Apple Music’s Arrival Has Some iTunes Users Complaining
Apple Music is Apple’s newest shiny toy in the music department. As far as music streaming services go, the recently launched Apple Music certainly has plenty to offer, and even adds an online 24/7 radio station plus a social feature that allows users to connect with their favorite musical artists.
But it appears that not everyone is happy with the arrival of Apple Music, even some of Apple’s fans. It seems that a number of iTunes users are complaining that because of the launch of Apple Music, obstacles have been created for those who use iTunes.
Before the arrival of Apple Music (released as part of the launching of iOS 8.4, the latest version of Apple’s iOS 8 mobile operating system), iTunes users were making use of the Home Sharing feature, which let them share their central iTunes library across their home network with other computers and even mobile devices powered by iOS. Basically, Home Sharing provided iTunes users with a quick and easy way to access their whole iTunes library of tracks and video content from any iOS running handset.
However, with the launch of iOS 8.4 and the release of Apple Music, the Home Sharing feature has been disabled, specifically the ability to share music. Yes, the feature still functions from computer to computer and also on Apple TV, and even still allows sharing of video content. But when it comes to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices, the sharing capability has been removed.
As reported by AppleInsider, the Home Sharing feature was listed as “not currently available” in the release notes to the iOS 8.4 beta notes. There is no way of knowing if it is only temporarily disabled, or gone for good. But one must wonder -- why deactivate the feature in the first place?
It is quite possible that it was just Apple’s way of funneling current iTunes users to sign up for Apple Music’s family plan (costing $14.99), which basically allows a maximum number of six users to enjoy access to an entire library of Apple content. Or, it may have something to do with licensing issues. Apple probably does not have the rights to let any song acquired via Apple Music be streamed via Wi-Fi (which the Home Sharing feature does), as offered by the folks at 9to5Mac.
Regardless of the underlying reason, iTunes users now have no other choice but to upload their whole iTunes library to iCloud if they want to be able to listen to their music from any iOS mobile device. But wait -- with iOS 8.4 and iTunes 12.2, Apple incorporated a new iCloud Music Library option. This feature matches and stores the user’s local iTunes music and videos in the cloud so that the user can access them anywhere, anytime. It also supports offline listening. Some users are starting to complain however that iCloud Music Library is making a mess of their local iTunes library. Album art are sometimes not matched with their correct corresponding tracks, playlists sometimes disappear, and worse of all, some tracks are being moved to albums they do not belong to, and in some cases, are even deleted. If you are an iTunes user who spent years building your library, you would be foaming at the mouth at such indignity.
Newly launched products or services are not immune to a few kinks here and there. But in the case of this Apple Music fiasco, Apple better find a way to fix this soon. After the Taylor Swift spat, Apple really does not want to get into another bad publicity situation. The good news is that these issues can be addressed -- Apple just needs to take action right away, aside from just listening.