Little things like this have me thinking more and more about the control I have over my music library. I love having access to any song at any time. But, at the same time, I want more control. Apple could easily allow for smart playlist stacks to exist on the cloud. I’d have nothing to write about at that point. But, as we’ve seen with Sony lately, Apple could take away content at any point, even if you paid for it in their store. It would be a much more expensive route to maintain a physical CD collection that I then rip into a media library.
At one point I even turned off iCloud Music Library and synced my music locally, which is still pretty cool, since it’s free and completely peer-to-peer. On the other hand, your music library turns into read-only mode, so I can’t edit my synced playlists on the device, which sucks (if I remember correctly, I can edit new playlists on the device).
I currently have iCloud Music Library turned on, but I always archive music files separately before importing them, and I also keep my library backed up by Time Machine. The problem with this approach is I have 3 Macs, so I have to pay attention to which one is holding the original song since iCloud Music Library doesn’t upload the original file but rather fetches the song from the iTunes Store. To avoid this problem, I basically keep a master library on my 16-inch MacBook Pro since I use that the most; all other devices are using the iCloud Music Library directly.
The iTunes Music Library and cloud streaming destroyed all of this, primarily because it wouldn’t allow syncing of smart playlists built off other smart playlists.
I tried this, and smart playlists based on top of other smart playlists are not synced to iOS devices. I couldn’t check if it syncs between Macs, which I want to know.