iCloud Music Library is Apple’s music storage service. When logged into the same iCloud account on all your devices, the feature will sync all your songs, albums and playlists, and even restore purchased songs, whether you bought them on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. If you have a large music library, downloading across devices can take hours or even days. In addition, some people find that iCloud Music Library messes up your track metadata, which you may find inconvenient. Fortunately, you can disable or turn off iCloud Music Library. Doing so is easy and should only take a few seconds.
If you subscribe to Apple Music, you’ll get iCloud Music Library included as part of your subscription; otherwise, you can subscribe to Apple’s iTunes Match service and pay $24.99 a year to store your iTunes library (up to 100,000 songs) in iCloud.
iCloud music library can be turned on or off at any time via an iPhone’s or iPad’s Settings menu, or via the Apple Music or iTunes app on a Mac or PC. If you don’t know the steps but are one of the many who want to disable this service, keep reading.
How does iCloud Music Library work?
When you subscribe to Apple Music or the standalone iTunes Match service, Apple scans your iTunes music library to check and see which tracks you own are also listed in the iTunes Store.
To save space and upload time, any tracks in your library that are also in the iTunes Music Store catalog are “matched” to the catalog version; this means that when you play the track on your iPhone or another Mac, you get the iTunes Music Store version (a DRM-free, 256kbps quality AAC file, for those who are wondering to say), not your original file. Apple uses metadata matching and audio fingerprinting to match your song to the iTunes Store version. This isn’t perfect, and you may have problems matching live or rare tracks with the studio version – however, for most users, you should be able to use this service without problems.
Any songs that do not match the iTunes catalog will be uploaded to iCloud in their original form, unless they are too low quality (below 92kbps), too long (over two hours), too large (over 200MB), or tracks that you are not authorized to play (for example, songs from another user’s iTunes account that you do not have a username and password to unlock).
After your songs are uploaded, they are stored or matched to your iCloud Music Library; any device you own (up to 10) can stream or download songs from it.
What happens when you turn off iCloud Music Library?
This is what happens to Apple Music and your personal collection when you turn off iCloud Music Library on one of your devices.
On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
On your Windows
On your Mac
Download Apple Music to MP3, M4A, etc.