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Lossless Apple Music Prevents Rewind and Fast Forward

Apple Lossless icon with standard play control buttons of which Rewind and Fast Forward are crossed out.

Well, that’s disappointing.

I use Apple CarPlay and frequently play music while driving. Every now and then, I like to fast forward in some music tracks by long pressing the Fast Forward button. Recently, I noticed that I could no longer do this in most music tracks.

Some yes, most no.

On my iPhone and iPad, I was still able to use the Progress Bar to scrub through any track, but long pressing the Fast Forward button on those devices still did not work on most tracks. The Progress Bar is not part of the CarPlay interface, so I can only use the Rewind and Fast Forward buttons there.

I started troubleshooting, and I eventually noticed that Rewind and Fast Forward did not function in any lossless tracks. In non-lossless tracks, the buttons worked just fine.

In Settings/Music, I turned off Lossless and Dolby Atmos, and Rewind and Fast Forward came back to life in all tracks.

Sigh.

Did Apple really release Lossless, Dolby Atmos, and Spatial Audio in Apple Music in a way that kills the Rewind and Fast Forward feature?

For my own solution, I have disabled Lossless and Dolby Atmos on my iPhone. This is the device I connect to CarPlay, so this solves my CarPlay problem. On my iPad, I kept Lossless and Dolby Atmos enabled.

Hopefully Apple will address this in a future update.

Apple Music’s Biggest Problem

iCloud Music Library Raining on Apple Music

Apple Music has emerged as my favorite music streaming service … but it ain’t perfect. And the Achilles heel is iCloud Music Library.

iCloud Music Library is Seriously Flawed

I use playlists, and I have several filled with tunes that are not in my personal music collection. To enjoy this feature, I must have iCloud Music Library enabled. And for the most part, that’s fine. Until I want to listen to one of my own more obscure tracks.

In theory, iCloud Music Library will scan my collection and make all the matching tunes in Apple’s library available to me. If it can’t find a match a tune, then it uploads my own tune to make it available to me.

Big surprise! It doesn’t usually work.

Example 1: I have a track of the Olympic fanfare followed by Summon the Heroes. So the matching song in Apple’s cloud doesn’t include the Olympic fanfare (selfish Olympic rights holders?). So that is less than optimal.

Example 2 (but related to 1): I cannot just drag and drop my Olympic fanfare/Summon the Heroes track to my iPhone. That’s right! I can’t just attach it my my PC and use iTunes to copy over my preferred track (or any other track for that matter). I’m assuming Apple can’t fathom a world where any of their “solutions” would ever fall short of customer expectations. Perhaps, I’m expecting it wrong??

My Workaround

Okay, this scenario doesn’t really impact me very often, and I hate workarounds. But we live in a techie world, so workarounds are part of our worlds.

Settings Music

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings/Music.
  2. Tap the toggle to turn off iCloud Music Library.
  3. Confirm that you wish to turn off that feature.
  4. Connect the iPhone to your computer and use iTunes to add your desired music tracks.
  5. On your iPhone, return to Settings/Music to enable iCloud Music Library.
  6. Confirm that you wish to Merge the media resources on your iPhone.

Hope this helps!

Siri: Apple Music’s Biggest Advantage

Apple Music

Having millions of songs available for your streaming pleasure is not a new concept. Spotify, rdio, and even Xbox Music Pass have offered this to subscribers for a long time. But this can be a double edge sword, especially when enjoying music on your mobile device.

I’ve used Spotify while driving. There have been times when I wanted to listen to a certain song or artist while in rush hour traffic, but I just cannot safely tap and type to search for what I want. So I don’t. Spotify is not allowed to integrate with Apple’s Siri, and the app itself does not have a voice command feature. And using voice dictation is still a clunky, distracting experience.

However, with Apple Music on my iPhone, I would be able to just ask Siri to play that song or artist. Very nice. And much safer for commuters around me, too.

Side Note: For what it’s worth, I think Apple Music’s second best advantage is the Family subscription offering. At $14.99 (in the United States) for six members, this is a tremendous value relative to subscription offerings from competing services.

Here is CNET’s helpful video with tips for Siri and Apple Music: