My collections are my history.
Like most people in technology, I tried to watch the recent Apple keynote. I curiously looked at the announcement of a big iPhone and a tiny watch. It was all as one would expect from Apple except for the mini concert at the end where they announced that everyone would get a free U2 album.
Wow, free music. I mean, legally acquired free music from a big name band. It’s less of a thing now that I can go into a Starbucks and get a free song with my tall coffee, but hey, free is free right? Even the Engadget live-blogger, Michael Goreman, reported:
Curious, I popped over to my iTunes library and it was marked as purchased but didn't seem to be anywhere in my iPhone. A few days later it showed up in the list with War and The Joshua Tree. By the time the album showed up, I was less interested and after a listen, even less so.
Now I do pay Apple for their Match service, so it was just another thing in the cloud for me. So I'm actually not to upset they threw an album in there with the other U2 stuff I have. But there seems to have been a bit of an uprise about tampering with people’s music libraries and people are saying it’s everything from spam to a privacy violation. As Matt Drance notes:
Since then there was much debate and Apple has provided a shortcut to let people delete the album from their library which people are using as a way of telling Apple ‘no’.
I'm pretty sure Apple won’t try something like that again but there’s something more here.
A music collection is more than just a big bag of songs.
They are curated lists that remind us of who we are and who we were.
It’s The Who album your brother gave you on your birthday. Or the Postal Service album that got you through a breakup. Our music collections are a preservation of who we are, even if we don't actively listen to much of it. And now, someone messed with that history. You can choose to delete the record from your library or, if you are me, leave it there to remind you of that time somebody futzed with your music.