In Apple's keynotes, they often claim that they "love music". But their app misses some basics that people who actually love music might like to have: To be able to sort music by year (and have year of release not be year of reissue), exclude various greatest hits reissues if you want to 'discover' an artist's works, and not default to shuffle when you haven't used the app for a while, because I don't know, maybe I'm old fashioned, but I'd like to listen to an album in the order that the artist put the songs in.
It would also be great if syncing your own music to a device actually worked without issues (such as not copying the entire album, which you inevitably discover later, on the road). I stopped listening to music on the way to work because of all the roadblocks the app put in the way.
It's utterly beyond me how the largest tech company in the world can't sort basics of their their UI out, over periods of years.
A bit OT, but does anyone have insight into why Spotify has refused to make an Apple Watch app for offline playback like Apple Music offers? This is definitely possible as a lone developer was able to do it rather quickly a while ago (search: Spotty later renamed Snowy). That developer was eventually hired by Spotify and the project was scrapped. Spotify's new iOS SDK specifically says it's not to be used to create apps for offline play.
It seems to be a major pain point for Apple Watch users that's easily addressed. It's really confusing why they haven't done it yet.
I very recently came across Apple music and it has given me the best music experience on Android, as in my country, India, Spotify is not available yet and other competing apps are nowhere close to what apple provides. Amazing music quality, availability of almost every song I listen to, very nice UI and an equalizer.
Also, one of the reasons is the very cheap subscription for university students and the 3 months free trial. Unbeatable, yet.
Apple Music is a bit rough around the edges in ways that are shifting me back towards keeping my collection offline
- they deleted a bunch of my personal stuff when I subscribed (I’m sure it was somewhere in the T&Cs but ... come on)
- albums and songs appear, disappear and generally get shuffled around a LOT
- they periodically purge my “offline” music on my phone. Usually I only notice this when I have just crossed the border on an international trip. It’s not just some unused stuff because I have no space free (I have PLENTY) - it’s everything
It’s a really frustrating experience, which is Sady increasingly common with Apple these last few years
Back in the day I used to look at the Top 10 list on what.cd, download torrents of interesting music, add them to my seedbox, wait for them to finish, download the files from the seedbox, import into iTunes, fix up the tags and artwork if needed, then finally sync to my phone. Then I'd have to do all that again for my girlfriend and the terrible music she liked.
Now I just have to hit one download button in Music on my phone. I have unlimited access to--as far as it matters to me--basically the entire iTunes libary. My wife does too, and she can play it through the Sonos system at the house. It's great and well worth the $15/month and various UI glitches.
I don't understand how Apple isn't facing intense antitrust lawsuits. Compared to Microsoft in the 90s, Apple is far worse in the ways that it unfairly competes:
* any competitor has to pay a portion of its revenue for every sale to Apple
* apps cannot use private APIs that would otherwise greatly enhance usability and value
* little to no integration with built in services; for example, I can't tell Siri "play the Beatles on Spotify"
I would refuse to use Apple Music over Spotify because I feel that Apple is playing dirty. Luckily, I don't even think about using Apple Music because I feel it's an inferior product.
I signed up to play with it on a homepod, I generally still think it's a lot worse than Spotify (particularly when you consider Spotify's discover weekly playlist).
I'll likely just end up using the homepod as an overpriced Spotify airplay speaker.
There was an app to transfer playlists/songs from Spotify to Apple music (for $10). It did an okay job.
The only reason I'm an Apple Music subscriber is because I'm on a family member's plan. There are so many usability problems with it on iOS that I would not consider paying for it myself — and iTunes is another level of terrible.
I often times have trouble getting Apple Music to playback reliably! https://imgur.com/a/VrO1Y
Spotify's UX is marginally better than Apple Music, but still not worth paying for in my opinion. Neither service allows me to block particular songs/artists from being recommended, which I find incredibly frustrating.
Do any of the music services not suck at suggestions and or auto playlists?
I tried Spotify, Google Music, Amazon, Pandora and all of them drove me batty.
The most common problem is just bad selection. For example I picked "Daily Lift" on Spotify expecting uplifting songs. First song was about woman finding out man is cheating on her. Second song is about woman thinking of x while sleeping with new guy. Neither was remotely uplifting.
Another example, on Google Music I play Prince. Pick "related" and get rap. I have nothing against rap but it's not even remotely related to Prince except in maybe some possibbly racist way.
Pandora had the problem on playing the same songs and if you ban the songs you just end up getting different mixes of the same song.
Yet other issues is "more like this" never works. If I'm playing say a ballad and I pick "more like this" I expect more ballads but instead all the music services just give you songs by artists someone judged as popular with people who like the artist you're currently listing too so you might get dance or rock or rap or anything and not actually "more like this"
I've cancelled all of them as I didn't find them useful because of those issues.
Music streaming has relatively low gross margins compared to other tech businesses (though as they scale up they'll have more leverage with the rights holders) but a large addressable market to tap. Spotify could be a great investment if they continue to penetrate that market.
The same is true for Apple but at least for Apple it also has a strategic purpose in being the connective tissue for a number of hardware products that are almost certainly a better business (Apple Watch Series 3, HomePod, AirPods, iPhone, etc).
I tried to switch to Spotify but came back to Apple Music after 1 day of using it.
I really liked the Spotify UI and their album list makes sense. But it does not offer any significantly different feature than made me chose it over Siri integration with Apple Music. Siri is frustrating at times but I can’t imagine not using it when I am in my car.
Are there any good 3rd party apps for browsing Apple Music? I've been trying Apple Music for a couple of months, and I really like the fact that I can access this giant catalog, but I think the UI for browsing / discovery is not very good.
Has anyone here tried canceling their Apple Music subscription? When doing it from the iPhone, it takes 6+ taps, and involves traversing through 4-6 different screens, including multiple super slow loading webviews.
I was really happy when Apple Music launched, because I had a huge library on iTunes that I had been keeping meticulously for about half a decade then, and I was a spotify user - I thought I could consolidate the two.
Well Apple Music responded to my enthusiasm by trashing my music library, mislabeling everything automatically and losing half of the library. I don't know if they fixed that, but that managed to turn me to a permanent spotify user.
Spotify too is making me unhappy these days though, because for some time now they are heavily emphasizing geography in discover weekly playlists, which isn't what I want as an expat. It's always a bunch of songs in the same style, listened to nowhere else but where I am now, and pressing the dislike button doesn't help. I guess I should get a VPN/use a payment method from my home country/switch to an alternative.
How can it be allowed to ship Apple's own music service with every iPhone? Why isn't that deemed anti competitive?
I have used Apple music since it came out. Here are some problems that have been fixed over time:
- The de-duping was way too aggressive at first but there were workarounds and its working the way I like it now.
- Another annoying thing it did was when someone deleted their album from Apple music it would find the "same" tracks in compilations etc and pollute my library with them. Now it just says "can't play that anymore" which is what it should have done from the beginning.
- ANOTHER annoying thing it did was the "token" used to play music used to expire way too quickly. I usually listen to music on my iPod touch and it would want my password for my iTunes account at least once a day or it would refuse to play music, which was a major drag when away from Wi-Fi. It seems to be more sane now which is nice.
Overall I'm happy with Apple music. It is nice when discovering a new artist, I can listen to one of their albums without downloading their entire discography at once then doing the dance and magical incantations required by iTunes to get it onto my iPod without doing nasty things like deleting ALL of the other music from it.
FWIW the only reason I subscribed to Apple Music this year is because my car has CarPlay and the Spotify CarPlay app doesn’t (or can’t, I’m unclear) support Siri commands.
Weirdly, Apple Music sounds better on my cars speakers than Spotify, despite Spotify having a better Sample rate.
Maybe Apple Music has better proprietary access to my cars speakers.
I’d love it if someone with relevsnt experience could explain why that might be
On the Subject of Music.
Does anyone want or like, an iTunes Music Store, where you can gift / transfer Music you bought to others also on the same services, but you lost that pieces of Music from your library. Any music you bought within the store you can Stream it for free. The Music will never be "lost" because of some agreement renewal. You own the right to that pieces of music.
The one thing I hate about streaming, is that some music disappear overnight. Not to be returned until whatever deals they can sort out with labels. And it make the matter worst because once they sort it out, the same songs wont appear in my library again. I have to add it again.
Off topic, but I would try Apple Music if Apple were to simplify and allow people to use (iTunes/App Store/Music) accounts from at least two different countries and switch between them or use them simultaneously (with billing and payment information from each of those). I wouldn't want to jump through hoops and difficult-to-understand processes to take advantage of pricing differences as well as app and content availability across regions. Content restrictions are not entirely under the control of Apple, but usage of its own accounts system is. In a globalized world, this is an area Apple could make things simpler (if it wanted to).
I like Google music better. Have been a subscriber and it works well for me. It lacks some Apple music features like good radio stations. But the experience is nice overall. Also Google music is cheaper in my country by 20%.
Do they have good machine learning like Discover Weekly on Spotify yet? I tried Apple Music and discovered I can't live without those features on Spotify. I hurriedly scurried back.
With a slowing upgrade cycle for iPhone, I predict that the phone hardware, cell connection, Music & iCloud subscription will be sold as a bundle in the not too distant future. The hardware has started to go that way with iPhone Upgrade Program and Apple's push for e-sim. Also, Telstra (Australian telco) is including Apple Music with its iPhone plans - I assume thats becoming common place in the US too?
Such packaging for luxury products and services becomes necessary when they become commoditised.
I just subscribed the other day (because Spotify was telling me that I was not allowed to use Spotify in a different country for more than 14 days, looks like I'm not allowed to move).
One question: what happens to the musics that I added to my library if I unsubscribe? (I'm also subscribed to iTunes match to store my own music in their cloud.)
I would guess that Alexa, Google Home, etc are eating into their growth. For casual users, those provide enough that you might abandon iTunes.
At least for me, I listen to music at home and not much anywhere else. My car radio is on NPR, and I don't use portable players, including my phone.
Apple Music has a UI so difficult to learn that I had to Google to find where they put the repeat button.
Pair up Apple's newfound disdain for usability with their lack of QA and you have Microsoft 2.0 on your hands. A giant company that no one really loves anymore.
It worth noting that Apple Music is ridiculously cheap in India (<$2/month for Family Subscription which includes 6 people) which is also responsible for contributing towards the above subscriber number of 38M.
Not sure if it's coincidental, I was offered two weeks back to try Apple Music again with one free month. I tried out when it was first launch and never subscribe to it. So my trial must have helped out with a +1 in the number.
And I still can't use it in my country...
That’s really surprising. Wonder who these people are considering every competitor to it does a 10x better job.
I was accidentally one of them by my carrier including it in my phone plan 'for free for 6 months', when it started billing I cancelled it immediately. I also did not use it even once.
I'll stick with Spotify and Tidal, as I trust them not to somehow screw me over in the future by, say, removing the play and pause button for aesthetic reasons.