Portmanteau complaint

commented on ios music player sync fail. also whinged about lost album covers. here’s a twofer and another ios14 bug:

first noticed this on carplay. some tune from my neurotically curated playlist was playing. glanced over and noticed the album cover art was entirely wrong: it was a king crimson track but the cover art was from a tangerine dream album. after the phone was synced to the computer, checked the king crimson track. its cover art was correct.

noticed the same issue when hiking a day later or so. checked the phone to see what was playing. again, the cover art was from something else although credits for the track were correct.

any guesses on how apple performs this bit of unwanted magic?

mine is that it has something to do with album art that was automatically fetched from itunes but i’ve yet to find a way to test that theory.

I don’t know what it’s doing, but I’ve been unhappy with how Apple’s music apps have been handling album art for years.

A large portion of my collection was gathered back in the '90s and '00s, when you had to supply most of the art yourself, which I painstakingly did. When iTunes started letting you download the art from their collection for tracks you didn’t buy from them, that was a great help.

But now, of course, there doesn’t appear to be any way to tell Music to re-fetch art. Many of my albums, both old and new, both self-ripped and purchased, have art sporadically missing. There’s a lot of albums for which track #1 has no art while the rest of the tracks have the correct art. Other albums have incorrect art for track #1 but correct for other tracks, while some others are vice versa. Some of the art starting getting messed up when I swapped out my external media drive for a larger one, some of it got messed up when I upgraded from a '10 MBP to a 2019, but a lot of it just randomly got screwed up with no apparent correlated event.

I don’t know what iTunes/Music is doing with album art now, but I wish it would leave it alone unless I ask it to get new art. Period.

sadly, apple is not interested in people who neurotically curate (speaking for myself, you understand) our music collections. they want us to shutup and buy their streaming service, which hoses the artists but is great for apple’s bottom line …

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Unfortunately the biggest problem with ITunes/Music is how easily the database becomes corrupt. I regularly find tracks with the tags from other unrelated tags. They were properly tagged but somehow ITunes gets confused.


finally got annoyed enough about randomly replaced album covers in ios that i posted a screenshot of one on the @applesupport twitter channel. that got escalated to a support advisor who immediately called in a senior advisor who wanted to troubleshoot by restarting the phone i was talking to her on. not useful. finally convinced her to file a bug with engineering.

not that it’ll do an iota of good. waste of time, frankly.

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If the report actually gets to engineering, and if they can reproduce it, then it will get fixed. Engineering is generally much better than customer service.

sorry to disagree but that’s just too optimistic:

about five or six years ago, i reported a bug about (what was then) itunes marking albums after a single track was marked. my bug was closed as a duplicate of a bug with a much lower number. years later, i was still using one of doug’s fabled applescripts to remove the album marking after every restart of the app. that bug lingered into the retirement of itunes. it appears to have finally been squashed in the last couple months. i hope.

also reported a bug in watchos 5 where its music player fails to mark tracks as played. last time i checked, at watchos7, it’s still not fixed.

both bugs were entered using bugreporter, which they’ve discontinued (wonder why).

also, the substitute art bug is a nasty random thing. never discerned a pattern to it. but why art is broken on ios when it’s just fine on the mac is something i’ll bet they’ll punt on.