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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: