Apple Music Support is severely lacking

I came across an albeit rare problem on Apple Music streaming service. There is an obscure 1978 album by a long defunct Canadian group. I have been listening to this album for 45 years and know it inside out and upside down. The problem is that although the track listing is correct, the track titles don’t correspond to the songs actually being played. All the songs are there, but mislabeled and in the wrong order. Should be a simple fix, right? Wrong. I was bounced around to at least 6 different people who treated me like I was an idiot and somehow the problem was on my devices. Eventually of them tried it on his own phone (that should have been step 1) and confirmed the issue. So that should have been it, right? Wrong. The next person who was from the Apple Media department, had me log out of Apple Music and log back in to see if the issue persisted. Really? After their own support person had already verified it. At that point I just asked her straight out why she was torturing me when we have already established that the problem is within Apple Music and not on my devices. All in all over one hour spent on the phone and now they have to do “further research” and get back to me. If there was a mechanism for me to have simply emailed them and let them know the actual track order vs what was listed, it would have taken 5 minutes of my time and they could have fixed it. Period. What a waste of my time. Next time I won’t bother.

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Does Apple still use the crowd supported meta database Gracenote, or do they have their own database of albums and songs? Is there a way to go directly to Gracenote, or is it only available through a music program? I have seen this with other albums when someone has typed in the song names, but gotten something wrong, but because it was a rare album, no one ever corrected it. Can you change it in Music at the computer, by changing the listing and resubmitting it?

Unfortunately you cannot change anything in Apple Music itself, or even report a problem from within the application. What’s interesting is the the tracks are listed in the correct order (I still have the vinyl from 45 years ago) but they jumbled up the actual order of the songs, so this is something different than somebody just typing the wrong names. I remember in the old days in iTunes you used to be able to submit track names. iTunes was dumbed down over the years and Apple Music completed the descent into mediocrity.

As far as I know, Apple still uses the Gracenote CDDB, but I think it’s only used for fetching metadata from CDs.

Songs you stream/download/purchase from Apple’s servers don’t use it. The metadata is pre-populated (presumably) from the music labels that provide the tracks to Apple. If they are wrong, Apple may not be able to do much (depending on the contracts they’ve signed with the copyright holders), but I’d suggest sending feedback so they’ll at least be aware of the problem.

As for sending corrections, if you have inserted a CD and you get bad metadata, you can correct it locally on your Mac and submit it to Gracenote, who may choose to accept or reject it. But that only works for CDs, not for downloads.

I don’t think Gracenote allows unlicensed software to access the CDDB anymore (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about this), so if you want to roll your own CD ripping/identification project you’ll need to either get a license or use some other database. Like the GnuDB database.

Apple support does NOT understand or know how Apple Music works - Catlog problems are out of their control. For instance - if you had an album you bought from Apple a Deluxe version and that version gets updated - your copy gets “extinct” - also if you have 2 albums that were released with different mixes - you might find one supplant the other, and yo have to change one of them (by manually loading, changing the title and track names) so they don’t get overwritten (Frank Zappa anyone? ). Then there’ the Liner notes/Album images conundrum - Every few months for the last 15 years - i have to fix some maladjusted album cover art and dig upmissing liner notes. I put Album art and meta data in songs I published in 2004 while talking to Apple about making it a standard inclusion - a longer story… Even worse - a lot of new music Ad copy talk about explicit liner notes- but they’ll only come with a vinyl copy. (Please note - Mick Ronson’s MAIN MAN records were very kind and accommodating, but that’s not true of s omany others…- Generally, digital Zappa releases have Liner notes) anyhow so much for ranting, I use iTunes Match and I dearly love the random play/genius with my custom music library (esp in my car). It could be better though.

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