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Apple Core Rot: Music.app Screws my Music Library, Forgetting Locations and Immediately Crashing When Searching for Missing Tracks

I have about 200GB of music and audiobooks, digitized from a huge number of CDs. I sync that to my phone. Well, when Apple doesn’t render my music library useless, as has happened half a dozen times in as many years.

Recently, I rearranged my storage onto the 16TB OWC Mercury Accelsior M42 such that the music had to go on a different volume. Apple’s Music.app of course is too stupid to find the files anywhere but by fixed location.

Apple Music: cannot find tracks

Locating the missing file fixes that track and all the other tracks in its folder.

But what about the other 12000 tracks in 500 other folders? No problem... just find one missing track and Music.app will offer to go find all the other missing tracks, right?

Apple Music: asking whether to try to find other missing files based on finding one other track

Not so fast—immediately, Music.app crashes with EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGSEGV). A 'SIGSEGV' crash is caused by incompetent programming; it relates to using a bad memory pointer that points to an illegal area of memory.

No number of retries or reboots or trying different tracks on different albums make any difference.

Thirty years ago, I was already layering debugging code into my software to detect such errors and using now well-known development best practices, but here we have a trillion dollar company unable to get the basics right. Ever hear of malloc_debug Apple?And many other far more powerful tools?

Apple Music: cannot find tracks

Incompetent programming is the hallmark of Apple software today, permeating all areas of the system. Apple shovels manure out the door with minimal testing for users to suffer from, then issues half a dozen updates one after another. Here we are at macOS 10.15.6 (six updates later) and the shit-show is still full steam ahead, with macOS Big Sneer and ARM-based Macs coming. You’d have to be out of your mind to embrace that combination.

I’m furious at Apple for wasting my time this way, and this is maybe the 20th such incident in the past 5 years (all areas of the system). More and more Apple Core Rot. Shame on Tim Cook for his bald-faced lies about improving Apple software quality—he’s as full of sh*t as a cattle feedlot.

But wait, it gets even 'better'. In this scenario, syncing to the iPhone goes through the motions and never syncs since it cannot find the music tracks. BUT it doesn’t issue any error or warning whatsoever, which is really confusing until you notice that it just doesn’t work and never will work until the tracks are re-located. But you wouldn’t know except that stuff just never appears on the phone.

Fixing it

I could find no way to fix the problem other starting from scratch.

  1. Deleting all tracks out of the music library (leaving original files alone)
  2. Drag the 200GB of audio tracks to Music.app re-importing all 200GB all over again.

Even more confusion

Here’s how the Finder was displaying my iPhone with this missing music issue—a blank window. It was impossible to sync it or see anything (no music, no apps, no status, no nothing). The iPhone 6 had the latest iOS (which itself is full of new bugs).

It took rebooting both the iPhone and the Mac Pro to make it show something again, and only after the music library was redone as above.

Apple Music: cannot find tracks
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