What Happens when Music Is Removed from Apple Music

A record label did a test recently to see what happens if they make music available on Apple Music, then remove it. Record labels can choose to allow some or all of their music to be streamed, on an album-by-album or track-by-track basis. In this case, the label made an album available for streaming, then removed one track. When I try to download that track, here’s what I see:

Apple music no longer available

However, I already had a copy of the track, and it still plays. My guess is that it will eventually not be playable, after iTunes has updated my iCloud Music Library.

8 thoughts on “What Happens when Music Is Removed from Apple Music

  1. Amazon and Kindle had a huge PR nightmare a few years ago when spats with at least one publisher caused people who had PAID for books to lose them. I semi-trust Amazon not to do this again because the fallout will be even more spectacular. This is one of only many reasons I refuse to use – in any way, shape or form – Apple Music. I don’t trust it or them. I will be getting the new Apple TV but will never, ever use the Music function. Accessing my own library is a different matter, and it’s all backed up on external (unconnected) media.

    The digital industry needs to be bitten HARD in these kinds of situations. When we pay for something, we expect and deserve to have it permanently – like real books, real movies, real music. And a lot of us have already bought much of our music on multiple media (LP, cassette, CD, and now mp3 or AAC). To lose it because it’s digital is simply unacceptable.

    • This isn’t about what you’ve bought, but what you’re renting. It’s the same as Netflix: their content comes and goes. You have it as long as the rights holders want to allow it to be streamed.

      And the Amazon thing was a pirated book, that the seller shouldn’t have been selling.

      • Thanks for the clarification, Kirk. Even better reasons for me to avoid it entirely. Rented, the way Kindle Unlimited books are rented for a set monthly fee. I tried it briefly but realized the only use for me would be for reading stuff I don’t care about, for $10/month (U.S.) I’ve often reread favorite Kindle books (some of them up to 4 or 5 times). Once you cancel that subscription, all those “rented” titles vanish. I’m a keeper, not a renter,

        I see there were 2 removed Kindle books in 2009, “1984” and “Animal Farm,” by Orwell. The publisher were only authorized to sell in Australia.

  2. Amazon and Kindle had a huge PR nightmare a few years ago when spats with at least one publisher caused people who had PAID for books to lose them. I semi-trust Amazon not to do this again because the fallout will be even more spectacular. This is one of only many reasons I refuse to use – in any way, shape or form – Apple Music. I don’t trust it or them. I will be getting the new Apple TV but will never, ever use the Music function. Accessing my own library is a different matter, and it’s all backed up on external (unconnected) media.

    The digital industry needs to be bitten HARD in these kinds of situations. When we pay for something, we expect and deserve to have it permanently – like real books, real movies, real music. And a lot of us have already bought much of our music on multiple media (LP, cassette, CD, and now mp3 or AAC). To lose it because it’s digital is simply unacceptable.

    • This isn’t about what you’ve bought, but what you’re renting. It’s the same as Netflix: their content comes and goes. You have it as long as the rights holders want to allow it to be streamed.

      And the Amazon thing was a pirated book, that the seller shouldn’t have been selling.

      • Thanks for the clarification, Kirk. Even better reasons for me to avoid it entirely. Rented, the way Kindle Unlimited books are rented for a set monthly fee. I tried it briefly but realized the only use for me would be for reading stuff I don’t care about, for $10/month (U.S.) I’ve often reread favorite Kindle books (some of them up to 4 or 5 times). Once you cancel that subscription, all those “rented” titles vanish. I’m a keeper, not a renter,

        I see there were 2 removed Kindle books in 2009, “1984” and “Animal Farm,” by Orwell. The publisher were only authorized to sell in Australia.

  3. I have some experience with this. When Apple Music premiered, Naxos made available their new recording of John Williams’s cello concerto. I added it to my library, but did not download it. When Naxos removed the recording at the end of July, the image remained in my library, but faded–just like songs on curated playlists appear when they are not available. Of course, I could not play the music. Yet another lesson in the limitation of streaming. It you want to keep your music: buy it, save it, and back it up!

  4. I have some experience with this. When Apple Music premiered, Naxos made available their new recording of John Williams’s cello concerto. I added it to my library, but did not download it. When Naxos removed the recording at the end of July, the image remained in my library, but faded–just like songs on curated playlists appear when they are not available. Of course, I could not play the music. Yet another lesson in the limitation of streaming. It you want to keep your music: buy it, save it, and back it up!

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