The Peril of Surrendering Your Music Library to the Cloud

With just a few more days to go until my Apple Music subscription expires, I’ve been digging through all the remaining non-local music in my library and noting down what needs either re-ripping from CD or reacquiring. That last part is a reminder of a mistake I made long ago, one I’m going to document here so others hopefully don’t repeat it.

Many years ago, when I first got a Spotify account, I made the fatal assumption that anything I added from there would be around in perpetuity, so I didn’t need to keep local copies.

Suffice to say, that most definitely isn’t the case, and I found that out the hard way. 🙁 Much cussing (and cleaning up) followed.

That was my first burn. But worse was to come when I decided to move to Apple Music, and used an online service to transfer over my saved tracks and playlists from Spotify.

It worked… in a sorta-kinda way. I knew at the time that it hadn’t matched some of my library’s items, but not what those were.

And digging through the remaining Apple Music entries reveals that the transfer resulted in some tracks being matched to different albums. Fun! /sarcasm

So my advice to you, dear reader, is this: if you value a particular song or album, make damn sure you have a physical copy, or a digital copy that’s backed up somewhere. Anything that’s on a streaming music service should be considered as what it is, a temporary loan at best. At worst, it could disappear based on the whims of licence and/or rights holders, and may not even exist in the same form on another service.