Apple Deleted My Music Library

I used Apple Music in the 2010s then switched to Spotify and I used Spotify for a few years. Recently, Spotify made a few controversial product decisions, nudging me to switch back to Apple Music.

After renewing my Apple Music subscription and logging into my account, I discovered that my song collection was missing. Since Apple Music recommended me songs based on what I played a few years ago and because I could still see my Replay playlists from the past years, I was hoping that my library will eventually resync. So I kept using Apple Music anyway because I thought it was a glitch.

A few months passed with no change, so I contacted Apple support. They told me that this was intentional, citing a clause on their support website:

If you canceled your subscription to Apple Music or iTunes Match, your music library is removed on all of your devices except for the device your music library is stored on. Any music, including playlists, that you added or downloaded from the Apple Music catalog is also removed.

Thus, Apple deletes your library after a few months after you cancel your subscription.

This was unexpected and, frankly, ridiculous. I can’t find any justification for this user experience. Even if licensing rights are an issue, Apple could at least preserve a file with the IDs of songs I liked and restore them when I renew my subscription.

Now I must choose between a company that holds my data hostage and a company that neglects its UX.