Bizarre Music Downloads

I just happened to notice tonight something very odd in my Apple Music. It happened only relevant to one device- my MacBook Air. Not my Mac, not my iPad mini, not my iPhone.

There wound up being four Gigs of music, most of which I recognized but not anything that I would play for as fast it would take for me to ID the songs, I would get rid of them. I download very little and I do so deliberately.

Could someone piggyback (for lack of a better term) off my device?

My nearest neighbors are the front door/mailbox, a hard-of-hearing man, a friend that is not into tech at all and my friend that very sadly died so recently who was not into music at all.

Now I am used to having a few songs stray in but this is nothing short of ridiculous.

And I tend to stay inside.

I do have VPN. At this point I have no idea if that’s of any help. Mcafee. (Don’t even get me started). However, it has a tendency to turn off on this iPad in particular.

Should I be worried about it? Very strange. Any idea what conceivably could have happened?

This sounds very strange indeed! It’s not downloading a certain U2 album by any chance, is it?


No, I didn’t see any u2. They were almost all oldies like for someone maybe 5 or 7 years older than me. did u2 come out with some zany album perchance?


Not a clue, but I do love a good mystery.

Have you looked in the Music app at what kind of files these are? AAC, MP3, Purchased? That might offer some additional information.


HIya, Wayne,

I love a good mystery myself. I believe they were all from Apple Music in whatever format they use.

I did a search and found the following which I think may be relevant:

Compared with songs from Apple Music , songs you purchased from iTunes or the Music App on Mac are not DRM-protected. They are also encoded in AAC format but with .m4a file extension. Conveniently, these purchased iTunes music can be directly converted to MP3 with iTunes and the native Apple Music App on Mac.

Oh that refers to music you might buy I iTunes.

I’d do better if it were written in Greek. :wink:

This does sound odd. I don’t have much to offer re: solution, but it would be good to try to find out more about this mystery 4GB of downloaded music.

  • How did you stumble upon this chunk of music? (genuinely curious, my music library is ~40k+ songs and going on 15 years old, so for me to suddenly notice I have a chunk of music that I don’t recognize would be nigh impossible).

  • Using the Music app on your Mac (not a mobile device), can you highlight this group of songs, then click View > As Songs? This should present you with a column-based view of these songs. You can add columns to this view and should allow you to review key attributes like “Date Added.”

  • Using this view, you can also determine the type of files you have in this grouping (as @WayneG suggested). It would be good to know if these were purchased, ripped, or “true” Apple Music.

  • One more shot in the dark: Is it possible that someone once plugged in an iPod to one of your Macs and synced their library with your Mac? The fact that the size is a “neat 4GB” is a possible clue…

Perhaps knowing when these songs were added to your library (e.g., all added in one go? added over some time?) will jog your memory as to how they may have gotten there. And if they happen to be purchased, you should be able to see the Apple ID that purchased the songs and perhaps access purchase history for them.

I was wondering if you might have received someone else’s purchases. I have two movies in my Library that I didn’t order and was not charged So if the iTunes Store can misfire and send me movies it’s not a stretch to think it could have sent you some music.

You know, Wayne, there were a LOT of them. Not exactly up my alley. Nancy Sinatra. LOL!!! HA! It could have happened as you said although there was no rhyme or reason to them, e.g. albums.

But you are probably right. My neighbors are not into that kind of music- much of it early rock.

I’m glad I caught it.

The downloads are not synced. I was under the impression that they were.

Thanks for your quite feasible explanation!


I have an old iPad mini that has very little space left on it so I try to limit my downloads. Periodically , I check.

Oh and do you know what? I have three playlists of songs I never tire of. I am certain they were downloaded but I then noticed they weren’t.

Do you think I might have a poltergeist?

The ones that were not mine- I trashed them. I was a little mad, not a lot but I got them off as fast as I could. There were a few songs I liked but not enough to download them.

There is no memory to jog. This was my iPad Air and I don’t let anyone play with my toys. Well I did lend a friend my old mini when her tv went out so she could watch Netflix. The battery is dead on it so I cannot check it now.

Ok, on my iPad Air I found some I didn’t catch. Some Beach Boys. I happen to like them but I don’t need California Girls on there twice. And I didn’t download it. This isn’t even the kind of stuff that Apple Music selects for me.

Vienes de México? De qué parte?

Nah, there is most certainly a poltergeist! Ok. Maybe

I’m almost afraid to ask, but have you noticed a little girl named Carol Anne sitting in front of your monitor?

Long, straight, beautiful blonde hair? I’ll ask Carol Anne what her name is!

1 Like