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How Apple deleted hundreds of gigabytes of some guy’s music by accident


Yesterday Apple said that some users’ claims about iTunes deleting music files are true, to make matters worse, Apple doesn’t know why. The Silicone Valley giant will be rolling out an update for iTunes which will put some additional safeguards to decrease the chances of something like this happening again. Apple was not able to re-create the bug which means they don’t know what’s causing it and cannot completely fix it, this doesn’t mean you should panic, out of the millions of people using iTunes, very few have had this issue under very certain circumstances.

What’s happening?

This issue started ever since the launch of Apple Music last year, it was emphasized in an article created by an iTunes user called James Pinkstone “Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously.” The post went viral and brought up Apple’s attention. In it, Pinkstone talked about how Apple apparently deleted 122GB of his music without his permission after he signed up for Apple Music. A representative that he asked said that Apple Music replaced his songs with cloud versions, accidentally deleting the original files stored on his computer in the process.

What should you do to avoid this issue?

Apple responded to Pinkstone’s blog post with a follow-up phone call. Apple’s full statement makes it clear that the deletion is not intended in the process.

In an extremely small number of cases users have reported that music files saved on their computer were removed without their permission. 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. We have not been able to reproduce this issue, however, we’re releasing an update to iTunes early next week which includes additional safeguards. If a user experiences this issue they should contact AppleCare.

Apple is trying to solve the issue with Pinkstone but for now, we don’t know what happened and if we will ever get a solution because it doesn’t seem to be user-related error. iMore says the bug could be related to Apple’s Cloud Music Library feature, which is created to allow easier access to songs by being able to play them off devices not containing the original file. The whole process is complicated and gets even worse when it starts to interact with other cloud services, Apple Music for example, which iMore says may be what the problem is caused by if you’re using iTunes 12.3.3.

So, until Apple figures out exactly what the problem is and fixes it, make sure to have all your precious MP3 libraries stored on your computer backed up.


Sources: The Verge, iMore


  • Chris says:

    I wonder, what business aspect make apple to decide to release this information? And not try to lay low and pretend it never happened, just intresting. I guess the company is evolving after all.

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