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Apple acknowledges music deletion issue, but can’t work out the cause

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If you’re one of the unlucky Apple Music subscribers whose locally-stored music files have been mysteriously disappearing as per recent news reports, then we have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that Apple has now acknowledged the issue and is currently conducting an investigation. The bad news? It has no idea why it’s happening.

In a statement released Friday, the Cupertino company said the problem appears to be affecting an “extremely small number” of subscribers but insisted it was taking all reports from impacted users seriously. It added that although it’s been unable to replicate the issue, it intends to roll out an iTunes update in the coming days that’ll include “additional safeguards.”

Here’s the statement in full:

In an extremely small number of cases users have reported that music files saved on their computer were removed without their permission. We’re taking these reports seriously as we know how important music is to our customers and our teams are focused on identifying the cause. We have not been able to reproduce this issue, however, we’re releasing an update to iTunes early next week which includes additional safeguards. If a user experiences this issue they should contact AppleCare.

The tech firm doesn’t offer any information on the nature of these additional safeguards, which means that if it hasn’t been able to work out the cause of the problem, there’s no guarantee that the update will actually resolve it.

The issue hit the headlines earlier this month when tech sites caught sight of a blog post by James Pinkstone. The Atlanta-based musician said that after signing up to Apple Music, he noticed that, in all, 122GB of original music files disappeared from his hard drive.

“iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple’s database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive,” Pinkstone wrote in a post explaining his experience. Of course, he could still play all of those tracks, but would apparently lose them all if he ever left Apple Music.

Although the chances of Apple Music subscribers being affected by this apparent bug seem pretty small, the episode demonstrates once again the importance of performing regular backups of your music – and of all of your files, for that matter.

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