Friday, 28 December 2012

How to delete music from your iPhone or iPad once you have turned on iTunes Match - iCloud

(This article will take 2 minutes to read)

In my view Apple didn’t really think this one through fully.

iTunes Match
If you turn on iTunes Match on your iPhone (after enabling it via iTunes) your iPhone’s Music library will be converted to sync with the iCloud service and not with the iTunes app on your PC or Mac.   

So this was surprise number 1.

Next up – once you sync music to your iPhone there is then not a simple way of swiping to delete the songs.  Apparently this was removed in iOS 6.0.  

However if you have iOS 6.03 Beta this problem is solved – I haven’t seen this but I read this so I can't vouch for it personally.

So how do you delete songs now from your iPhone? Here's how:

First go back to your Settings, and you will have the setup as per the image below.

iTunes Match Settings

Next, turn OFF iTunes Match.

You will then have a screen that looks like below:

iTunes Match Settings

So just in case you are now wondering where your playlists are - you will have to either WiFi Sync or Sync via a cable to iTunes to see your Playlists – but don’t panic they are not gone.

Now you can go to your Albums, Compilations, Artists or Songs and swipe left or right to get the delete button to appear.


You can then go back Settings, Music and turn on iTunes Match.

iTunes Match Settings

You can then go back to Music and you will see that the iPhone is re-syncing the iCloud library, this took me about 3 minutes (over a Wifi connection) on a 16GB iPhone with most of the space taken with Music, but this could vary with multiple factors such as WiFi traffic (especially if you are running a WiFi Time Machine backup simultaneously). 

iTunes Match Settings iCloud

It’s a long winded way, but it’s the best you are going to get till Apple addresses this, if they do that is.

The official message from Apple is that the iCloud is intelligent  and therefore you shouldn’t need to delete music from your iDevice, it will simply free up space and remove the music least played.  (A more detailed explanation of this exists here at iLounge.)

So well done Apple you have made it simpler to use the iCloud for those that just expect it to work – but for others, lets call them the control freaks amongst us, a simple switch to allow us to do this would be great advanced feature.

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1 comment:

  1. They got it SEVERELY wrong!

    I have got a playlist whose name is Least Played Songs which I listen to time by time with the exact purpose to refresh my memory.
    ...and they say now that those songs will be automatically delete from the device? So when I'm on a plane/tube/low coverage area I don't get my songs?

    I would prefer to control what's on my iPod and what's not dear Apple. Or your target customers now are just the "compulsive" kind of songs ammasser and listener? We all collectors should switch directy to Android with Amazon Cloud?
    Fine for me.