Apple Just F’d Me With Beyoncé and the iPhone

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I just bought a new iPhone 6 plus. I know, I’m behind. I’m already regretting this decision, though. Over the past week I’ve been on the phone with a senior apple support person three, count em, three times – for at least an hour each.

The issue? Apple ID.

I’ve been an iPhone user since 2008. I believe it was called 3G then? And I’ve worked through the Apple ecosystem ever since. Over the years, though, Apple has gone through many failures which still haunt users today. Remember Ping – Apple’s social network which came and went before many realized it existed? Well, we were told as musicians to create accounts and that it would be THE new way fans would interact with us. So I gave it a whirl. No big deal to try, right? Except that I had to create a new Apple ID for Ping. Fine, but then that Apple ID got logged into iTunes and I made some purchases with it back in the day. Then that Apple ID found its way to my iPhone.

Remember MobileMe? Another less than stellar Apple pursuit (eventually replaced by iCloud) which I got into bed with to be able to sync my iCal to my phone and MacBook. The problem, though, was they made me create another Apple ID to do this – @me.com. But all the while I had another Apple ID that I had been using for iTunes (in addition to the Ping ID).

Oh and somewhere along the line when iCloud launched it automatically created ANOTHER Apple ID. So now I have 4 Apple IDs – only one of which I regularly use, but because they’re all tied to past purchases I can’t just drop the ones I don’t use.

There’s no way to condense all of these Apple IDs into one. No way to merge. Even though I’m the owner of all of them and have made purchases with all of them. Major failure.

Some glitch made it so I couldn’t log out of an old Apple ID and the senior support guy had to involve Apple engineers to get it all sorted out.

A week later I’m back up and running.

But then, I bought Beyonce’s album Lemonade.

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I wasn’t able to download any more music on my 64GB iPhone 5s because I ran out of space, but now with the 128GB I have some space to fill. So yeah I ponied up the $17.99 and got her album and film.

I’m a Spotify user and the record is not on Spotify – and I wanted to watch the film. I don’t recommend indie artists withhold their music from Spotify, though. Windowing like this doesn’t work for non-superstar artists. All of the press and promotion you put into the release will mean nothing if passive fans (and potential new fans) can’t listen to it on their streaming service of choice. Of course, artists should choose to do what’s best for their specific circumstances, but indies can not and should not model their release strategy off of superstars. They are playing completely different games.

But QueenBey can do what she likes. As can Adele and Taylor Swift. They have the star power to demand attention no matter where their music lives.

+Why I Will Not Buy Adele’s New Album 25. 

But I digress.

I was listening to Lemonade on my iPhone (in the Music app) in my car parked at home. There is a phenomenal sound system in my Highlander and it’s my favorite place to listen to music. I put my seat back, closed my eyes and cranked it up. But then, like your mom pounding on your bedroom door as you’re losing your virginity – the music abruptly cut off. Ah! I was in a trance. Taking it in. What. The. F*ck.

I looked at my phone, yup battery level was fine. I even had put on Do Not Disturb so no phone call would interrupt the experience. Yeah, service at my place is shitty, but this shouldn’t have mattered, I DOWNLOADED the album. Right? What happened? I thought, well, maybe for some reason it was trying to stream it or something. I don’t know why or how because, again, I paid SEVENTEEN DOLLARS and NINETY NINE CENTS for this thing to live on my goddam phone even (especially in shitty service areas). So I turned on airplane mode to just disconnect from the internet completely.

But then, my heart sank.

All of my music disappeared.

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What. The. F*ck.

Turned off airplane mode, music came back. Hmm.

I started investigating. Lots of my music was completely missing. My entire Prince catalog (all 6 albums) disappeared. All of my original music that hasn’t been released – demos, song ideas, co-writes, unreleased tracks, live recordings. Gone.

+I’m An Independent Artist And Apple Music Screwed Up My Entire Discography

What?!

So I put my car seat back up, grabbed my sh*t and marched into my place with Wifi to try and figure out what happened.

It seems that even though I’m not an Apple Music subscriber somehow it was only playing songs that it could sync from Apple Music, or something (Prince is not on Apple Music). Honestly, even after all my Googling and message board reading I STILL don’t know what’s going on. I read that I could make individual songs/albums available offline – but that is a feature of Apple Music. What about all of my songs that had been living on my iPhone?

I plugged my iPhone into my MacBook (with a damn cable – to be extra cautious), re-synced my songs and I got it all back.

But what happened? My songs were there initially when I did the full transfer from the 5s to the 6+. Then I think a Wifi sync happened or an iCloud thing happened or, I honestly don’t know.

This shouldn’t have happened. What ever happened to the Apple of “it just works.”

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Nothing seems to just work any more with Apple. It’s really too bad. It seems the company just can’t succeed without Steve Jobs at the wheel making sure these seemingly tiny inconveniences don’t occur.

But these aren’t tiny. It ruined my listening experience. You only get to experience an album for the first time once and Apple killed that for me.

And also wasted 5 hours of my life on the phone with support.

What’s happening Apple? I used to love you so much.

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog, Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

25 Responses

  1. Me

    Yeah, this was (and I guess still is) a big issue when they launched Apple Music. I think their idea was to make it easier for people to access all their albums/playlists wherever they are, but they did a horrible job at implementing it and in the end made it much more confusing.

    Reply
  2. Andy Karpay

    I hate Apple for many reasons, you’ve just touched the surface.
    Android

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    99% of the time, the problem is between the screen and the chair. There is no reason you would have to create 4 different ID to use these services. Neither MobileMe, iCloud nor AppleMusic forces you to create a new Id each time. I’ve even been using the much older .Mac service ( anyone remembers this ?) before they came out with MobileMe ( then iCloud later) , and my Id simply got transfered from one service to another. I have one Apple Id for everything ( including Connect).
    I have no idea what you have been doing wrong all this time to get in a situation like this…

    Reply
    • Ari Herstand
      Ari Herstand

      It’s interesting, my Apple support rep on the phone admitted he has a few Apple IDs as well for similar reasons. Ping did require me to create another Apple ID. MobileMe wouldn’t use my iTunes Apple ID. iCloud created a new one, but I still had to use @me.com to sign in.

      Reply
      • Billy

        This isn’t true. Ping most certainly didn’t make you create a new AppleID. I’ve been using the same @mac.com address since 2002. Other domains ARE available for me to use but you’re not forced to.

        Reply
    • Bob

      I agree with you. I’ve used all of the services Ari described and at no time has Apple ever required me to create a different Apple ID than my original that dates back many years and has been used on many different iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and iMacs.

      Reply
  4. Bruce

    I hate to say it, but if you have Google Music downloaded, and you make a purchase, you can download the songs for offline use. If you purchase songs from an iphone on itunes, and then you download the same album on your mac (from itunes), “google music manager” will scan and recognize the purchase on your songs on your mac and upload it to a gmail account.

    You can THEN stream and play all of your itunes library on EVERYTHING ios & android. AND EVEN download the new beyonce album from your google music app to your device of choice because HEY, guess what? Google made Google music for iphones too.

    Now Apple will never tell you that you can enjoy your whole itunes library on an android, but hey, thats Apple. Google has repeatedly told people that you can and always will be able to stream and download your library to any device (ios or android).

    The take away, you can play your itunes library on other devices that are not necessarily apples devices with using “google music manager” on your computer (Pc and MAC), AND/OR you can download your itunes library to google music. AND you can always download apple music on an android.

    THE POINT is, the only way to get away from using an apple id on ios devices to either 1) stop using apple devices or 2) stop using Apple software services.

    THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE!!

    Reply
    • Mike

      Too true. I’ve love Google Play Music since I got it, seamlessly integrating my 155 GB iTunes library with the streaming world with no hassle. I have a MacBook as my main computer and an Android phone and Google Play Music allows me to combine the best of both worlds; the vast streaming catalog, along with my own iTunes library that contains artists not on streaming services, bootlegs, etc. Considering the financial and marketing heft of Google, I am surprised they are not doing a better job of competing with Spotify and Apple Music. Google Play Music is a very good product but not many people (at least that I know) use it compared to the others.

      Reply
  5. Ray

    This happens to me all the time. It deletes or pushes music that used to live natively on my phone to the “cloud” and I can no longer access it. Often time my phone even tells me the song is there but it’s just greyed out. This is just the tip of the iceberg of Apple Music’s failures. It’s a user nightmare. It ensures I don’t buy music again (even though I want to) because the file management becomes such a headache. It used to work, and now does not. The dream of the connected cloud died.

    Reply
  6. asdf

    Apple/iPhone/iOS is no longer quite as intuitive as years prior, but that’s just the nature of the beast (especially after Steve Jobs’ passing). As Apple rolls out new features and functions the consumer has to use their head a bit more. I was slow to adopt Apple products (converted in ’08), but I’ve had relatively few problems since then and with a lil’ thing called “Google,” fixing minor issues isn’t a big problem.

    First, it looks like you didn’t need to set up more than two Apple IDs at most, but you did anyway.

    Second, you probably toggled on “iCloud” not realizing wtf you were doing when you first launched your new iPhone. This has been a known problem for over a year now. Shame on Apple, but people who make some minor effort to keep up with tech news should know about this. Didn’t DMN cover this at one point?

    Third, always backup your data on an external drive. I feel very little sympathy when people cry about losing all their data and admitting they never backed anything up.

    Fourth, download from Amazon or other paid services. iTunes is bullshit, and their files are still DRM protected (can’t share ’em, can only use them on a finite number of devices, prone to glitches like this “icloud” bullshit, etc.)

    Reply
  7. Thedenmaster

    He latest updates from Apple are changing a default setting when you install them. I had to change something and re load music on my phone too. Very crappy. Apple Music is a piece of shit. Call it what it is. Totally screws up iTunes. Is it worth an article? No. Is Ari a victim? Of his own.

    Reply
  8. Greg

    I’ve had the exact same issues (multiple log ins due to using MobileMe, having all of my music wiped as soon as I signed up for Apple Music, etc). Totally infuriating.

    Reply
  9. Fuck you.

    You were allowed to loose your virginity in your house?! What the fuck?! How often were you taking other people’s virginities in other people’s houses?! What the fuck?! Sounds like someone hasn’t been buying their c.d.s and have been dependent on a socialist system! Wait. Are you bitching about something? Is Obama supposed to give you some candy little darling?! Oh, you precious thing!

    Reply
  10. Cierrrrrrra

    Exact same thing happened to me after downloading lemonade.. I lost all Prince and now lemonade won’t download at all.. It worked Friday to Monday and then every thing went bad

    Reply
  11. Misha

    The same thing happened to me! I purchase a ton of music but I am also guilty to subscribing to Apple Music to give my pockets a break. I watched Beyoncé’s lemonade and was in awe. So I purchased it. I listened to it for one day before it vanished from my library! I went to my purchases and it was still there. Tried to redownload and it wouldn’t work. Eventually I got frustrated and went to the Apple Store. What a waste of time. Turns out that Beyoncé is so anti Apple Music that if you have a subscription and you’re signed in, you can’t listen to her album. EVEN IF YOU PURCHASED THE SHIT!! So, I’ve decided that I don’t need her album and am currently waiting for my refund from Apple.

    Reply
  12. Beyonce's music is bad and you should feel bad

    I hate Apple and their endless supply of BS, but it’s impossible to feel sympathy for anyone wanting to listen to that soulless trashy faux-revolutionary degenerate.

    Reply
  13. Charlie

    Stop crying. It’s Beyonce. Really nothing to whine about. Did you a favor, you ask me.

    Reply
  14. Don't worry about it

    Sounds like you’re just another little complainer who doesn’t know what they’re doing and automatically blames Apple. Get a life and stop complaining. You sound like a millennial.

    Reply
  15. Jimmy

    I don’t normal reply to stories because the comments section is typically one of the most depressing places online, but I had to reply to this article because there are no facts in it.
    I started using all of the apple services listed above and at no time did I have to create new AppleIDs to use them. No offense to the author but this was user error plain and simple. There are things to legitimately complain about with Apple’s rollout of new services but this isn’t one of them.

    Reply
  16. Definition of entitlement:

    “You only get to experience an album for the first time once and Apple killed that for me.”

    The bubble where people believe this type of stuff is about to pop.

    Reply
  17. Ryan

    This isn’t apples fault. Beyoncé pulled lemonade from apples music and when prince passed her and jay bought the rights To all of princes music and moved it from Apple and other carriers exclusively to tidal. For the same reason many people only stream on Apple “the subscription fee” but the joke is Beyoncé and jay own tidal so the money all comes back to them they weren’t worried about you 17.99 they’re worried about 11.95 per month times as many millions who bought into tidal already.

    Reply

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