Can Apple Music delete downloaded music files without permission? Apple says: maybe!
At the very least, Apple is “taking these reports seriously.”
In a statement provided to iMore about recent reports and fury over missing MP3s, Apple said:
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.
Earlier this month, iTunes user James Pinkstone wrote a blog post about how Apple Music, a streaming service, caused 122GB of music in his iTunes music database to go missing. Instead, his songs were replaced with Apple’s DRM-protected Apple Music files.
There was a fair amount of pushback to Pinkstone’s post, with most saying what happened to Pinkston was user error. Even urban legend debunker Snopes called the report “mostly false.”
Since then, other people have said that iTunes and Apple Music have deleted their music files, too, but the actual mechanism is still unclear given that Apple hasn’t confirmed what the problem is yet. One possibility is that it’s a database error in iTunes, iMore says.
Note that Apple says that it hasn’t been been able to reproduce the problem. Still, it sounds as if there will be an emergency bug-fix update to iTunes next week with “safeguards” — which probably means additional warning pop-up dialog boxes.