What Amber explained was exactly what I’d feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users’ computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple’s database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn’t recognize—which came up often, since I’m a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself—it would then download it to Apple’s database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.
If I were a composer, I wouldn't use Apple Music one bit. But, getting back to my point, an EMP can't wipe out my CDs. Not that I think I'm going to get hit by an EMP, but the point stands; short of a house fire, my CDs are still going to be usable so long as I have the hardware capable of using them. Everything degrades over time, but I was listening to some tapes my dad had stored since.... oh, since cassette tapes first came out, and they're still good on average. CDs don't have the storage problems tapes have. The biggest problem with CDs right now is the fact that all of the "re-mastered" crap out there is just the same songs with every channel bumped up to max, and it sounds like crap. Because it's designed to be played at max volume in a nightclub.
I always try to have a hard copy back up. Because digital files are too easily destroyed, hacked, damaged, etc. Yes, they're easy to use. But don't trust them to hold important information. "OMG DAVE BUT THE CLOUD IS SO AWESOME!" Yep. That's what hackers think too. It's awesome. Go ahead and put your social security number out there.