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    I’ve noticed a common pattern with these stories, whether it apple deleting your music or Facebook bondoogling your socials.

    1. User reports current status, post tragedy.

    2. User explains how it must have happened: because evil.

    3. Hundreds of comments: “Same thing happened to my brother’s neighbor!” “Works for me!” “Should have used erlang!”

    4. Zero people provide a means to replicate the disaster.

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      But what exactly do you expect? We as consumers don’t exactly get paid to troubleshoot these products. Why should it be on “us” to figure out what’s wrong here, instead of on “them” to make sure their products work as users expect?

      Especially when these companies never like to discuss any of these defects in the open, and never want to admit into having any issues, “please contact our 1-800 number to have our clueless support staff try to resolve your issues”. Doing your own homework sadly never puts you into any advantage here.

      I think there should be something like an open Bugzilla where you can report bugs in various proprietary commercial software, where the vendor would not be allowed to simply sweep the issues under the rug, and users could get ranked on the quality of the reports they write. Kind of like StackOverflow or GitHub. Otherwise, why should we volunteer our time and do unpaid no-attribution consulting for these companies making big $$$$ from all of their prototype-quality products, when these same companies couldn’t even be bothered to do some of the simplest use-case tests of their stuff on their own?

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        My understanding is that something like this happened.

        1. Victim set up apple music.

        2. Apple music backed up their music collection to cloud.

        3. Victim deleted originals.

        4. Apple music dutifully downloaded new copies of music.

        5. User cancels Apple music, complains that their backup went away.

        That’s pretty much exactly how I’d expect a backup service to work. There seems to be some confusion regarding step 3. Original poster doesn’t mention doing that. Author of this post suggests it’s most likely cause for the observed symptoms. And that’s my point. The original complainant never remembers the things they don’t remember.

        If you go back and read the original post and everything the support person said, it all makes perfect sense in the context of a user who downloaded a copy of their music library. The copy does go away when you cancel the service. But if the user thinks those are the originals… It’s extremely easy for two people to be talking past each but actually thinking they are in complete understanding.

        Ever talk someone through a problem over the phone? Now click on the link. “I am clicking on the link!” What’s happening? “Nothing is happening!” FaceTime is amazingly helpful. It is unbelievable what people will click on and report back that they clicked the link.

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          The user in question explicitly states that they did not delete the originals. You can chose to believe that’s a lie but why give Apple the benefit of the doubt here?

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            I think they earnestly believe that, so I wouldn’t call it a lie. But belief is not truth. I’m generally inclined towards X plantations that require the fewest people to be evil, and explanations that rely on technical facts instead of human memory.

            Also, broader explanations are better. “Apple steals music” doesn’t explain why some people didn’t have files deleted. “Apple doesn’t steal music” does.

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        Here’s an interesting story to compare and contrast. You may remember the incident as well. “Facebook Users Report Seeing Old Private Messages Showing Up On Timelines” HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4565969

        Read through the comments.

        There are lots of people “confirming” that this happened. “I know those messages were private because I know they were.” That is the best proof anyone can offer. I say so.

        An alternative explanation is offered: These are old “wall-to-wall” posts which were always public, but less visible. The change has been that they’ve “surfaced”. No, no, that can’t be true. I would remember.

        A facebook engineer, who probably knows more about their database schema than internet randos, points out the posts are even stored in different databases. This does not appease the people who remember things differently because human memory is infallible.

        An email confirmation would certainly settle the matter, but conveniently every single person who had their messages exposed has switched to a new email address and doesn’t have the original notification.

        With the the passage of time, I think it’s easier to look back objectively and balance the evidence. But people were certain they were right. Certain! It’s hard to admit you may have been confused by a misleading interface.

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          “Should have used erlang!”

          This made me laugh so hard, thank you!

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          “But the plans were on display …”

          “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

          “That’s the display department.”

          “With a torch.”

          “Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”

          “So had the stairs.”

          “But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”

          “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard.”

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            Ha, no argument Apple could be more transparent. But the initial post (and comment thread, for that matter) could have been much more informative without the “they’re coming to steal your datas” speculation. “How to safely use Apple Music” would be a great post.

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            What a terribly worded dialog box, I’ve stayed there reading it for a while and I’ve decided that “Remove download” is what would remove the song from iCloud but keep it on the hard drive. However, according to the article, this option would delete it from the drive and leave it on iCloud. So I guess “Delete Song” is the right button if you want to keep the song. How stupidly confusing.

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              I’ve turned off iCloud on all of my apple devices because all of the messages around it are very unclear. It’s hard to tell what’s being deleted or moved and exactly where files are going.

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              It is important to remember that the guy talked with an Apple representative and she couldn’t explain this to the guy. Or maybe the guy didn’t get it. Maybe the blog post would have been different if she would told him “there was a dialog asking you if you wanted to delete your local files and you tell it to do it”. For some reason the guy finished his communication with the Apple representative with the idea that Apple Music uploads your library and deletes your local files. Then only serves mp3 versions of your backed-up files.

              So, he experienced this situation, talked with an Apple representative and end up with the idea that Apple Music was having a dangerous behavior. He made a mistake or the Apple representative made a mistake. Hopefully this will help to improve the situation and less people will be losing their music collection. Also, more people will be more aware of the dangers of subscription-model services.

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                The original author suggests that 122GB of data disappeared. Now, it may be a misunderstanding of how the service works, and the files maybe safe on another iCloud connected computer, but the author didn’t seem like a fool. Someone is in the wrong here, and I am guessing the party at fault has billions of dollars in the bank.

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                  The original post was a little fuzzy on the timeline. They say that iTunes scanned their hard drive and deleted all their music. That sounds almost instantaneous. But it’s much less clear when they noticed. How many people sign up for Apple Music and then immediately scan their hard drive for missing files?

                  It’s also a pretty easy claim to verify. Sign up for Apple Music. Did your files disappear? I don’t have a Mac anymore or I could test this myself, but surely somebody else can perform this test as easily.

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                    So all I can account for is my own use of things. I have my iTunes library on a samba share to a freebsd nas box running zfs. I snapshot the library every day/week/month (with removals and have a snapshot from right before i turned this on).

                    All I can say is the difference between the snapshot prior to iCloud, and post iCloud does not show deleted files. Past that why anyone wouldn’t have backups of their super important stuff is beyond me. Always keep local backups, or some sort of backup. I know he said he had backups and that is how he recovered but all i’d take away from this is cloud services are terribad.

                    It is nice to stream your library on a laptop without chewing up diskspace needlessly though. The normal iTunes library can stay on a network mount if i need it. You can hold option down when you open iTunes and point it at a different library directory. Thats how I keep this stuff separated on my laptop, local iTunes dir is for streaming, if i need something off the other, i vpn into home and mount the nas drive.

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                      It’s also a pretty easy claim to verify. Sign up for Apple Music. Did your files disappear? I don’t have a Mac anymore or I could test this myself, but surely somebody else can perform this test as easily.

                      No, it is definitely not as easy. You are disregarding how iCloud plays into all of this, how disc space management works (which automatically deletes certain “recoverable” files upon certain conditions), which country the user is in (who knows what sort of bugs that would trigger) etc etc.

                      I think your comment about Erlang is actually quite spot on for the situation. ;-)

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                        It’s also a pretty easy claim to verify.

                        Unfortunately, speaking as someone with some knowledge of how the sausage is made, the semantics of Apple’s music offerings are far too complicated to be easily understood. How do iCloud Music and Apple Music interact? What does Apple Music use to determine song identity? What triggers the cleanup behaviors? How does Apple Music interact with my local iTunes library?

                        It’s a non-Euclidean pig’s breakfast, and every new thing that they jam into it makes it creak and bulge and slaver and ooze all the more.

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                          Your right, it’s a bit light on details. But, I, too, have been confused by Apple’s help text. I am guessing this happened here. Not sure which settings or anything, but help text should be unambiguously clear, and to the point. That’s why I’m accusing Apple. That said, it should, like you said, be easy to verify this…

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                        When I first signed up for Apple Music, they scanned my computer for local files. Those files were added into Apple Music and uploaded to iCloud, but the files are still on my machine.

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                          You can, however, download iCloud Music Library-sourced tracks on your Mac if you delete your original copies — and this is what I suspect may have happened to Vellum Atlanta author James Pinkstone’s original library, possibly unknowingly.

                          A Mac sounds so much like the classical monkey’s paw.