It astounds me that somebody can't seem to make a good music player. You know, one that simply allows you to play from an album or artist, that integrates well with Windows or Android (which I mostly use) and which doesn't screw you over.

I haven't found one.

I tried iTunes but that was completely proprietary and meant I had to re-rip all my CDs on the Macbook which has that famous problem that if it doesn't like a CD, it lowers to something like 2x reading and takes 10 minutes to rip. I also hate the interface. How long can Apple pretend that the Mac interface is anything other than obnoxious art that Mac fanbois pretend to love?

I haven't tried Google music but no-one like them any more right?

I ended up on the Amazon music player for no other reason than it seemed simple enough, you could buy music online and it was automatically added to your library and also, you could upload your own tracks from CD to add to your library. This was to be my downfall!

I have had many issues with the Amazon music player app. 1) When you exit it is still running enough to cause Android to tell you that it's still running - why? No other app does that. 2) It keeps trying to make me buy their stupid music unlimited and the options on the dialog are "Yes please" or "Maybe later" rather than "bugger off and stop asking me". 3) If you press pause on the lock screen controls, the controls disappear soon afterwards meaning you can't resume without unlocking the phone and going back into the app. I think this relates to 4) It has a habit of not staying where you were in the app. Leave it alone for a while and it seems to take you away from the tracks you were playing. 5) If you search for something, it defaults to an online search at rather than assuming I am more likely to be trying to search my music!

Anyway.......I received the email saying that Amazon couldn't be bothered to offer music storage any more, they only want to host the stuff you bought on Amazon so download your songs or they will be deleted!

I did so this evening and decided to import them into Windows media player (why not!) and say a problem more clearly that I thought was related to the Amazon music app: That terrible pain when it splits an album into usually two parts. They seem to have the same details (one might have different album art) but are otherwise the same (or they appear to be) what gives?

Closer examination reveals that some of the MP3 tags don't match (particularly "Album artist" which is not displayed in WMP but is critical in the grouping) but more weirdly, some albums have some tracks in m4a and others in mp3 format, which WMP splits by default (it makes technical sense but not usability sense).

What the?

I then remembered the wonderful Amazon music upload process that must have been at least 5 years ago when I spent an eternity uploading my CD collection to Amazon. My rips were all in m4a because they were all ripped in iTunes and m4a was supposed to be a good audio format. But Amazon doesn't want to do anything as simple as uploading your crappy CD rips and having to store them, oh no. It will attempt to look up the track in their online database and then if it has it, it will give you its amazing mp3 file in place of your uploaded file i.e. a mix of m4a and mp3. This wasn't particularly noticeable on the Amazon app, it was probably clever enough to know it had butchered things. The other problem though was that its tagging was not the same as my tagging on the uploaded files. It had populated the Album Artist on its own tracks but my m4as did not have that set.

The real issue is that Amazon should NEVER have partially replaced album tracks leading to dissimilar files. They should have found an exact match or none at all but they were searching singles so some albums show tracks from 10 other compilation albums and not the actual album they came from (no offence Amazon but the album name was there in the tag - find it or give up!)

So fast-forward to me downloading and WMP has even more trouble with these files and I now have about 50% of my albums which are split and the only way to fix them is manually fixing the tags! Fortunately, you can find the tracks via WMP by right-clicking the album icon and you can set the tags on multiple files at the same time but what a pain.

Thanks for nothing Amazon. You had years to sort this out but never did!