I have a big music library that I assembled through years of purchasing music from iTunes and CDs.

I would like to give Apple Music a try but what happens to the music that I own? Particularly worried about the music that I bought from iTunes as I paid a lot for that.

3 Answers 3


Your local iTunes library will stay the way it is—with or without an active Apple Music subscription.

If you subscribe but decide later on that you do ’t want to use Apple Music any longer, what will happen is that on other devices, that are not your main iTunes library device, you cannot stream songs any longer. Synchronising songs will still work as it did before Apple Music came out. What you put into your iTunes library before subscribing to Apple Music will stay in there.

To quote iMore.com’s Apple Music FAQ:

What happens if I decide not to subscribe after the three month trial?

Any streaming music you've added to your library from the Apple Music catalog will no longer be playable; you'll stop having access to Connect content; you'll be skip-limited when listening to Apple Music radio stations; and unless you have iTunes Match enabled, you won't be able to stream your previously purchased and uploaded music to your devices, and any songs from your Mac's library that you've downloaded to other devices will be removed. (Your Mac's original iTunes library remains as-is.)


Nothing would happen to the music you bought on iTunes or the music that came off of your CD's etc …

The music you purchased from iTunes is connected to your iCloud account so that if you try to purchase it again, it knows that you've already purchased it. In addition you'll be able to download your purchased music through iTunes on you Mac, iPhone, iPad etc …

The CDs are a different story. If you have the songs on your computer and on your phone and you cancel Apple Music, they'll stay there, but if you delete the songs off of every device they're on then they're gone.

Apple Music stores all the songs you add from Apple Music to “My Music”. If you enable iCloud Music Library, then those songs you added off of Apple Music will be accessible on every other device that has iCloud Music Library enabled as well. You can choose to add said CD songs to your iCloud Music Library and be able to play them on all of your devices. If you decide to cancel Apple Music, all of your songs in “My Music” will no longer be available but all the songs downloaded off of iTunes will be, your CDs won't be accessible through iCloud Music Library unless you pay for that separately. You'll still have your CDs on your computer or wherever the physical copy is.

In short,

You will lose non of your paid iTunes music as you can re-download them off of iTunes.

You will lose non of your CD music as long as you don't delete them off of every device.


"Your local iTunes library will stay the way it is—with or without an active Apple Music subscription."

This is not true. The metadata associated with much of your music will be changed, which is very annoying.

I have over 50k tracks in my iTunes library, gathered from CDs and downloads since the early 90s.

Apple Music changed the metadata on thousands of tracks, so "Dylan, Bob" was changed to "Bob Dylan" for example. It's incredibly frustrating.

iTunes also now displays music that I downloaded years ago and have since deleted, and there is no easy way to hide music that is not actually on my computer.

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