The pure nature of the cloud computing is that you are giving away your control over the content in order to enjoy convenience, and have access to the service for as long as you’re connected to the Internet. Apparently, Apple’s Music service decided to take that to the next level and start to actively match your music to the online catalog, and delete local copies.
According to James Pinkstone from Vellum Atlanta, that’s exactly what happened to 122 gigabytes of his music collection:
“What Amber explained was exactly what I’d feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users’ computers. 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.”
Now, if the music collection you have on your computer is something you can buy or download or stream, that’s great. But if you invested in for example, digitizing your old LP collection, which in case of my family exceeded 2000 records, you don’t want to have a cloud service destroying all the hours of hard work, yet alone an investment in a gramophone which can digitize the music, such as Audio Technica’s AT-LP120.
And of course, by signing up for Apple Music, you had to accept the terms of EULA:
…YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE, THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE AND ALL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES DELIVERED TO YOU THROUGH THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE ARE (EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY STATED BY APPLE) PROVIDED “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” FOR YOUR USE, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED.
…IN NO CASE SHALL APPLE, ITS DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AFFILIATES, AGENTS, CONTRACTORS, OR LICENSORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING FROM YOUR USE OF THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE OR FOR ANY OTHER CLAIM RELATED IN ANY WAY TO YOUR USE OF THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN ANY CONTENT OR APPLE MUSIC PRODUCTS, OR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF ANY CONTENT OR APPLE MUSIC PRODUCTS POSTED, TRANSMITTED, OR OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE VIA THE APPLE MUSIC SERVICE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THEIR POSSIBILITY.”
Other music services, such as Amazon Prime Music and Google Play do not delete the files off the hard drive. In case of Google, you can upload as much as 20,000 songs. However, there is an inherit danger of emotional connection to the company which obviously does things which are not in public’s best interest, yet still have hordes of fans worldwide. Crashing down to Earth and becoming aware your silver piece of equipment is not holy was a rude awakening to Mr. Pinkstone.
As always, backup regularly and bear in mind the Sun can melt the clouds, and winds take them away.