Never let it be said that Apple doesn’t go above and beyond the call of duty in troubleshooting problems for its users in the name of achieving customer satisfaction.
After James Pinkstone, director of design service Vellum, posted a terrifying story on his company blog claiming that iTunes Match stole his files, Apple sprang into action — sending two engineers to his house to troubleshoot the problem.
The power of bad publicity, eh?
According to Pinkstone, two Apple engineers named Tom and Ezra arrived at his home and spent “most of Saturday” working on the fault — even calling in the services of other Apple employees via conference calls — to try and recreate the deletion bug.
“We spent hours troubleshooting, but the problem eluded us,” Pinkstone wrote. “The problem wasn’t cut-and-dry, therefore has proven difficult to replicate. For example, one of the many confusing things about the initial file loss was that only most of my music files had disappeared. Most, but not all. To further muddle the issue, the missing—and remaining—files had little in common; some were WAV, others Mp3, others protected AAC files that I’d purchased when iTunes went through its 2003 through 2009 “controlling boyfriend” phase. Genre, size, and artist name varied greatly among the missing files, as did date added. There was no discernible pattern.”
Among the things Apple’s engineers attempted was hooking an external drive up to the MacBook, running a specialized version of iTunes — although it sounds like the efforts were ultimately in vain.
“One of the things on which Tom, Ezra, and I seemed to agree was that Apple is not off of the hook yet,” Pinkstone concludes. “Their software failed me in a spectacular, destructive way; and since I rang that bell, many people have come forward with similar stories. Some may be a result of user error, but I have a hard time believing all are. I think Apple does, too; which is why, as of this writing, they have stated they are currently working on an iTunes update with additional safeguards added. If they can’t yet isolate the bug, they can at least develop measures to combat it.”
Apple, for its part, has acknowledged the bug by telling The Loop that: “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.”
A new iTunes update reportedly solves the problem.