I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

iTunes Again—August 2018

It was iTunes—the Mac application—that started my use of the computer as a music repository, that helped me ween myself away from physical CDs. I immediately saw the benefits, that Apple at the time, touted so well: Mix, Rip, Burn.

The thing was, I was a collector of physical media. I liked CDs. I liked shopping for them, discovering them, and even enjoyed a ritual of opening them up fresh and smelling the pages for the fragrance of the new ink. I'd sink in and begin reading the liner notes. I'd pop in the CD and listen to it, even before ripping it. But then the pristine jewelcase would go onto a shelf and for the remainder of time, I'd be listening and hopefully enjoying that recording in the digital domain.

I did this ripping exercise over and over; first I ripped at 128 kBits and finally now I've re-ripped my collection into Apple Lossless. And of course I've been buying digital media as well. So my collection finally ballooned beyond the confines of my internal hard drive and now all the music sits, shared, on a NAS.

But is it my configuraton, or buggy iTunes, that is to blame?

Single Album, some doubled tracks

Yesterday it was announced Apple had become a trillion-dollar company, the first. But the fact that their music software sucks so badly for me is a mystery, especially so that it is now challenging enjoyment of music.

The problems I'm seeing. (Mac OS X High Sierra, iPhone X, not using Apple Music)

  1. I bought two digital albums and now the tracks are all doubled in iTunes (with one set appearing that it has yet to be downloaded). I don't want to hear each track twice.
  2. I cannot sync my phone to iTunes with music; Apple's digital downloads load fine, however the other music I want to sync over is stuck and appears in the listing with dotted circles next to the tracks with no clear indication why they will not sync. I had this issue when I bought my iPhone X and restored it from my iPhone 7. My only solution at that time was to start over and to begin using the phone like it was a new phone.
  3. Album artwork is now disappearing. It's there, you can see it when you Get-Info on the track and click on "Artwork," but many albums do not appear. I also followed a Kirk McElhearn tip on throwing away the album artwork cache.

I am not sure if any of these issues are related to storing my music over the network. The NAS is nice because of the way I share music (between iTunes on the Mac, Sonos in the home, and a music streaming server upstairs).

New digital albums all have these download icons despite the entire album being downloaded

Or is the issue Apple wanting us to move away from purchased music and to "rent" all of our music? I will say that not being able to enjoy older CD ripped recordings on my phone motivates me to buy new music digitally so I can use my phone like an iPod. But now I'm cursed in both directions. I cannot remove these "downloaded" tracks in iTunes (it only says I can hide them, to which it lies, they are not hidden.)

iTunes Problems with iPhone X