Ever since Apple Music launched, users have struggled to work out how iTunes combines the unlimited music cloud catalogue with local music stored on disk, and reports of the software deleting original tracks without warning have been thrust back into the spotlight this week.
Now Apple has admitted there is a problem and is going to issue a patch next week to stop it from happening while its engineers investigate further. "In an extremely small number of cases users have reported that music files saved on their computer were removed without their permission," a spokesperson told iMore.
"We're taking these reports seriously as we know how important music is to our customers and our teams are focused on identifying the cause," the statement continues. "We have not been able to reproduce this issue, however, we're releasing an update to iTunes early next week which includes additional safeguards."
Head in the cloud
Like Spotify, Google Play Music et al, Apple Music has to somehow manage blending users' existing, local music collections with millions of streamable tracks in the cloud - and of course there's likely to be some overlap between the two. Licensing rights and DRM just make the situation even more confusing.
It's possible to upload MP3s you own into the Apple Music cloud and then delete the local versions - which seems to be what's happened to 122GB of James Pinkstone's music - but this shouldn't happen automatically, according to Apple.
It sounds like next week's update will at least prevent this mass deletion from happening while Apple tries to find if a software bug is responsible. In the meantime, it might be wise to keep buying your music on vinyl for the time being.
Tune into our first impressions of Apple Music: