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How to Fix Apple Music "This Item Cannot be Played" Issue?

You might have encountered a same problem that certain songs on your Apple Music app are greyed out and when you attempt to play them on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, but only to get an error message saying "This Item Is Unavailable" and "This item cannot be played"? Why this happens and is there any solution for this error? Generally, Apple Music "item cannot be played" is probably caused by internet connection issue, iCloud Music Library not enabled, sync issue, or songs modified unconsciously.

Now, there are a few tips available you may refer to help you get rid of the annoying issue that Apple Music "item can not be played" and make your Apple Music service back to usual. Now let's see the possible reasons causing Apple Music songs not able to be played, and the solutions corresponding to that causes.

This item can not be played

Part 1: Why Are Some Apple Music Songs not Able to be Played?

You pay monthly for "Apple Music Membership", however, when you are trying to play or download certain songs or a whole album on your Apple devices, the song may appear greyed-out and will give you the message "This Item Unavailable" and "This item cannot be played". So what causes it? Here we list some possible reasons for this case.

Possible Reasons to Apple Music "This item cannot be played"

  • Apple driver installed or updated incorrectly
  • Bad network connection status
  • Device is unstable
  • iCloud Server issue
  • An error occurred when sync iTunes to iPhone/iPad
  • iOS or iTunes bug
  • Download incomplete song

You can follow these clues to locate the cause, and then find the workable solution to fix the issue of "This Item Cannot be Played".

Part 2: Solutions to Fix Apple Music "This Item Cannot be Played" Issue

Here are some solutions you can take for reference to fix Apple Music "This Item Cannot be Played" issue on your desktop, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

1. Check the Internet Connection on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch

You can check that your iPhone or iPad is well connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data, so that you can download songs from Apple Music app or iCloud Music Library.

Or you can turn off cellular data and connect your iPhone to WiFi only, or vice-versa.

2. Restart iPhone/iPad/iPod touch

If you have no any idea about the causes, you can simplly restart or force to restart your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. This might helps in some circumstances, but is not a foolproof solution.

3. Activate iCloud Music Library

Please make sure that you have turned on iCloud Music Library on your desktop, iPhone or iPad, otherwise you can not download songs from iCloud, and also can not play songs from the list.

Or you can refresh the activation to Apple iCloud Music Library by turning it off and enable it once again.

How to enable iCloud Music Library:

(1) For iPhone/iPad/iPod touch:

Go to Settings > Music, then tap on iCloud Music Library.

Enable iCloud Music Library on iPhone

(2) For Mac or PC:

Mac: Go to Menu > iTunes > Preference.

PC: Go to Menu > Edit > Preference.

On the General tab, select iCloud Music Library and click "OK" to activate it.

Enable iCloud Music Library on Mac

4. Delete the Items that Are Unavailable or Cannot be Played

Sometimes, you may download an incomplete song or an album, in this circumstance, you can delete a certain song or album from your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, then re-download it from Apple Music app.

If you can not play the song synced from computer, you can close Apple Music app and turn off iCloud Music Library, and then try to play the song once again. Or you can delete the songs on iTunes (right-click on a song that you can not play and click "Delete from library". Then add the song or album again to iTunes library and re-download it or re-sync the songs from computer to iPhone/iPad/iPod touch.

Delete a song from iTunes library

5. Check the Server State of Apple Music

If you are Apple Music subscriber who encounters the issue "this item cannot be played", you can check the server status of Apple Music. If there is something wrong with the server, you are not able to use Apple Music app correctly.

6. Update iOS and iTunes to the Latest

In consideration of some bugs in older version of iTunes or iOS, you can fix the problem by updating iTunes or iOS to the latest version.

7. Can't Listen to Explicit Songs on iPhone and iPad (iOS 12)

If you there is a prompt telling you that "Explicit content is not allowed" on iPhone or iPad, you can solve this by clicking Settings > Screen Time > Content and Restrictions > uncheck Restrictions.

Part 3: How to Keep Songs Downloaded from Apple Music Forever for Safekeeping?

We pay monthly for Apple Music subscription is just for the permission to access the streamed music in its library, and downloading songs to Apple authorized devices for offline listening. Actually, they just like DVD or movies we rented from the holder, after the subscription expired, we will lose the permission to the streamed music, including the songs we added to library before.

You may wonder there is any way to save your songs downloaded from Apple Music forever in case you cancel the subscription some day, or backup for safekeeping in case you encounter some errors when using Apple Music. Now, all you need to do is using Sidify Apple Music Converter to convert your songs downloaded from Apple Music to digital audio copy like MP3, thus you can enjoy Apple Music songs without time and device restriction.

Sidify Apple Music Converter

Sidify Apple Music Converter

  • ok Convert Apple Music and M4P files to a MP3, AAC, WAV, or FLAC.
  • ok Unlock DRM from iTunes & Audible audiobooks
  • ok Preserve high fidelity sound quality after conversion.
  • ok 20X conversion speed; Keep ID3 Tags and metadata..
  • ok No extra hardware or virtual sound drive needed.

Steps to Convert Songs Downloaded from Apple Music to MP3

The entire process is quite simple. You just need to make sure that iTunes is well installed on your machine, your Apple Music membership is active and songs are already downloaded to your computer local drive.

Step 1 Launch Sidify Apple Music Converter

Download and install Sidify Apple Music Converter according to your OS (here we take Windows version as example). Then launch this audio converter on your machine.

Main interface

Step 2 Add Apple Music Songs

Click on the icon Add music button, and a new window will pop up to show all your songs and playlist on Apple Music. Just select the tracks or other iTunes M4P files for converting. Then click OK to check the songs you added.

Add Apple Music files

Step 3 Select the Output Format

Click on Setting button button at the upper right of Sidify, here you can choose MP3/AAC/FLAC/WAV as the output format. And you can choose the output quality (320kbps, 256kbps, 192kbps, 128kbps), output path, conversion speed as required.

Set output as MP3

Step 4 Start Conversion

Click on "Convert" button to start the conversion. After completed, you can click History button icon to find your converted DRM-free songs.

Converting Apple Music

With these 4 simple steps, you can easily get the DRM-free copy of Apple Music songs. Now, you will never worry you will lost it after cancel the subscription, and you can transfer it to any other devices to enjoy when you have no internet connection.

Note: The free trial version of Sidify Apple Music converter enables us to convert the first 3 minutes of each audio for sample testing, you can unlock the limitation by purchasing the full version.