back to article 'Apple ate my music!' Streaming jukebox wipes 122GB – including muso's original tracks

Apple Music users are being warned after one fella says the streaming service deleted more than 100GB of files from his computer. Studio director James Pinkstone said Apple's subscription-based service stripped approximately 122GB worth of music, including his own original compositions, from his machine seemingly without …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Oh how my friends laugh at me for still buying music CDs...

    1. getHandle

      Oh how my friends laugh at me for not using iTunes...

      Wait, no they don't. They just look on enviously because they haven't figured out how not to yet...

    2. Anonymous Coward

      CDs, how modern.

      Oh how my friends laugh at me for still buying BVDs

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CDs, how modern.

        Oh how my friends laugh at me for still buying BVDs

        Well they would, wouldn't they? Like I do.

        Crinkly crackley, bendy warpy scratchy junk, And dragging a small rock through a scratch in a slice of liquorice and fluff amalgam.....WTF are you thinking?

        1. khjohansen

          Re: CDs, how modern.

          quote//..Crinkly crackley, bendy warpy scratchy junk, And dragging a small rock through a scratch in a slice of liquorice and fluff amalgam..//quote

          But - still there! Still mine! With the album art (remember album art? double-gatefold?) that it came with when I bought it! - And still playing... And, should I not want it anymore, with some re-sale value.

          1. born_free_taxed_for_life

            Re: CDs, how modern.

            no music is ever yours

      2. FlossyThePig

        Re: CDs, how modern.


        - Bovine Virus Diarrhoea

        - Bureau van Dijk

        - a brand of men's underwear

        Google isn't the answer!

        1. Rol

          Re: CDs, how modern.

          Black Vinyl Disks?

          As opposed to the craze of picture vinyl that erased itself long before you could memorise the lyrics.

      3. Ilsa Loving

        Re: CDs, how modern.

        They laugh at your for buying BVDs? *googles* (

        I don't think I want to be anywhere near your friends without at least a clothes peg on my nose.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: CDs, how modern.

          Heechee prayer fans!

          Yeah, Heechees didn't upload to the cloud. And there is a reason for that!

    3. Bob Vistakin

      You're saving it wrong

      Thought your private files were safe? Think Different, iSuckers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You're saving it wrong

        There are no "private files".

        How could such a delusionary construction emerge in your mind? No pudding for you! And the reeducation room. Now!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My inlaws kids noticed a had a cabinet full of square carton sleeves containing black plastic circular discs with a hole in the middle. I thin they are still trying to find out what it is I'm guarding so zealously.

  2. Timo

    A: he is not a real musician

    I propose to the audience and jury that no real musician would use iTunes.

    The other data point is that he didn't have any backups, also proving that he's not a real musician.

    He's probably a hipster with a room full of shiny iDevices and garageband doing dance music chop-up remixes.

    1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: A: he is not a real musician

      First of all, he DID have a backup, according to the article.

      And so what if your music ends up in their cloud - it lets you download it again. Or did I miss something relevant here?

      1. handle

        Re: A: he is not a real musician

        Yes, you missed at least four things here (having read the original blog and then checked to see if The Reg had picked it up):

        - You can only download it again while you have internet access (obvious but still important)

        - The system can conflate different versions of the same song, replacing one with another

        - Apple doesn't support WAV files, so the original material has now been compressed

        - If you take up the 3 month free subscription to Apple Music and then cancel it, all your music is gone forever, apparently.

        1. Christoph

          Re: A: he is not a real musician

          Yes, from a report elsewhere it seems it deleted his WAVs, and then only made MP3s available. This included his own original tracks - so without the backup he would have lost the high quality version permanently.

          It's also possible (the report I saw was unclear) that Apple would then offer those original tracks to other people for download, without his permission or knowledge.

          And some of the music he had was unusual, rare special versions of particular tracks which got deleted and replaced with generic versions.

      2. Dazed and Confused

        Re: A: he is not a real musician

        > And so what if your music ends up in their cloud

        I think you'll find it isn't, you know. That's what the whole story is about.

        If it was still in their cloud he wouldn't have a problem.

      3. Rob Gr

        Re: A: he is not a real musician

        "Or did I miss something relevant here?"

        It also re-encodes it to Apple format, rendering it unusable in any other software.

        Embrace, extend, assimilate into the ecosystem.

    2. danny_0x98

      Re: A: he is not a real musician

      Fine. I'm not a real musician, using iTunes and Garageband as I do. It's gospel according to Timo.

      Here's the thing: because so much of my collection are songs I recorded and some are tracks I pulled off of cassettes, I was wary of Match and Apple Music. I also understand that the matching is textual, so album or art changes or versions may be substituted, because Apple is constrained by its license from the record company, who may be successors to the original releasing label. They, the record company, certainly don't give a flying about alternate takes or the other things that collectors and deep fans treasure.

      Here's my common sense conclusion: these products were not designed with my edge case in mind — and rightfully so.

      And reading the original blog, call me lucky. But, as Timo notes, don't call me a musician. Timo knows all.

      1. hypernovasoftware

        Re: A: he is not a real musician

        I wonder if flagging all your music files as read-only would prevent any deletions from occurring.

        1. Gritzwally Philbin

          Re: A: he is not a real musician

          Yes. Also, and this is critical, never *ever* maintain your Music Library in the Default location in your Home folder.

          If you move it to a secondary drive (or volume - partitions works perfectly) and change the settings in iTunes preferences to have it copy songs, but NOT organize the library, it doesn't move the files in any way, shape or form.

          Unfortunate guy did not have the correct settings in the preferences - a common thing - and the effin' program ate his files.

          NEVER leave your music in the default location however, as it stops the 'space-saving' measure in its tracks. I've used iTunes from the start - actually prior to it as I ran Casady and Greene's Sound Jam (which Apple bought and reworked into iTunes) on OS 8.1 and in 17 years haven't lost a single file to anything but my own stupidity.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: A: he is not a real musician

        I've noticed Apple's weird relationship with album art. It keeps changing. I don't know why, because when I ripped the CDs it created a folder on my PC full of the stuff. Some was wrong, but I didn't really care, so long as it was obvious what it was. But there must be some process by which it randomly goes off and gets some more, as it's now maybe 8 years since I started using iTunes - and some of my albums are on their third covers on the iPad. The music app for which has become steadily more unuseable every time they update it. I think my next tablet is going to be a Lenovo Yoga for half the price.

        1. Stoneshop

          Re: A: he is not a real musician

          But there must be some process by which it randomly goes off and gets some more,

          It's the iTunes equivalent of your car's glove compartment, where any cassette, from Paul Anka to Megadeth, turns into a Best of Queen compilation.

          The one with the WM504 in the pocket

    3. Androgynous Cow Herd

      Re: A: he is not a real musician

      This "Real Musician" uses iTunes...It's just a tool, and it's useful for tagging a lot of files quickly. It is definitely not used for things like managing digital assets as this guy was apparently doing, though. I haven't let any CloudSync near my MP3/FLAC/Whatever library of pre-recorded tracks since my olde .MP3 rip of "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" was swapped by the Fruit Company for another version that was not nearly as good as the one from "Rumor and Sigh". I had to re-rip the whole album and then turned off anything that looked like or rhymed with "Let Apple Manage your Music".

      Bitching about what some other player uses to produce his work makes you sound like a tool. Tell us about your tube pre-amp now...

  3. Deltics

    122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

    It happened over Christmas and even now I'm still in the process of re-ripping all my CD's and re-fixing all the meta-data etc because with that volume of files the OneDrive Recycle Bin is useless.

    Plus the fact that I had moved my Android-SDK folder from OneDrive to Dropbox before I noticed what had happened to my media files and the idiotic, fixed reverse-timeline nature of that Recycle Bin made trying to recover anything that had been deleted before the 10's of 000's of files in that SDK folder absolutely impractical. i.e. impossible

    I investigated the issue quite thoroughly and established that the issue was with some interaction between the Windows 10 OneDrive client and the OneDrive cloud service responses to Windows 10 in general.

    I disabled the OneDrive client on Windows 10 and installed a 3rd party OneDrive sync client, configured for one-way sync only (cloud to device). That 3rd party client reported problems syncing some files.

    I checked those files in the OneDrive web interface and they were fine. They downloaded from the web interface just fine. I checked them on my other sync'ed devices and they were fine.

    So i then re-enabled the Windows 10 OneDrive client and sure enough... those specific files were then DELETED in the OneDrive cloud and all my other sync'ed devices then did as they were told and went ahead and deleted them too.

    It's astonishing that this issue has not received wider coverage.

    1. Simon 49

      Re: 122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

      OneDrive is so not-fit-for-purpose that I think it only exists to demonstrate how well sorted DropBox is.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: 122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

      Get used to it. Microsoft's long game is to force us all back to the mainframe/dumb terminal time share subscription model.

      Azure, Sharepoint, OneDrive, 365, Appstore. You're seeing it right now.

      1. handle

        Re: 122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

        ...which is ironic as not so long ago it was Microsoft that was forcing us away from that.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: 122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

          Wrutten by .Net munkeys possibly so codekewl that they dropped out of uni as the material was too abstract, now hidden inside the bowel of the Redmond beast and lorded over by the marketing barons of interconnectedness and cloud sharing. Yes, GiBs will be lost.

    3. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: 122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

      3rd party OneDrive sync client

      Onedrive in 8.1 was nigh on perfect but MS seemed to have fucked over their Onedrive in 10, to the point where I daren't allow the OS to sync because I don't trust it. Just curious what 3rd party app you use.

      Also, Itunes has been deleting files of peoples PCs forever (plugging in an ipod where music has been mistakenly deleted would delete those songs from the itunes library).

      First thing I always do is untick autosync in the options, then you control what goes where.

    4. hplasm

      Re: 122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

      "It's astonishing that this issue has not received wider coverage."

      It has- check out all the 'Windows 10 is rubbish' articles.

    5. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: 122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

      "fixed reverse-timeline nature of that Recycle Bin"

      Is this some OneDrive-specific version of the Recycle bin?

      Because the normal one in Windows acts like any other folder and can be sorted by any old attribute. Just change the view mode to 'Details' and click on the column you'd like to sort by.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

      122GB ? Pah. Windows 10 OneDrive client ate over 200GB of my files!

      Yes, but you deliberately put them in The Cloud. Things put in the cloud will get lost when it rains.

  4. Hud Dunlap

    Streamed from Apple

    What if you aren't in range of a signal? I know a lot of times I am not.

    We need a "Former Apple Fanboy" icon.

    1. Oengus

      Re: Streamed from Apple

      What if you aren't in range of a signal?

      What, you mean there are places where we might not be able to track you in real time? That doesn't fit our business model so it can't happen. </sarcasm>

      In this day and age everyone assumes that you will have connectivity 24/7 so nobody considers what happens when you are "out of range" or when the service is down.

  5. ma1010


    "Even in my most Orwellian paranoia I never could have dreamed that the content holders, like Apple, would also reach into your computer and take away what you already owned," the musician said.

    Guess he never heard about the Kindles that had content remote erased by Amazon, then. El Reg covered it here.

    All the big companies have the same attitude, really, whether it's Apple, MS, Amazon, etc. They truly feel that "All your device are belong to us."

    We all have two choices. We can either go along with the manufacturers and stay connected like good, little sheep. Or DISCONNECT your devices from the Internet and/or carefully control what access your devices have (and what data the manufacturers can slurp/delete from them). Take your choice.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      I noticed you were downvoted. Seems the flacks are paying more attention to El Reg these days.

      Have an upvote from me. I'd give you a thousand if I could.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      I only connect my Kindle & Kobo via USB, Only in emergency using WiFi / 3G and only if it's all backed up on two different computers via USB first.

      I backup on 2 x standalone HDDs, and copies on laptop, workstation and my server, also private SFTP to my hosting.

      I don't use any library/management program that doesn't work by importing a copy, and thereafter never touching the original file.

      Netflix only doesn't delete DVDs, and Apple CDs because they are inaccessible.

      I don't trust any of these "corporates". Cloud is only subscription hosting that someone else controls. The much vaunted "sync" on most services is liable to screw up your data, or metadata (such as categories etc) and often if you cancel, change account or delete account data anything you didn't buy is deleted and the "backup" cloud when you re-instate your account only has the stuff they sold your (if it has anything!).

      1. Seajay#

        Re: Really?


        That sounds like a pretty comprehensive backup strategy. However, I wouldn't mind betting that there is no way of backing up the firmware. So if Amazon decide to silently upgrade your Kindle when you connect to a network you might find that even though you still have the books backed up to a file, you are no longer allowed to read them on your device and you've got no way of going back to when you were allowed to.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      "All the big companies have the same attitude, really, whether it's Apple, MS, Amazon, etc"

      You correctly missed Google, unless you know different and can show where they deleted a users private file?

      1. asdf

        Re: Really?

        Google tends to avoid deleting stuff. They just index it for advertisers for eternity.

        1. Gritzwally Philbin

          Re: Really?

          Yup. Got a few unknown to anyone but me gmail accounts that I use as online storage for my digital art. I figure it will outlast my very life.

          1. Kiwi

            Re: Really?

            gmail accounts that I use as online storage for my digital art. I figure it will outlast my very life.

            Just out of interest.... Did you read the google license? The one that says that they now have a perpetual right to your work, they can use it as they wish and sell copies of it to who they wish and can make and sell derivitave works without giving you a cent?

    4. Nifty Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      This is why I print my El Reg out and read it in the woods

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really? This is why I print my El Reg out and read it in the woods

        And it's dual use when you wipe afterwards.

    5. Roo

      Re: Really?

      "Or DISCONNECT your devices from the Internet and/or carefully control what access your devices have (and what data the manufacturers can slurp/delete from them)."

      Vendors appear to be going out of their way to make sure that running offline is either impossible or ridiculously awkward. Immutable backups are the only way to be sure right now.

  6. Len Goddard

    Old old news

    Many years (decades?) ago I installed iTunes on a windoze system to record podcasts. Which it did quite happily for a while. I would then periodically move them somewhere more convenient to play back via my squeezebox setup. After a little while iTunes threw a hissy fit and decided that if I was nt playing the podcasts back (through iTunes) I clearly didn't need them so it stopped recording them. So I deleted it and have never used it since. I have an optimistic friend who has installed iTunes 3 or 4 times and purged it each time after it made a mess by re-arranging his music collection in undesired ways.

    Onedrive I deleted soon after installing Win10. Along with most of the "modern" apps and the windoze store. Mind, I gather you can no longer do that on Win10 Pro so I'm wondering if it will rise zombie-like from the cat-fluff in the bottom of my PC.

    Backups? Thats what NASs and suchlike are for.

    1. VinceH

      Re: Old old news

      I stopped using iTunes when an update to it disabled my network interface.

      It actually did it more than once. The first time I thought the interface being disabled was probably some random glitch that coincidentally happened when iTunes was updated. I fixed it and carried on... but then it happened again when iTunes next updated.

      And just to add insult to injury, having enabled it again before uninstalling iTunes - it happened again when I carried out that uninstallation.

    2. bep

      Re: Old old news

      Yeah, unsubscribing you to podcasts because you haven't listened to them for a while is one the most insanely frustrating things about iTunes. Apple can't seem to cope with the idea that every week isn't the same as every other week. Some of us go on holidays, for example, and like to listen to podcasts on the beach. Obviously this does not compute in Appleland, where every one loves their jobs (see what I did there?) so much they would never dream of going on holiday.

      1. m0rt

        Swinsian for the win

        When I got my current Mac, before copying my music collection over I looked hard for a simple music player. Clementine, my previous favourite, had a bug which consumed battery. Swinsian is actually refreshingly simple. When I buy music I usually look for it on Amazon because of the autorip feature when buying CDs means I get some mp3s additionally.

        Doesn't rip, though, use a separate program for that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "…no solution besides don’t use the product."

    Sounds like a plan to me.

    1. Oengus

      Re: "…no solution besides don’t use the product."

      "Its my or the highway". Isn't that the Apple (or any "Cloudy" service provider) business model. Either you take all of what I want to force on you or you go somewhere else and I'll keep everything that you have done to date.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    The number of recent cloud-based articles of fail recently shows that...

    1. Only US Robotics/Palm really got syncing right.

    2. No-one gets what The Cloud actually is or how it should work. But we know it doesn't work yet.

    3. Physical media is King.

    We of generation Middle Youth know this. Generation Barista hasn't a clue.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      The whole modern concept of cloud is fail...

      The original definition of "cloud computing" was based on network diagrams. The "cloud" icon in a network diagram represented a network you didn't have a definition for -- most typically the internet. Academics were fascinated by the idea that the internet was not just a series of dumb switches, and that treating it as such was a waste of resource. There were a number of experiments with getting internet nodes to progressively process data as it was transmitted across the network, and the idea looked promising. But in reality, you would end up with a "tragedy of the commons" scenario, with a few antisocial heavy users using up the resource (like how a relatively tiny number of 24-hour DVD downloaders made unlimited internet packages unviable).

      The only true cloud application in use is peer-to-peer sharing (torrents and streams), because there is no map or fixed architecture to the computing/storage element; it is unknown, so can only be drawn on a map as a cloud.

      Modern so-called cloud services are nothing more than hosted solutions, the same as we've always had. However, they often use the cloud to obscure what's going on, and the client doesn't get full information. I'm sure this doesn't apply to really big players, but before I left managed IT services (about 5 years ago), I always argued that we should refuse to subcontract to cloud services because they prevented due diligence, or at least push that line until the client accepted that they couldn't hold us to SLAs on something we were utterly incapable of evaluating.

  9. Unbelievable!

    Never liked itunes. It just completely re-jiggers everything you thought you had. it doesn't work in a logical sense. Everything with iTunes, such as duplicates, it screws up or can't handle. for example it just creates more and more in the same library list... but allows the files to be overwritten in the folder if you drag them there. why keep the old stuff in the list? theres petabytes of files i dont also have itunes. at least you didnt list those. .. terrible shoddy thing is itunes. dont get me started on sync.. it wipes your phone with the computer version. regardless if you dont have the music on your computer anymore. instead of copying the phone version locally. . absolutely shocking! why the FBI want to spend millions to access to that crap is beyond me. sorry for the rant.

    1. JeffyPoooh

      "Never liked itunes."


      I've got any number of little MP3 Music Players (Sony & endless off-brand).

      Connect. Drag and Drop. Takes only minutes. Never needs huge updates. Just works.

      Much much much much easier than trying to get music onto an iDevice.

      1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

        Re: "Never liked itunes."

        Weren't Sony's "MP3" Players in the early 2000s actually ATRAC players that forced you to convert all your MP3s to ATRAC format *and* do it through their crappy SonicStage software (their equivalent of iTunes)? (*)

        I think they eventually ditched that for real MP3 players when they realised that not only had they left it way too late to promote ATRAC as a standalone format, but that as a result of their intransigence, general arrogance, NIHism et al, they'd missed the boat on the paradigm shift in portable audio (letting Apple steal the field from them), and were no longer in a position to brute force or bully everyone into using ATRAC.

        It's my opinion that had MiniDisc- which was out for years before MP3 gained traction as a standalone format- not been intentionally hobbled by Sony's anti-piracy paranoia and conflict of interest (caused by their having bought a movie and record company in the late 80s) into being little more than a jumped-up cassette, and had they permitted the free exchange of ATRAC music tracks between devices that the underlying hardware was almost certainly capable of (rather than real-time only digital dubbing intentionally limited by SCMS)- then these ATRAC tracks (i.e. *files*!) would probably have pre-empted MP3 when someone figured out how to transfer them to a computer.

        Yes, I know that the early 90s (when MiniDisc launched) was a different time, when computer technology was still seen as "geeky" and most people were far less comfortable with them than they are today. And most computers back then wouldn't have been suited to MP3/ATRAC playback either.

        So, sure- marketing it as "you can get files off your MiniDisc player" back then would have been met with indifference and "NEEERRRDDDDSS!"

        However, even then, the ability to freely share/exchange your favourite songs or "tracks" with your friends' MiniDisc players would have been a huge selling point, especially with younger consumers.

        Regardless, Sony blew MiniDisc and dragged their heels with MP3, so much as we're (rightly) slagging off Apple here, Sony were crap too and deserved to lose the portable audio market.

        (*) To be clear, I don't want to sound like I'm defending Apple by pointing out that Sony may have been crap too. Having barely used iTunes since the sealed-in battery on my iPod Nano died, this confirms that there's nothing to be gained by going back to it. That "unsubscribe a podcast if I haven't listened to it for a week or two" behaviour already p****d me off as well.

  10. ecofeco Silver badge


    Yeah, how's that working for ya? Too bad CDs are so gauche these days and creating your own "mix tapes" is now illegal and almost impossible for the average user..

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Cloud?

      To be honest, I care less about the gaucheness of my CD collection than I do about the truffle hunting season in the Loire valley.

      The mechanism is irrelevant: they're *mine* to do with as I will, and they will not evaporate into the fog...

    2. energystar

      Re: Cloud?

      Now that you mention it... Barely hear any music now. Maybe an eventual pause at some radio station. Who killed radio? MTV? Naaah!

  11. chivo243 Silver badge

    NO Cloud NO worries

    I store my music on an old G5, not sure if iTunes can do a sync to the cloudy final destination...

  12. JeffyPoooh

    "...heavy-handed sync nukes files..."

    Apple Sync is so stupid. This news is from when, about 2010?

    E.g. 32GB iPhone. 275 GB of music. Do you feel lucky punk? Go ahead, click Sync. You feeling lucky?

    Apple Sync is STUPID. So stupid it's useless, and dangerous. And takes hours and hours.

  13. Christoph

    But it saves space on your drive!

    It's so kind of them to want to save a few hundred Gigabytes of my local storage by deleting files without telling me. After all I only have 9 Terabytes on this machine.

  14. hellwig

    I don't stream unless I gotta.

    If I can't access things that NEED internet access (Netflix, MMORPG, etc.), I expect to be able to do something else that should not require the internet for any purpose (like listen to music I paid for or play a single-player video game I purchased) . But apparently not in this day and age.

    DRM that requires an always-on connection. DVRs that require internet access (what's the harddrive for then?). Apple DELETES music and forces you to stream it.

    Maybe I'm just stuck in the past, but I don't have that much faith in internet connectivity. Remember the day when you paid for metered connections and they weren't always so reliable and often times they were really slow? I think it was a time called "right f-ing now". Hell, even if my connection was flawless, Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc... can't keep their own networks up all the time.

    1. Oengus

      Re: I don't stream unless I gotta.

      Remember the day when you paid for metered connections and they weren't always so reliable

      Remember the day - I am reminded daily as that is still the way the internet is here in Oz for most internet users (and doubly so for mobile users).

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: I don't stream unless I gotta.

      but I don't have that much faith in internet connectivity.

      Out in the country, Internet is slow enough to make cloud services impractical. The 2Mbit download isn't bad, I can stream SD video, but the half megabit upload is what stops cloud being useful. That said, I'm a big believer in the idea that if you can't lay your hands on a physical copy of a file, it might as well not exist. Thus while I use Google Docs from time to time (it's the easiest way to deal with files on an iPad given how iTunes is crap and iOS can't Bluetooth sync to non apple devices), I keep local copies of files, don't sync to cloud, and don't rely on third party providers for access to my own stuff. To do otherwise seems somewhat...illogical.

  15. Nanners

    I choose

    To not use cloud services at all, and I also choose not to use location services. I also choose to block all scripts from my browser. If they can get you they will. I then incrementally choose which services and scripts I allow on MY computer.

    1. Rol

      Re: I choose

      Yep. Risk management is a concept where you choose to mitigate for all eventualities.

      In that respect, I have instructed my family to obtain power of attorney over my affairs if my mind becomes so troubled, that I start trusting the cloud.

  16. Andy Non Silver badge

    1Tb USB hard drive = £50.

    Why put your data exclusively in someone else's hands when you can buy external hard drives so cheaply? To be doubly sure keep one off site in case of fire. It ain't rocket science and it isn't expensive.

    1. asdf

      Re: 1Tb USB hard drive = £50.

      Especially if that shit is necessary for you to make a living.

    2. Rol

      Re: 1Tb USB hard drive = £50.

      My off-site, is all my friends.

      By freely swapping all our stuff, we collectively back each other up, whilst avoiding the additional cost of redundancy.

      Well, some do argue my taste in music has made part of their storage redundant.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: 1Tb USB hard drive = £50.

        By freely swapping all our stuff, we collectively back each other up, whilst avoiding the additional cost of redundancy.

        Me too.

        But a better solution would be:

        - take all your MP3s, videos, confidential documents etc and encrypt them into one big archive. Then encrypt that again with a different key.

        Then upload it to Torrent sites as something like "TTIP_Full_Text.doc" or "Trump_Blackmail_Material.ppt".

        It'll be mirrored and distributed and seeded for evermore, even as no-one can ever figure out how to decrypt it.

        You can then pull it back down at your leisure.

  17. tekHedd

    I moved all my audio production tools to Mac recently...

    And now I feel supremely justified in repeatedly refusing to accept the iTunes terms of service.

  18. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Rows and flows of angel hair

    And ice cream castles in the air

    And feather canyons everywhere,

    I've looked at clouds that way.

    But now they only block the sun,

    They rain and they snow on everyone

    So many things I would have done,

    But clouds got in my way.

    I've looked at clouds from both sides now

    From up and down and still somehow

    It's cloud illusions I recall

    I really don't know clouds at all

    - Joni Mitchell – Both Sides, Now (1969?)

    (I prefer this version myself: Frank Sinatra - Both Sides, Now)

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Good song. I prefer the Johnstons' version:

  19. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Never bothered

    I have my old 24" iMac set up as a jukebox with iTunes 10.7 - any version after that was a turd IMHO.

    I tried the iClouding thing with my recent 27" acquisition running El Cap - completely underwhelmed. I'll be sticking to my own tried & true backup/archiving regime.

  20. chris 17 Silver badge

    What do you do when your live copy breaks?

    luckily he has a backup, but who would he have moaned at if the live HDD / SSD failed.

    Yes i know iTunes sync sucks and i've barely listened to music since it mangled my library 7 or so years ago. The thing i hate the most right now is its stupidness for rearranging apps on an idevice, but thats only because i don't bother to use it for music anymore.

    Anyone recommend a good music sync app for macos?

    1. Martin Gregorie

      Re: What do you do when your live copy breaks?

      Anyone recommend a good music sync app for macos?

      Forget all that sync app wank.

      Try using a local NAS box containing at least two RAIDed disks. Use rsync (because its fast) to make regular backups to it. If you're properly paranoid, add at least two USB drives as an offline backup cycle. Each disk must be capable of holding a complete mirror of what's on the NAS box. Use rsync to back up the NAS box to the least recently written USB drive and keep all of the USB drives offline[1] except when making a backup (or recovering lost files).

      [1] The USB drives should be kept either offsite, in a firesafe or offsite in a fire safe. This way, at least one copy of your stuff is proof against both hacking and destruction from power spikes and from destruction of the building where your computers live. Protect your data this way and who gives a flying fart about the evil empires of Apple, Google, et al.

      1. OchaiThenoo

        Re: What do you do when your live copy breaks?

        Almost exactly my setup with the addition of a remote server I rent including backup. If i'm unlucky enough to lose all of that irrecoverably I'm probably not lucky enough to continue living much longer.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only getting press now?

    iTunes has been gobbling up files for years. I have been to loads of them to sort the mess out. It's nothing new at all.

    My advice, avoid apple at all costs., There is absolutely no reason to buy apple products, you just look like a gulible plonker

  22. The C Man

    Back to The Shuffle

    Having bought a Shuffle for my wife's mother we thought we would put some music on it for her. Months of transferring our whole collection of music to our computer totally wasted as everything disappeared in what seemed to be a flash. We bought three Creative MP3 players the next day which had better sound and are still usable even today although less so as we have later models and now have phones that give as good quality. None of them has an Apple logo on. Nothing changes. I still believe it is only takes one bite to find the maggot

  23. wolfetone Silver badge

    Dear Apple

    Try and delete my vinyl collection. I dare ya.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @wolfetone - Re: Dear Apple

      I wouldn't do that if I were you. The day when Apple's profits will be threatened they will send some third party to remove those dangerous goods from your home. Never underestimate a desperate multinational corporation :)

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: @wolfetone - Dear Apple

        You're right. Reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Bill Gates buys Homer out. He just sends the boys in and smashes shit up.

  24. MachDiamond Silver badge


    ALL of the digital download content suppliers have nasty little clauses that say in many words that the license you buy from them is somewhat ethereal. Amazon has had battles with publishing companies over licensing that has lead to titles magically vanishing from Kindles. Disney blacked out their movies one holiday season to force people who had already "purchased" the titles to tune into the Disney Channel and watch commercials.

    Any content you buy that isn't on physical media or backed up (if not DRM'd to death) is subject to revocation.

    Go ahead, "subscribe" to all of your entertainment and programs and see what happens, I dare ya.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which is why XKCD is right

      1. Rol

        Re: Which is why XKCD is right

        Strangely enough, I've found the after sales service for pirated material is on a par to the legitimate service, sometimes much better.

        Might also add, installations on an air-gapped system are invariably only possible with a pirated version as the legitimate route demands access to the net.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    iTunes has encrypted all your music. If you want to listen to your collection again, just send 2 bitcoins to Apple. After 48 hours the price will be 4 bitcoins.

  26. tempemeaty

    Boycott time yet?

    Could BOTH Microsoft and Apple use a dose of that old concept...?

    1. Mystic Megabyte

      Re: Boycott time yet?

      You are a little late to that game. I've always boycotted Apple products and dumped Microsoft when they released the steaming pile of DRM that was Vista.

  27. The Quiet One


    I will stick with my MiniDisc player, thanks!

  28. Saul Dobney

    Sync gets confused with backup

    I was using Humyo for a couple of years to keep a rolling offline backup of files. They got taken over by Trend and what was a backup service became a sync service with all the geewhizz-look-how-clever-we-are of developers ignoring the customer requirements. I took some old folders off my backup list. And so the new whizzo sync service decided I didn't want them and deleted GBs of files from my hard disk without warning or permission

    Now I do the backup with tools I can control onto servers I control with server backup I can control. Cloud services should never ever delete. And if they think they want to delete, then they must must ask. There's a corporate liability suit for vandalism and wanton destruction of private property if they think otherwise.

  29. Anonymous Coward


    Never. Use. iTunes. For. Anything.

    1. TheProf

      Re: Tip

      My feelings exactly.

      I installed it onto a Windows machine once because a newspaper had a free album download offer and it was through iChoonz.

      However to download the free album iGoonz wanted a method of payment. Credit card or BT phone account details.

      I never got the free album and iCaramba never got their sticky fingers on my credit card. Deleted the totally baffling program before it could wreak havoc on my machine.

      (In all fairness, Mr Google wants payment details before he'll peddle a 'free' tune. Nope, not going to happen.)

  30. bazza Silver badge

    I use JRiver Media Centre on Windows, I think they do a Mac version too.

    It's fab.

  31. Tom 7

    Microsoft Cloud - clear blue sky thinking.

    And Apple opt the more dramatic Tornado approach.

  32. wyatt

    I had to call Apple yesterday as I didn't know the answers to my security questions to login to one of their websites.

    They were unable to help me.. I couldn't answer the security questions to progress my issue. Guy at the other end wasn't able to suggest anything to help, glad its a work account and not a personal one.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      I had to call Apple yesterday as I didn't know the answers to my security questions to login to one of their websites.

      Been there, I feel your pain.

      Similarly: I lost my iPhone a few days ago (as in, I knew it was somewhere in the house/garden/car, but couldn't figure out where I'd left it). No problem - I have the Find my iPhone service set up.

      So on my Mac, I went to the Find-my-device page, to be greeted with


      Yeah, great, perfect timing Apple... when someone has lost their phone and is mildly freaking out, is EXACTLY when you should insist on changing their password to suit you (note: I don't keep anything sensitive on my iCloud account because I hate all things cloud, so a "strong password" is for Apple's convenience, not mine).

      Why not something like "Your password doesn't meet our latest requirements. Please change it at your earliest convenience"???

      So, anyway, muttering and grumbling, I changed the password. As most people in this situation do, I just capitalized the first letter and added a symbol and a number on the end e.g "Sesame^1"... that'll teach them...

      Then got hit with a blizzard of system prompts on the mac.

      ICLOUD needs your new passsord NOW!!

      MAIL needs your new password NOW!!

      ITUNES needs your new password NOW!! after the other, appearing as fast as I could deal with them.

      Once I found the phone, I got similar modal, non-skippable prompts. "Your password needs to be updated - go to settings NOW".

      What. A. Shitty. User. Experience.

      Seriously, Apple, WTF?

      What has happened to all the tech companies, that they now think THEIR requirements and way of doing something trumps anything up to and including user convenience?

  33. Andy A

    iTunes has always been rubbish on Windows. A horrible user interface intent on pushing ads at you, and no sensible options.

    Someone who should have known better wrote a Work Instruction for setting up iPhones here. Having run through the standard options and then configured email, we are supposed to use iTunes to back up the phone before handing it to the user. The user is NOT allowed iTunes on their box, so this has to be done on ours. BAD idea, since iTunes only allows one phone to be backed up. So, if I spend the afternoon setting up a batch of 8, I end up with eight phones all calling themselves "Andy's iPhone" (it renames the phone silently; you can't reconfigure this until after unplugging) and a backup of the last one.

    I was lucky enough not to set up an "Apple Account". If I had, there would be hundreds of iPhones PERMANENTLY tied to my name.

  34. Dan McIntyre

    I use Amazon Music to buy music and have uploaded all the CDs I ripped over the years to it as well. I also use One Drive for photos and documents.

    But I also keep a backup of everything on a separate hard drive which I keep with me at all times in my backpack. This includes new music I buy from Amazon - I have my app on all my machines and devices set to automatically download new music and then this gets transferred to the hard drive at some point too.

    Lesson learnt a year or so back when I lost some old photos which I thought had been uploaded to One Drive. Turned out that folder hadn't sync'ed and I deleted the originals on the machine thinking they were in the cloud.

  35. Cuddles

    Why I never use sync

    This isn't a problem with iTunes, it's a problem with using "sync" functions at all. If I copy and paste files from one device to another, I know exactly what has been moved and where it's been moved to, as well as what might have happened to existing files with the same names and any other conflicts that might arise. If I use sync, all I know is that some things that were in one place might now be in another one. But I don't know what has actually been copied (all files, all new files, all files that don't already exist in the new location, etc.), where it actually is, or what might happen in various conflicts and edge cases. Worse, even if documentation is available, the software could be changed and start behaving differently at any time. A sync function could do exactly what you want for years, then suddenly delete all your local files one day because someone has decided that's how it should work instead.

    The part I really don't understand is why anyone bothers in the first place. Syncing doesn't add any convenience. If I want to backup my phone, it's quicker and easier to just copy and paste all the files than it is to load up some badly written interface software, wait for it to actually find my phone and figure out what to do with it, and then carry out so unknown sync function that may or may not do what I expect but ultimately just boils down to copying and pasting anyway. If there was added convenience I would understand why it seems to be popular, but it seems people are happy to enjoy the added risk and uncertainty in exchange for also being less convenient. Weird.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Why I never use sync

      With the possible exception of the PalmPilot, sync never works the way you want it to. Ever.

    2. Seajay#

      Re: Why I never use sync

      I don't know where you've got the idea that sync is a manual process. If it was, you'd be right that it's not so useful. The reason people bother is that it can be automatic. Automatic is good because it means that when you drop your phone in a lake and your laptop hard drive dies, all those photos you took of your kid's first steps and the novel you just finished are waiting for you on your other devices. You might reasonably say, "that's not sync, that's backup" and you'd be right but you can use it to cut your backup bill. Instead of backing up every version of every file on every device you sync them all to one place then back that up. Also, even if I'm out and about and offline, work I've done on my pc is sat there on my phone if I need it rather than only on a NAS I may not be able to reach.

      I'm using bittorrent sync to sync camera phone photos and docs between my desktop, laptop and phone (and KeePass DB, which is the killer app for me). Seems to work fairly conservatively, if a file is deleted on one device it won't be immediately deleted on the others but moved to deleted items and kept for 30 days. I haven't really tested it for conflicting changes. Thanks for the reminder, I will do.

  36. Matthew 17

    The software has issues but still a user error

    If you want a streaming service with no local content then the software will sack off your local music collection. If you're a spod like me that has 15 different versions of the same album and 50 different versions of the same piece then a basic streaming service isn't going to work. If you ever accidentally push the button to let 'iTunes organise your music' and witness the instant clusterfuck it makes of all your perfectly organised files it's instantly clear how such a streaming service isn't going to work. There's little concept of albums, different recordings or performances, they're just tracks, it's 'this song' by 'that artist' that's all it seems to understand, if you have straightforward music listening habits then it might work.

    I may be one of those odd people that still buys music but I have 1000's of albums all ripped to the computer and use iTunes to play them, other than the software being really slow and clunky after version 10.x I can't say I've ever had something go missing or lose access to my music. If I'm working on a new song then I'll bounce it as an MP4 to iTunes and copy that to my iPhone to audition in the car, again this is more laborious with all the extra shite they've had to add for Apple Music, it would be nice to be able to switch all the extra features off and turn it back into the good ol' days of the iPod.

    But if your music library is important or vital to you, don't run software that you know will delete files!

    1. Andy A

      Re: The software has issues but still a user error

      Windows Media Player is nearly as bad. Several times I have spent ages carefully populating the metadata of an album's tracks only to notice shortly afterwards that some of the tracks have disappeared.

      Hunting around often locates the file, badly renamed, in a folder created by WMP called something like "uvva muusik\best traxx in worrrrdl eva", and with the metadata stamped over with something irrelevant which uses the wrong case for every letter, even where a real word appears.

      Apparently, Microsoft employ people with this level of language skills ( scyllz ??). The people who ring you pretending to be "Windows Technical Support" do better.

  37. ZippedyDooDah

    I have it fixed in my mind that "Apple" is an anagram of "Rip Off".

    The definition of "anagram" is definitely wrong in my dictionary.

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