iCloud and local storage (Files, Music, Photos)

I am pretty sure that I have set up iCloud so that it uploads documents and photos to the cloud and only a certain number of them (mostly recent I suspect) are downloaded to my machine.

Can iCloud do this with music as well? If I uploaded my digital library of songs to Music, would it know that they are in my library but stream them from Apple Music?

I have Apple One+ if that matters, thanks!

What is the purpose of storing music, if for backup, the answer is yes. My understanding is that iCloud can store anything that you can store locally. How to automate that is any issue. I think it is just a matter of creating a folder called “music_backup” or something similar and then drag and drop to the folder.

off topic a bit, I think YouTube music (previously Google Music) can let you upload your own music previously. Not sure this is changed

Do you mean play on iOS? Or on another Mac?

You’d need to use iTunes to upload and I think it’s included by default in Apple Music. I’ve got iTunes Match and this what happens. If you just put the files in iCloud, they’ll just act as any other file.

Match streams my music to my iPad and iOS device - there is some storage used, as it caches songs as you play them. I can’t recall if the amount of data can be changed.

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I think this is what I was thinking/hoping. I’ll see if I can find more info on iTunes Match.

iCloud storage is not a backup. It’s a storage and transfer mechanism.

unless it’s disconnected from your device, and/or has versioning, It’s not a backup.

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I don’t think there is anything wrong to iCloud to store the music file for storage as a backup copy of what’s on the computer. Of course it is not a true backup in the sense of versioning for documents or files that change from time to time

Hi all, FWIW, I’m not interested in storing files in iCloud as a backup. I want to know what I have and I want Apple to know, too, so it can be better at generating recommendations, but I don’t want to take up space on my hard drive.

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Here’s a procedure from backing up iTunes and switching music to the cloud


And another similar post (the guy starts with his childhood, so you have to wade through all that).

At one time people were miffed that the versions of songs on Match were exactly the versions they originally had. I’m not sure if that has been rectified, or might it be a concern for you. Either way, backups are your BFF.

Just what I needed, @JohnAtl! Thanks!

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Also, I found this thread with this caveat that suggests if you have Apple Music, you already have iTunes Match, so I need to upload the songs from the backup HD I have them on and then I think I can remove those downloads to save space.

See also: Do I need iTunes Match if I have Apple Music? | iMore

Edited to add: Actually, all I had to do was go into Music, click “Import” and point to the external HD. It very quickly imported the songs, but didn’t add them. I can now click to play the song and it downloads and streams.

excellent, great that you found what you need.

However, I am interest to know and a bit loss. How is this related to iCloud, are you doing the music match using music stored on iCloud ?

I thought Match was included in the price of Apple Music, but I wasn’t 100% sure but glad it’s working for you!

Match is about to run out and I’m in two minds whether to go for Apple Music or stick with purchasing - at the minute, I don’t tend to spend the £10 a month on new music, so it’s possibly not worth it. Guilty of listening to what I’ve already got!

For us, having homepod minis made a difference. I like asking Siri to play this or that, either because it fits a conversation over dinner “play the theme song to Quantum Leap” or it sets a mood “play chill instrumental.” etc. With the One+ subscription, it feels less costly. I don’t think I’d do it for £10.

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I recommend you keep a backup of your music separate from the Music app. Apple’s music match has, in the past, had a nasty habit of moving tracks to other albums, changing album art, and replacing tracks with other recordings. I eventually got tired of all the problems and moved my personal music to Plex. YMMV.


I’ve definitely got a separate backup, but I appreciate you mentioning this!

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