Google Play has been our trusted companion for our digital music needs. Be it from listening to songs, or accessing the online Google Music service and getting your favourite tracks, Google Play Music, the stock music app on Android did all of it for us. Now it seems an erroneous bug has crept in which is deleting stored songs on the SD card.
Now not to fret it out guys, the songs which are getting deleted are the ones which are downloaded from the Play music store. But the issue is they are getting deleted without the users permission, which is concerning. Now once the bug was discovered and it was reported, Google had a lukewarm and sort of confused response. As this is a serious bugs many users were worried of their music collection. It is still not clear whether Google is working on it or not, but one employee has been reportedly trying to fix the bug. I think within a day or two Google should patch this issue. How and why the issue has crept is also unknown since older versions don’t seem to have it. This a quote from two Google employees, after users contacted them and asked them to fix and acknowledge the issue.
I want to first apologize for the information we provided to you about the issue with subscription tracks being deleted from the SD card. After reviewing your case details, it looks like the previous agent you spoke with misunderstood the issue that you're reporting. We have taken immediate actions to address this which should prevent a situation like this from happening in the future. Again, I deeply apologize for not accurately understanding the issue you were experiencing and for not providing you with the correct information on the issue.
I'd like to first explain how music is stored for offline listening. Music files that are downloaded to a device (phone or tablet) are only downloading a cached version of song's file, not the actual .mp3 file. This is done to help minimize the amount of space that the downloaded music takes up. This is also implemented to curb abuse of the subscription service as the download music is only accessible through the Google Play Music app for that device and account. This means that a user wouldn't be able to download music to an SD card and then take that SD card and use it on a different device as the music is chased to that device and account.
With that said, music that has been downloaded for offline listening, either to the internal storage or SD card, should never be deleted without the user initiating the deletion. This is an actual known issue with this service. The good news is that we are aware of this issue and are actively working to get it fixed. Thanks for your effort in submitting those logs earlier, which helped make us aware of this issue.
Guys if you use local music, ie not downloaded from the playstore then there are no issues to be worried about, since it only affects the tracks downloaded from the playstore. For such guys, you can safely continue using Google Play music. For those who have purchased a track, better make a backup of it and keep it, you never know and maybe use some alternative music players like PowerAmp, or Apollo music player, Shuttle+, Walkman etc. As soon as a fix is found and patched we will update you.