Kirk McElhearn has updated his post, many hours after it got a lot of attention yesterday:
Update: I’ve been unable to reproduce this issue, and my guess is that there was a glitch with Apple’s servers that has since been corrected. If you only subscribe to Apple Music, or are using it on a free trial, then your songs are matched using metadata only. If you subscribe to both iTunes Match and Apple Music, then iTunes matches your songs using digital fingerprinting.
It’s interesting that we keep seeing reports of severe or outrageous problems with Apple Music that spread quickly among Apple bloggers, then a short time later, they’re updated to more softly blame bugs or server issues.
Most of you reading this, I hope, keep all of your own original music files locally on a computer you own, with your own backups, and never rely on iTunes Match or Apple Music’s iCloud Music Library as the primary storage of your music collection. But cloud storage platforms promise that you can do this, and many people, including some of us geeks, use them that way. That’s a big part of their appeal to owners of laptops or phones with limited storage.
So I suppose some may consider “it was a bug” as less-bad PR than “it has a major inherent flaw”, but I don’t see random “glitches” that can cause data loss as acceptable for a cloud storage platform.
Anyway, I got some very angry people yelling at me on Twitter while I was sleeping last night that I need to post a retraction on my link because Kirk had retracted his article. But that’s only partly true, and for a narrow and almost inconsequential part: the part where Apple Music’s metadata-only matching seems to override iTunes Match if you have it.
That this happened at all (and I got reports from many other people who were affected) means that iTunes Match is less trustworthy as primary storage, and it never really was trustworthy as primary storage because it has always been buggy and inconsistent, so my recommendations remain to avoid letting these features integrate with your music collection.