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Reminder of a Pitfall of Streaming Music

Screenshot of Apple Music showing the song 'Runs in the Family' by Zandi Holup as 'no longer available'

Music streaming services like Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Spotify, offer a benefit for being able to listen to just about any song anywhere you are. Through the "Made For You" playlists on Apple Music or the "Discover Weekly" playlists on Spotify, you can be introduced to songs that you were not previously aware of. While these are not perfect at predicting what you may want, they can provide you some new music selections.

After you have been using a streaming music service it is quite easy to become complacent and think that the music in your library will always be around, but this definitely not the case. Back in January of 2020 I wrote about a downside to streaming media. In that article I made an argument that you should purchase media that you want to be able to watch at almost any point. This is because media can be removed from a streaming service at any point, for any reason, and without any warning.

In the last week I noticed that two songs are no longer available for streaming. The two specific titles are "It Runs in the Family" by Zandi Holup and "Nicotine and Gasoline" by Nate Moran. The only reason that I noticed that any song was not available was because I wanted to play "It Runs in the Family" by Zandi Holup and that is when I noticed it was "No Longer Available". I did not notice this before because once an item is no longer available it is simply skipped while shuffling.

Since that song was no longer available I went and did some searching and I happen to come across Zandi's TikTok channel where someone asked why the song was pulled from Apple Music. Zandi replied "It is being re recorded !!", so for that one I will just have wait until it is available again.

Screenshot from TikTok where Zandi Holup indicates that her song 'Runs in the Family' is being re-recorded

This is not the first time that I have had a song no longer be available. The impetus for me writing the 2020 article was a similar situation, but that was with the song "Never Told a Lie" by Noah Smith.

Now, I have quite a few playlists, in fact I have 230 different playlists, 31 Smart Playlists and 199 Standard Playlists. A number of these are the monthly music playlists that are on my Playlists page. I have monthly music playlists going back to 2014. This week I created a new Smart Playlist titled "Apple Music - No Longer Available". This playlist has a single rule that is: Cloud Status is 'No Longer Available'.

This new playlist will automatically update with any songs that are no longer available. When I created the playlist it originally showed 8 songs. One of the songs I had was a single titled "Springsteen (Live at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT, March 25, 2017)" by Eric Church. That song was available on another album, so I removed that from my library entirely. The other songs in this playlist are just no longer available, but I am not concerned about those songs.

Screenshot from Apple Music app showing the criteria for my Smart Playlist titled 'Apple Music - No Longer Available'

Because these songs were no longer available, it prompted me to go and purchase a slew of songs, 60 songs to be exact. The songs that I purchased are ones that I would absolutely want to listen if they were pulled from Apple Music. The only reason I knew about any of these songs is due to two other playlists that I have called "Apple Music to Buy" and "Apple Music to Buy Soon". These have different thresholds.

The "Apple Music to Buy" Smart Playlist has two criteria, "Cloud Status is Apple Music" and "Plays is greater than 99". The "Apple Music to Buy Soon" smart playlist has the criteria of "Cloud Status is Apple Music" and "Plays is in the range 50 to 99". Just because items are on these lists does not mean that I will buy them, but it providess me an easy means of being able to see the Apple Music that I have played most often.

Songs are not the only thing that can go away, it is quite common for tv shows and movies to be removed from streaming services. Since you are merely being granted access to the media, remember that it can go away at any point and if you really want to be able to watch it in the future, be sure to purchase it, if it all possible.