I have 6,000 songs in my iTunes library and signed up for the Apple Music 3-month trial a while back when it was first offered, including iCloud Music Library.

After matching, about 3,000 of them are marked 'Apple Music' in the 'iCloud Status' column.

This is improper, as most of these were ripped from cds I own, and hundreds of them are actual live recordings I made myself (rehearsal recordings; I'm a songwriter).

Obviously, this is a problem on my iOS devices; they play different songs.

But I'm also concerned about what happens if I cancel my subscription. I've read that songs you've added from the Apple Music service will disappear. Obviously, I don't want my own songwriting recordings to disappear, but I worry they might since they are improperly marked 'Apple Music'. I have them backed up in time machine and elsewhere, but it would still be a huge hassle to audit the results, discover what is and isn't deleted, and add them back in.

I guess my question is twofold:

  1. What happens to songs that are improperly marked 'Apple Music' if you cancel your subscription? If I choose to cancel, what is the best way to ensure all my recordings remain?

  2. If I choose to stay subscribed, for songs that are improperly marked 'Apple Music' and should be 'Uploaded' instead, how can this be repaired? (I've been reluctant to pick 'Update iCloud Music Library' because of all the warnings to back up your library first - is this safe in my case?) What is the best way to repair my library?

  • This Apple Discussion may give you some clues as to what happened. You will not be happy.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 20:23
  • That's interesting... I can read all those comments as them saying that their content is messed up on their iOS devices, and not necessarily their computers - unless they deleted from their computer. In my case, my originals on my computer are still okay and I'm not deleting them. Everything is crazy messed up on my iOS devices, though, seems like every fifth song is wrong. But my main worry is that if I cancel, songs will get removed from my computer.
    – tunesmith
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 23:07
  • To reduce the chance of losing anything, I'd copy the iTunes music folder (~/Music/iTunes) onto its own external HD or another location on your HD if you have the space. 6k files isn't very much, relatively speaking, (I have > 37k files, ~146Gb.) To make it quicker, I'd use the Terminal command cp. Ex: cp ~/Music/iTunes ~/Desktop/iTunesBackup. Test this command before you try it. The cp command avoids the overhead that Finder imposes on copy-drag operations and is generally much quicker as a result. cp is essential when moving many thousands/millions of files as Finder will choke.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 2:35

1 Answer 1


Figured I'd answer my own question. I made two attempts to contact Apple Support and another attempt to post to Apple Discussions, with no results.

So I copied my entire iTunes library to a backup disk, and did my best at keeping notes at how many songs I had, which were what status, etc. I knew if things went south, I'd have quite a project in figuring out what songs to restore, but couldn't think of another alternative.

After I finished backing up, I loaded my original desktop iTunes library, and picked "Update iCloud Music Library".

It took about 90 minutes for 6,177 tracks, first analyzing music, and then uploading to iCloud. And the end result is that it looks like it resolved matters perfectly.

I've seen other articles from the past indicating that "Update iCloud Music Library" only led to partial success, and led to people doing long involved processes like opening a new library, deleting all their tracks there, and then going back to their original one to re-analyze and download, but to me that seems more error-prone and unnecessary.

Brief stats: Before I did the update, I had:

Apple Music: 2912
Uploaded: 2486
Matched: 8

After the update, I had:

Apple Music: 43
Uploaded: 3135
Matched: 2228

The rest of my songs stayed consistent in status (Purchased, Ineligible, No Longer Available, Waiting, Error). So far I don't see any songs that are improperly categorized, and all of my personal recordings are properly Uploaded.

I still don't know what would have happened if I had canceled, but matters seem improved now.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .