latest and greatest stuff they hear on the radio, a wife who likes a variety of music, a mother who loves 50s and 60s music, and I like a wider variety than my wife. For the cost of two albums a month, all 6 of us can listen to whatever we want, wherever we want. Cost of 3 caramel machiatos. Cost of two McDonald’s Big Mac meals. This… Read more »


I’ve never used star ratings because tastes change over time. I get sick of anything I hear too often, even the greatest songs of all time. Over longer time frames tastes change even more. I’m shocked at some of the stuff I spent good money on and equally shocked at stuff I used to hate that now appears in great quantity in my library. All music database applications like iTunes suck. They don’t have nearly enough fields and only have a single view. Real databases permit an infinite number of views that can be easily cloned so you don’t have… Read more »

Lee Dronick

Well there is a new version of iOS out, 10.0.2, which hopefully means that there has been a coup d’état at Apple and certain designers have been sent back to Facebook.


BTW: geoduck…Why, if you’re steaming from Apple Music, would you ever need to use iTunes?

I don’t use AppleMusic

Lee Dronick

What does this mean in a playlist on my iPhone:

This playlist has been downloaded to this iPhone. Do you want to to delete it from your Library, or remove the downloads from this iPhone?

Remove Downloads

Delete from Library


And how do get rid of Mr. Obvious’ alert that I downloaded a playlist from my Mac? A playlist that I deliberately put there because I personally curated it.

I’m not sure I understand the problem. I have been using iTunes since 2004. I have amassed a rather large music library (60k+ songs) over the years, between ripping my existing CD library and mp3 purchases. I am now an Apple Music subscriber, and I still have all of that music. I have everything Apple Music offers, plus my library. So they removed star ratings. I’ll admit, that was a surprise and a fairly confusing change, considering that I — like, I imagine, a lot of people — used star ratings to create smart playlists. But ultimately, I was only… Read more »