Since the early days of iTunes Match, and then later with Apple Music and iCloud Music Library – now called simply Cloud Music Library – there have been issues with tracks added to your library not matching correctly. Here is one example from 2015, when I added a big collection of music by Frank Sinatra to find that it matched as eight different albums.
I recently added a new collection of music by Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark called Souvenir. Looking in the Recently Added section of the Music app, I see this:
Night Café contains one track, The Punishment of Luxury contains 13 tracks (including the first track twice), and the other edition of the same album contains two tracks.
What apparently happens when you add music from Apple Music to your library is that it then gets matched; in other words, it gets added from the cloud, then the Music app tries to match it. Even though the metadata on the original album is correct, the matching process, which uses acoustic fingerprinting, re-matches tracks with different albums. In some cases, these are the original albums, in others, different collections.
But this doesn’t make sense. Since I haven’t downloaded those tracks yet, why are they being matched again? And why incorrectly? As Apple Music tracks – this information is in the files – why would anything change which albums they come from?
This is one of the more frustrating issues with Apple’s music could, because you simply cannot trust it to match your music correctly. The fact that it happens to Apple Music tracks is really quite odd, because those tracks should never change. This is one of the reasons why I still refuse to put my personal music library, which is carefully and precisely tagged, in the cloud. I use my second Mac to store my cloud library, and add some music from the main library on my iMac. The fact that Apple consistently makes this kind of mistake befuddles me.