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Duplicate purchased music tracks


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Friend with a strange “duplicate track” problem that has developed over the past few months.

Three computers/devices involved, a Mac, an iPhone and an iPad. Typically she buys the music on her iPhone (running iOS 12, but has been happening on at least the prior OS), and plays it from both her phone and iPad.  Auto-download music feature turned on, on both, under AppleID > iTunes & App Stores.

For instance, she just bought an album from the iTunes Music Store. One her phone, she sees every track duplicated.  If she plays the album, the tracks do indeed play twice.  But on her iPad, only the first three tracks are duplicated. The rest of the album are single tracks. 
She has never subscribed to Apple Music or had iTunes Match turned on, as far as she knows.
One possible complication is that her old iPad is maxed out at iOS 9.3.5
Any ideas that could explain this behavior?
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3 Answers
Topic starter

Completely signed out on both iPhone and iPad. Fixed the iPhone running iOS 12, but NOT the iPad running iOS 9.3.5.  I'm guessing the only recourse is to Erase All Contents and Settings and Restore from backup?

Yeah, unfortunately I think that's where we are with this. Troubleshooting iOS is difficult without root access to the device, and that's just the way it goes.


Yikes... that's ... odd. Which, as I often say, is a good way to start solving a problem, because it means there's likely a solution path to get you/her what you want!

For this, it seems like iCloud Music Library is confused. I'm assuming her Mac does not see duplicate tracks, is that right?

If the Mac is correct, then I would completely sign the iOS device(s) out of Apple Music and sign them back in one-at-a-time, seeing if simply the detach/reattach procedure clears out any mess there.

We'll discuss this on the show, too. Good stuff!


Good evening,

Interestingly, I have noticed this issue also. I subscribe to Apple Music and only use my iPhone X to manage my music. I can't put my finger on when the duplicates turned up. I have assumed that it was an iOS update issue and was waiting for a fix (I am currently running the public beta). I am almost ready to just delete the duplicates but would be more interested in finding the cause...

It seems I got caught!

This is where you cut me off.


Ivor (UK)