I have just subscribed to the Apple Music service.

I want to be able to create a playlist from songs on Apple Music that are not necessarily in my Library (to save on space).

However, when I try to add a song to a playlist, it asks me to "Sync your library".

My current setup is that I have many many songs on my mac, and I have just a subset of them on my iPhone. I fear that turning on syncing in that way will change that. Hence my question : what does Syncing your library actually do?

  • Does it send all my songs to my iCloud drive? If so, it is undesirable to me to use my iCloud storage for my songs

  • Does it really make my library identical on my mac and my iPhone? That seems very undesirable also, due to the low disk space on my iPhone.

  • Is there no workaround?

  • You cannot create playlists on Apple Music unless you enable iCloud Music Library. This means you are giving Apple access to the local library, which they will attempt to upload into iCloud. It also means you're giving Apple license to screw up your local library by replacing local tracks with protected Apple Music tracks as they see fit. Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


It is a bit unbelievable, but there is no exact information available from Apple apart from: just turn it on.

When I switched on Sync Library in Music preferences/general it uploaded my songs to Apple. It does not count against your iCloud disk size. My library was quite big +100GB. Lower quality songs were replaced with better quality songs. Albums that are not on Apple Music are uploaded and are available to all your devices after upload. But some albums are incomplete after the sync. I don't know why. Meta data also was replaced. So, better have a backup ready. But I think the original files on your drive should(?) be safe. But the Library will definitely be altered. If your Library is small and simple, it will probably just work(tm). For me, it was a mixed bag. Have a backup ready.

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