You are not alone if you've ever wondered if any of your favorite songs have disappeared from your Apple Music library. Songs can be removed from Apple Music for various reasons. It might be licensing issues or a result of controversial artists being widely impugned. This sneak removal of songs doesn't only occur in Apple Music, as other streaming platforms like Spotify also experience similar challenges.
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Why Songs Are Removed From Apple Music
Singers and musicians sign deals with record labels that authorize them to distribute their songs. Often, these agreements have a timeline, and once they expire, the artist or their representatives can decide to pull their music from Apple Music or not renew the agreement. This usually happens when an artist's songs are controversial or the artist has been broadly disgraced. For instance, if artists become entangled in a controversy, their music may be removed from the platform.
Another major cause of songs being removed from Apple Music is licensing problems. Music licensing allows Apple to stream songs on its platform legally. If there is any dispute or issue regarding the music license, Apple may be forced to remove the song from its streaming platform until the issue is resolved.
Similar Issues on Spotify
Like Apple Music, Spotify has also had its share of song removals. The popular music streaming service has faced challenges keeping some artists' discographies for various reasons, such as licensing disputes or artists' disagreements with the streaming platform. Notably, it lost Neil Young's discography in a protest against the service's association with podcaster Joe Rogan.
Impact on Audiences
Such removal of artists' songs or albums affects the streaming platform and disappoints the faithful audience who pays a monthly subscription to listen to their favorite artists on-demand. Nonetheless, these incidents highlight the volatility of streaming platforms and the music industry.
How to Check Deleted Music on Apple Music
If you're worried that Apple Music has removed one of your favorite songs from your library, you can confirm this using a Mac. The steps are pretty straightforward and involve creating an intelligent playlist on your Apple Music account. Here's how it works.
Get a Mac for the Process
It's worth noting that this process requires access to a Mac since creating or editing smart playlists is not currently possible on an iPhone. However, this is not a hindrance for Mac users or those who can access a Mac temporarily for this process.
Sign in on the Music App on Mac
Firstly, ensure that you're signed into Music on your Mac. You can do this by opening the Music app and clicking on the Account menu. If your name appears at the top, you're already signed in. If not, click Sign In and enter your Apple ID and password to initiate the process.
Create a Smart Playlist
After confirming that you're signed in, the next step is to create a smart playlist. This can be done by clicking on File > New > Smart Playlist or using the Option-Command-N (⌥⌘N) keyboard shortcut. A drop-down menu will appear where you must make a few changes. Change the default "Artist" to "Cloud Status" and set “Matched” to “No Longer Available.” Ensure the boxes for “Match for the following rule” and “Live updating” are checked before you click OK. This new playlist, which you could name "Removed Music" or "No Longer Available," will contain any songs removed from your library.
Act on the Deleted Music
After identifying the songs removed from your library, you might want to recover or replace them. Thankfully, Apple Music provides a few avenues you can explore to fill the void left by those deleted songs. There are solutions available, whether it's purchasing music from the iTunes Store, adding MP3 files, or filling in missing information for recently added songs.
Purchase Music from the iTunes Store
If Apple Music has removed certain songs from your library and they appear in your smart playlist, you can often repurchase them from the iTunes Store. One key advantage of this is that the music you buy from iTunes will integrate seamlessly into your Music app alongside the rest of your library. By clicking on 'Show in iTunes Store' in your smart playlist, you may find the songs available for purchase.
Add MP3 Files to the Music App
Another way to recover the lost songs is by adding MP3 files directly to your Music app. If you have managed to obtain the MP3 files of the deleted songs, click and drag them into the Music app. This immediately restores the songs in your library without needing a new purchase or re-downloading.
Fill in Missing Information on Added Songs
After adding the MP3 files, they might miss crucial information like album title, artwork, year, or genre. To rectify this, you can manually fill in the missing data by clicking on 'Get Info' in the sidebar under 'Recently Added.' This allows you to add the much-needed details for each song and, thus, enhance your overall music library. It's important to note that any songs you add, and all the edits you make will sync across your music library.
Alternate Options and Final Thoughts
If, despite all efforts to recover a removed song on Apple Music, it is still unavailable, remember there are other streaming platforms. You can check services like Spotify, Amazon Music, or YouTube Music because they might still have that song in their libraries. However, it's important to note that each streaming service has its unique library, and none can claim to have every existing song.
Common Problem Across All Streaming Services
Having songs removed from your library is a common problem across all music streaming platforms. No service can have a perfect library of all music, and licensing disputes, artist conflicts, or other issues can lead to songs being removed from any platform. Hence, you likely will contend with this problem no matter which streaming service you subscribe to.
Apple Music, however, provides an easy way to identify if a song has been removed from your library and provides a viable workaround to counter this. Apple Music ensures you are well-equipped to deal with such issues, from creating smart playlists to finding possible replacements or even resorting to alternate streaming platforms. Remember, it's also a good idea to regularly check the system status of Apple Music to ensure the app is functioning smoothly and your library remains intact.