Snopes declares Apple Music deletion fears ‘mostly false’

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Apple Music
Everyone can stop burning their phones as warlocks.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

You’ve done it now, Apple Music-phobes. Now Snopes is involved.

The myth-busting website, which has ended several of my burgeoning Facebook arguments before anyone could call anyone else a Nazi, has turned its attention to this week’s claims that Apple’s streaming service is just reaching into your computer and absconding with your music. And it has good news for the people who are frantically clutching their tunes like virtual teddy bears.

According to Snopes, the rumors we’ve heard are “Mostly False.” But here’s what that means.

Today’s post comes in reaction to that horror story that we — and several other sites — shared in which Vellum Atlanta blogger James Pinkstone claimed that the service had deleted over 100GB of files from his computer. Some of that, he said, included his own work as a freelance composer.

Snopes concludes that while it’s true that “Some users have had music files deleted after signing up for Apple Music [. . .] Apple is not ‘stealing’ music from people’s personal computers; the deletion of files was likely the result of user error or a problem with software.” It reached this conclusion based on Apple’s support site and a report from iMore managing editor Stephanie Caldwell.

The confusion and fear about Apple Music comes from some misunderstanding about how the iCloud Music Library feature works in both the streaming platform and the separate iTunes Match service. But the two key takeaways are that neither Apple Music nor iTunes will delete anything unless you tell them to and that you should always, always back up your files for this exact reason.

And now that we’ve sorted that out, we’re going to go figure out if KFC really had to change its name because it could no longer legally call what it was serving “chicken.”