iTunes 12.5.5; Be Careful How You Delete Items from Playlists

Apple released iTunes 12.5.5 yesterday, fixing some bugs (such as the network access problem), but creating others.

I discovered this morning that if I try to delete a song from a playlist in Playlist view, iTunes thinks I want to delete it from my entire library. Here’s what happens.

Display a playlist in Playlist view. To do this, choose View > View Options, then choose View As > Playlist. Your playlist displays like this:

Playlist view

Select one or more tracks and press Delete. This should delete the selected items from the playlist, but it doesn’t. iTunes displays the following dialog:

Delete from library

However, if you perform the same operation in any other view – Songs, Artists, Albums, Composers, or Genres – iTunes correctly removes the song from the playlist, and does not offer to delete it from your library.

This is serious for several reasons. First, it is not the expected behavior, and never has been. Second, there’s a Do not ask me again checkbox on that dialog. If you check that box, and don’t read the dialog, any time you delete a song from a playlist in Playlist view, it will be deleted from your library, with no warning.

My guess is that iTunes somehow thinks that all playlists in this view are part of iCloud Music Library; it’s not the case, because I don’t have iCloud Music Library turned on in this library.

I’ve reported this bug to Apple, but, in the meantime, do be careful.

(Geez, Apple, you really need to do more testing…)

Update: A Twitter follower informed me that he is not seeing this. But he confirmed that he uses iCloud Music Library. The dialog is actually what you’d see when deleting a track from an iCloud Music Library, and that is the bug; that iTunes sees a playlist in Playlist view as being an iCloud playlist. The library where I discovered this does not use iCloud Music Library, and never has. So if you use iCloud Music Library, you won’t see this bug.

24 thoughts on “iTunes 12.5.5; Be Careful How You Delete Items from Playlists

  1. I don’t get this behaviour, and I have never used any of iTunes cloud features (neither iCloud Music Library or Apple Music). When I hit ‘Delete’ or cmd-Delete, I get the following (correct) dialogue:

    “Are you sure you want to remove the selected song from the list?”

    If I hit opt-Delete, I get the dialogue you show above, which is also the correct behaviour. I am viewing my playlist in Playlist View. So whatever you’re seeing is triggered by something other than not being an iCloud playlist.

  2. I don’t get this behaviour, and I have never used any of iTunes cloud features (neither iCloud Music Library or Apple Music). When I hit ‘Delete’ or cmd-Delete, I get the following (correct) dialogue:

    “Are you sure you want to remove the selected song from the list?”

    If I hit opt-Delete, I get the dialogue you show above, which is also the correct behaviour. I am viewing my playlist in Playlist View. So whatever you’re seeing is triggered by something other than not being an iCloud playlist.

  3. I don’t see this either and neither do I use iCloud Music Library. I’ve tried Delete from a Playlist in “View as Songs”, and I get the typical “remove from list” dialog box.

    • As I say in the article, this occurs when I choose View As > Playlist. Others are not seeing this, however, and I’m trying to figure out what the variable is.

      • Sorry I somehow missed where you wrote View As > Playlist. However, when I change the view to View As Playlist, I still don’t see the behavior you see.

  4. I don’t see this either and neither do I use iCloud Music Library. I’ve tried Delete from a Playlist in “View as Songs”, and I get the typical “remove from list” dialog box.

    • As I say in the article, this occurs when I choose View As > Playlist. Others are not seeing this, however, and I’m trying to figure out what the variable is.

      • Sorry I somehow missed where you wrote View As > Playlist. However, when I change the view to View As Playlist, I still don’t see the behavior you see.

  5. I don’t see this behavior, either, but I didn’t update iTunes until this morning, and when I checked the version number, it’s 12.5.5.5, so maybe they already pushed out an update?

  6. I don’t see this behavior, either, but I didn’t update iTunes until this morning, and when I checked the version number, it’s 12.5.5.5, so maybe they already pushed out an update?

  7. Like Scott, I have version 12.5.5.5 (three 5s), and I don’t see this behavior. I have never used iCloud Music. I’m curious about what would happen, if a user affected by this bug had previously checked the “Do not ask me again” notification for deleting songs from the library. It seems possible that they would not be warned, and songs would be deleted from their library without their knowledge, due to a choice made before the appearance of this bug.

  8. Like Scott, I have version 12.5.5.5 (three 5s), and I don’t see this behavior. I have never used iCloud Music. I’m curious about what would happen, if a user affected by this bug had previously checked the “Do not ask me again” notification for deleting songs from the library. It seems possible that they would not be warned, and songs would be deleted from their library without their knowledge, due to a choice made before the appearance of this bug.

  9. So it really depends what type of playlist.

    If I view a manually build playlist (Right click at the bottom of the sidebar, choose “New Playlist”, name it and then fill it), nothing wrong happens. that is Delete / Cmd Delete throw the usual dialog.

    However, if I view a Smart Playlist, then things go “wrong”, I see the same dialog as what Kirk flags. I have use iCloud Music Library long long time ago, found it not very useful _for me_, and quit that. I checked with a playlist that _only_ contains items that cannot in any conceivable way be available on Apple Music (bootleg recordings that never have seen a public release, stuff that often comes directly from the musicians themselves)

  10. So it really depends what type of playlist.

    If I view a manually build playlist (Right click at the bottom of the sidebar, choose “New Playlist”, name it and then fill it), nothing wrong happens. that is Delete / Cmd Delete throw the usual dialog.

    However, if I view a Smart Playlist, then things go “wrong”, I see the same dialog as what Kirk flags. I have use iCloud Music Library long long time ago, found it not very useful _for me_, and quit that. I checked with a playlist that _only_ contains items that cannot in any conceivable way be available on Apple Music (bootleg recordings that never have seen a public release, stuff that often comes directly from the musicians themselves)

  11. Be careful when deleting songs from the “Purchased” playlist. You get two options. “Delete From Library” and “Remove Download” The first option does remove the song from the playlist, but the song remains in your library. The second option deletes the song from your library, causing you to have to re-download it. Apple could alleviate confusion here with simpler descriptions.

  12. Be careful when deleting songs from the “Purchased” playlist. You get two options. “Delete From Library” and “Remove Download” The first option does remove the song from the playlist, but the song remains in your library. The second option deletes the song from your library, causing you to have to re-download it. Apple could alleviate confusion here with simpler descriptions.

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