Apple Music Ain't Perfect

7-24-15 Update: Jim has mostly gotten the issue of the missing music sorted out. Unfortunately it required Apple intervening and explaining the process and even then it's a mess to understand. There's still a lot ahead to make Apple Music the mainstream product it should be.

Apologies for the post title. I'm feeling southern today I guess.

There have been plenty of complaints to go along with the praise for Apple Music over it's first few weeks but yesterday's Apple Music is a nightmare and I'm done with it post by Jim Dalrymple is by far the most damning account that I've read. Here's Jim writing about what I find to be the most offensive and concern worthy part of his whole experience:

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Apple Music gave me one more kick in the head. Over the weekend, I turned off Apple Music and it took large chunks of my purchased music with it. Sadly, many of the songs were added from CDs years ago that I no longer have access to. Looking at my old iTunes Match library, before Apple Music, I’m missing about 4,700 songs. At this point, I just don’t care anymore, I just want Apple Music off my devices.

I trusted my data to Apple and they failed. I also failed by not backing up my library before installing Apple Music. I will not make either of those mistakes again.

That part about backing up his library before installing Apple Music is likely to cause most nerds to shrug off Jim's frustration as a one-off issue that he should've planned ahead to avoid. This is where I point to Jason Snell's further elaboration on the issues Apple Music has had as of late:

Yesterday, Apple had a pretty severe cloud-services outage. And with it went my access to Apple Music. Most of my music listening takes place on a Mac without much of an iTunes library, so I’m largely playing music stored in the cloud. Yesterday, the music stopped. My Mac wouldn’t play anything. My iPhone wouldn’t play more than a few saved tracks. I ended up spending most of the day listening to music via Home Sharing from the Mac mini in my house that’s got a copy of my entire music library.

There was also another (shorter) outage last Friday, when I repeatedly received a message informing me that “Cloud Music Library was not responding (503)” and that I should check my firewall software. When your error messages conjure Windows 95-era Microsoft, you’re doing it wrong.

Between outages and data loss I'm thinking the beta label would've been proper for Apple Music thus far. It's not that it's unusable, I actually think it's pretty great, but it comes with a slew of power user pre-reqs to avoid potential catastrophe. I imagine being a Genius at the Apple Store and having to face someone who lost a large chunk of music because they tried Apple's new music service. There's no easy way to explain that it's brand new and these things happen. I doubt they'll be doling out iTunes gift cards to repair the relationship with those who've lost music they (hopefully) paid for. So with that said, please, please, please keep good backups and tread lightly with Apple Music for now.