It’s an experience I’m sure we’ve all had. Your flight takes off, you browse through the music selection on the in-flight entertainment system, decide you’d rather listen to your own Apple Music downloaded playlists, and then… find they are no longer on your iPhone.
Downloaded music seems to have a habit of disappearing from our iPhones right when we most need it …
I used to keep all my music permanently loaded on an iPod, so I always had all my music all the time. At home, I also streamed all my music locally, from a dedicated netbook and external hard drive connected to my hifi.
I long since switched to streaming music as my primary source, and with unlimited data both at home and on my iPhone, I mostly stream from Spotify* or Apple Music directly.
*It’s a long story why I use both, and I do plan to drop one or the other before long.
However, while Apple sometimes acts like it thinks we all live in an always-connected world of high-speed internet, most of us don’t. We travel on underground metro services that have limited or patchy wifi. We fly on planes with either no wifi or plans which exclude streaming. We even sometimes visit places in the world with poor or non-existent mobile coverage.
So there’s still a role for local music storage, and happily both Apple Music and Spotify allow us to download music for offline listening. Indeed, just yesterday Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said that the company was testing going further, and automatically downloading your recently-played music too.
The problem I find with both services, but more often with Apple Music, is that it isn’t always there.
There’s one obvious scenario: when we buy a new iPhone and forget to re-download music. But I’ve also had the same thing happen with iOS updates, and sometimes without any apparent trigger. Perhaps when the wind is from the west.
I can accept that there are scenarios where I need to re-download music, but what I don’t want is to have to do this manually each time. What I especially don’t want is not to know my offline playlists are gone until I need them.
My feature request, then, is a very small one. Every time I download music, Apple Music should tag it in the cloud. Then if downloaded music is lost, the app should automatically re-download it overnight.
That way, it will always be there when I need it, whether that’s after switching to a new iPhone, upgrading to a new version of iOS, or the wind changing direction.
Is this an issue you’ve experienced, and a solution you’d like to see? Please take our poll, and share your thoughts in the comments.
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