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  • Writer's picturemarkjlewis

Why does Apple make things so difficult?

Having seen that my Apple stats for my latest release were not that far behind Spotify's made me realise it was about time I got my first album (from Sep '20) up on Apple music as well.

Why wasn't that album already up on Apple? Because it is mostly orchestral, and I felt 'Classical' was the most appropriate genre to list it under. Apple, in their infinite wisdom, don't allow you to upload your own 'classical' music...??? If anyone can explain the logic behind that I'd love to hear it! ;)

But today i thought I really must sort this out! So I went to upload the album again, just to Apple (and a few other streaming services that have been added since I uploaded previously) with the cunning plan of listing it under a different genre. 'Alternative' was about the only passable er, alternative, so I used that. It's not difficult to do the upload - it is a bit of a faff; all the meta data for 9 tracks, copying and pasting in the existing ISRC codes to try to keep everything lined up etc - but not 'difficult'.

All seemed to go fine until I got the error message, something like: 'This album has already been uploaded to Apple. You can't upload it again. The only thing you can do is delete the previous one and re-upload it.'

Well it might have been previously uploaded to Apple but they rejected it! (Because of the Classical genre) and so it's not available to anyone on Apple! Great.

Deleting the previous upload is not a sensible option: I have 8 months of streaming data, deep links, and hopefully at least a few people having Liked some of the tracks and/or adding them to their own playlists. Deleting the album would throw all that away. Not gonna do that.

So the only solution I could think of was to tag the word 'reissue' onto the end of the album title. And in a way it is a reissue, so nothing 'dodgy' about that. That got past the upload processes.

And yet I have a niggling suspicion that when Apple go to process the data their systems will flag it as a dupe album and it will be rejected again. At which point I guess I'm stuck. I'll have to see what happens over the next few days.

The core of the issue is of course Apple not allowing composers/artists to upload 'classical' music. Is it because if it says classical they assume you are a performer playing another composer's music, and therefore there may be rights issues? That's the only thing I can think of. If so they are wrong in this instance, and in no doubt potentially thousands of other contemporary composers' instances.

Well done Apple. I'm sure you know best...

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