Apple Music diary one week in: A massive missed opportunity, but I think I’m sold

applemusic-2

I gave my first impressions of Apple Music on day two, and my main disappointment remains: despite putting both owned and streamed music into a single app, there is absolutely no real integration between the two. All the evidence suggests that Apple Music has no awareness of my owned music.

I’ll get past that in a moment, but bear with me first for a couple of paragraphs. Because this is, in my view, more than just a missed opportunity: it’s almost criminally negligent. iTunes knows more about my musical tastes than my girlfriend. More than my neighbours, who have sometimes been more familiar with my musical tastes than they might wish. More than any of my friends – even the one who kindly ripped all my CDs for me on his high-end PC with multiple DVD drives.

Think about that for a moment. iTunes knows every single artist, album and track I own. Not only that, but it knows which ones I have put into what playlists. It even knows the exact number of times I have played every single track! And Apple uses none of that data in guiding its Apple Music suggestions. That really is a huge fail, given what could have been.

Ok. I’m over it. I won’t mention it again, I promise. But seriously, Appl- Ok, sorry. That’s it now. So, let me set that aside, accept that Apple Music needed to learn my tastes from first principles, and talk about how well it’s doing a week in … 

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I’ve done my very best to feed Apple Music more than a typical month’s worth of data in a week’s use by religiously using the feedback options – Love, Add to My Music or Make Available Offline – on every applicable track. I’ve essentially treated Apple Music as a student at summer cramming school.

Unlike a teacher, I haven’t been able to offer it any negative feedback through iTunes – pointing out tracks I hate (not even for the playlist that included a Justin Timberlake track!). This is especially odd given that you can do so from a long-hold in iOS, and on the Watch. I’m just hoping that it draws the right conclusion when I skip a track a short way into it. I agree with Jordan that the very fact that Apple had to use The Loop to issue a (partial) explanation about how to provide music feedback shows just how messy and unintuitive it is.

artist-playlists

But clunkiness of the feedback mechanism aside, how well is it doing? The answer is: rather well – and not quite in the way I expected it to.

Sure, it continues to recommend albums I already own, and to offer me to ‘introduce’ me to artists I already love, but I’m over that. (Really. Not a word. Honest.)

At first, I thought it wasn’t as good as Spotify at music suggestions, but I’ve since concluded that – if the primary aim of a streaming music service is discovering new artists – it’s actually much better. And Apple’s much-vaunted human curation is probably responsible.

Spotify has proven very, very good at learning which artists I like. It plays those artists a lot. A lot of a lot. Which is great for putting on a playlist and not having to touch it until complete. But not actually great for music discovery, as it only introduces me to a handful of new artists.

Apple Music, in contrast, has already introduced me to more than a dozen new artists that I really, really like. For someone whose tastes are decidedly non-mainstream, and very far removed from the Beats 1 fare that we have to assume represents Apple’s view of its primary target, that’s an impressive achievement. 

The price of that has been a fair bit of skipping of artists I don’t like, but that’s the flipside of playing safe. If you don’t yet share my views of its ability to find great new artists, I highly recommend doing what I did and intensively schooling it, offering positive feedback on every single track you like.

radio

The UK didn’t get iTunes Radio prior to the launch of Apple Music, so the whole Apple radio experience was new to me. For that reason, I can’t compare the pre- and post- Apple Music experience. But I can say that Apple appears to view Beats 1 as the main focus, a handful of other radio stations as worthy of their own icons and the rest – judging from visual appearances – it seemed to view as less than important.

feel-like-after-thoughts

Sadly, this visual impression was reinforced by the quality of the stations I tried. Singer-songwriter is my favorite music genre. It’s not a mainstream taste, so I was delighted to see that Apple has a music station for it. But was left very far from delighted when I listened to it.

I’m honestly not convinced that whoever curates the station even knows the genre, let alone likes it. I love singer-songwriter music because it’s about raw, honest exploration – but the selection here is mostly just bland.

The rather vaguely-named Alternative station was more successful. It made for good background listening – though I rarely wanted to add anything to My Music. Which was just as well as, on days 3 and 4, continuing glitches meant I couldn’t do so:

apple-music-blank

As regular readers will know, I’m a big fan of Siri, and this was my primary means of interacting with the Music app on my iPhone. Mostly what I did was ask it to play more of artists I’d discovered through Apple Music on my Mac.

siri

I did optimistically try asking Siri to play tracks I’d recently added to Apple Music, but it denied all knowledge. Again, this strikes me as an opportunity to make it feel like a more joined-up service.

Back to iTunes on the Mac, I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with the app. I actually really like it as a music player, but think it’s a horrendous, bloated mess as a device management tool. For those of us fortunate enough to live in countries with iTunes Match and enough bandwidth to rely on iCloud backup, we don’t often have to do battle with the device management side of it, but every time I do, I find myself astonished that a company normally so good at user interfaces could produce anything this bad.

Variety recently suggested that it was time for Apple to adopt the same approach for OS X as it does for iOS, with separate apps for things like videos and podcasts. I absolutely agree with that. Let’s have iTunes be a music player and manager. With the added complexity introduced with Apple Music, that gives it quite enough to do. Let’s give podcasts, videos, app management and device backup their own apps.

Conclusions

We’ll see in three months’ time, when I need to decide whether or not to fork over cold, hard cash, but right now I think I’m going to. I’ve cancelled my Spotify subscription, and (radio stations aside) am currently using Apple Music as my sole music streaming service.

Apple Music has introduced me to artists I really like whose existence might otherwise have passed me by. It has broadened my music world, and that’s something I’ve appreciated very much in this week. If it continues to do so throughout the trial, I’ll be a very happy customer.

For more of our views on Apple Music, check out Chance Miller’s hands-on and detailed review, Dom Esposito’s hands-on video, Jordan Kahn’s piece focused on the issues, and Jeremy Horwitz’s opinion of the UI.

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Comments

  1. Karl Betts - 8 years ago

    Me 2 !!! It’s better than I was thinking it was going to be ! Just need the bugs worked out now !

  2. TfT_02 - 8 years ago

    Ben, great article! You’ve described almost every aspect of Apple Music which I like or dislike. Especially the fact that it’s not trying to learn from my personal music library. It’s slowly getting more accurate for me as well now. Also a happy customer and I’ve also cancelled my Spotify premium account.

    • mepphoto - 8 years ago

      Agree with all of that. Fortunately I had some smart playlists with tracks with over 100 plays and 5 stars so I selected all of them and clicked “love” within an hour the ‘for you’ section became amazing!

    • TfT_02 - 8 years ago

      I’d like to add that it is in fact possible to give some form of negative feedback when you’re on iOS. When viewing the “For You” screen, tap and hold on a suggestion to open up a menu. Select “I Don’t Like This Suggestion”. Weirdest thing is though – that I cannot seem to find this feature in iTunes on OS X.

      • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

        Right, I should have mentioned that – will add. For me, my Mac is the ‘digital hub’ for music; my iPhone is more of a passive listening device.

      • TfT_02 - 8 years ago

        Same goes for me, I manage my music on my mac – though I am sure that the lack of this feature on OS X will get addressed in a upcoming update.

        Hopefully they’ll also make it possible to give negative feedback on specific artists or tracks – and not just on the suggestions made in the “For You” section.

  3. Abraham Song - 8 years ago

    I’m definitely sold. I’ve been Spotify user for a while now, but Beats 1 radio, radio stations, and Apple Music in general to me is a better package than Spotify.

    That said, hugely addicted to Beats 1 radio. I do wonder how long that will last, but I can’t stop listenin’ to it.

  4. James Alexander - 8 years ago

    That would be a nice feature but I have music in my library that is not my favorite but music I might listen to from time to time. Maybe that is a feature the can add soon.

    • TfT_02 - 8 years ago

      Create playlists?

    • Abraham Song - 8 years ago

      You do know you can make playlists that intermix Apple Music’s subscription music with the music that you own. Right?

      • Can’t speak for anyone else, but that doesn’t work for me. Even after turning on iCloud music, one first has to add the new tracks to “My Music” – then (and this is the roadblock), iTunes won’t allow me to drag any of my own music to my iPhone. I’ve tested it with hundreds of tracks on dozens of albums and every one of them pops an error.

      • singingfriar - 8 years ago

        Ditto to what Bruno said. The desktop iTunes for Mac doesn’t seem to allow you to add tracks from Apple Music to playlists without adding them to “My Music” first. The iOS app doesn’t have this bug.

      • Abraham Song - 8 years ago

        @Bruno Ahhh, didn’t know about the iTunes issue (I haven’t used iTunes in almost 2 years now). On iOS itself, it’s working great. Example: I’ve been intermixing my personal Beatles music collection with some of my favs from listening to Beats One radio.

  5. rogifan - 8 years ago

    Ha and that clown Brian S Hall claims Apple bloggers are afraid to say anything negative about Apple Music.

    • chrisl84 - 8 years ago

      Instead they say, its unintelligent, un-intuitive, and siri is unreliable but it introduced me to a few songs I havent heard before so I’ll pay 10 bucks a month.

  6. Honestly the radio stations made from an Artists have been really good at introducing me to new music. Looking for spoken word from the UK is very easy through this system. Comments are completely true about integrating existing library information. Considering mine is >10 years old? wait how old is iTunes… Could have had some serious data mining opportunities there.

  7. Atlas (@Metascover) - 8 years ago

    Owning music is so 2003. Rebuild your preferences from start. Many people, me included, own music we don’t necessarily like. They could have done it so that music that is starred 4 or more would be auto-hearted.

    • Anthony Rossbach - 8 years ago

      I just viewed by songs, order by stars and then selected all my top stars and right clicked and picked Heart. Almost instantly For You is showing some great stuff.

      • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

        Good strategy! Because I’m liking the variety it’s recommending, I’m not going to do the same just yet, but will tuck that away for later.

      • surfingarbo - 8 years ago

        Nice; I did the same with a similar tactic. Set up a playlist with songs of 4-star or higher, and also songs I have listened to ten or more times. Good idea Anthony.

    • dratman - 8 years ago

      Agreed. Though I can imagine how vexing the lack of taste-coordination might be for people who use iTunes more intensively, I feel better about starting over. I never really got the hang of iTunes anyway. A jukebox-like experience works better for me. Also, it seems highly likely that Apple will add the desired coordination in the near future.

  8. PMZanetti - 8 years ago

    Agree on all points. Good article.

  9. cevatkerim - 8 years ago

    I don’t think it is fair to expect Apple to use your data set such as your favorite tracks, number of plays, purchases etc at this point. They simply bought beats music and rebranded it at this moment in my opinion. Next few updates should make it more robust.

  10. Samuel Rivera - 8 years ago

    Great article. My wife and I made the move to Apple Music and cancelled our Spotify subscription. I have been introduced to more new music in the last few days with Apple Music than having to mine through Spotify the past year.

  11. I so want to love it but it’s missing key features. I’ve tried the big three, Pandora, Spotify and Rdio at length. I’ve since settled on Rdio as it combines the best of the other two in my opinion. I prefer low maintenance and Rdio lets me customize my stations and most importantly give feedback remotely both positive AND negative from my phone while it streams from the Mac. If all of a sudden Justin Beaber sneaks into my ears I need to be able to ban it for life ASAP not just fast forward and hope Apple got the hint.

    As you mentioned the fact that it doesn’t scan your library to figure out your tastes is ludicrous. Add to the fact that the sound quality or stream speed is a huge mystery I can’t see myself canceling Rdio as of yet for this in 3 months.

  12. The only thing I’m missing so far is Spotify Connect. I love to control what plays on my iPhone from my Mac. Sometimes it’s just super convenient.

    • friedmud1 - 8 years ago

      You can do that with an Apple Watch. Just sayin’ ;-)

  13. truth42 - 8 years ago

    How are about ‘Make Available Online’ not working at all?

    • tmrjij718 - 8 years ago

      Works for me.

      • truth42 - 8 years ago

        Doesn’t for me.

    • AAPLy yours - 8 years ago

      Works just fine for me and my wife…

      • truth42 - 8 years ago

        It works sporadically for me.

        Downloading a whole album at a time is basically impossible for me. If I try to make each individual track available I sometimes have a little more success.

        Albums I try to download sometimes come in completely wrong (tried to download John Lennon’s ‘Gimme Some Truth’ compilation, for example, was given Lennon’s ‘Double Fantasy).

        Some songs are not available online no matter how many times you try to download it. Others, after nine or ten attempts are suddenly available.

        Different tracks are grayed out and unavailable out to the ones on my wife’s phone.

        On one occasion every album I made available online had Ed Sheeran’s ‘X’ artwork.

        Sometimes the phone will insist on downloading thousands of songs from my iTunes Match library. No amount of restarts or changing the music settings will stop this. Some songs are stuck on downloading forever and cannot be removed from the download lists.

        It’s a mess as far as I’m concerned.

  14. Walter Tizzano - 8 years ago

    I disagree. There’s evidence that the “For you” section heavily depends on my preexistent library. I find plenty of songs that I own in the suggested tracks, some of them too unusual to be simply a coincidence.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

      That’s what makes me think it doesn’t: there’s no sense in suggesting music and artists I already know.

      • larspinkwart - 8 years ago

        The question is whether someone only wants to listen to new music? I guess a lot of people listen to the music they own. The For You Selections shows you new songs as well as “old” songs and for me this is a perfect mix.

      • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

        My view is I have the My Music tab for my own music. I can see your point of view, but I don’t think it can be intentional else Apple Music wouldn’t be offering me Intro To artists I already know.

      • Dan Bo - 8 years ago

        Haven’t you ever bought one song or one album, but later discovered more songs/albums by that artist? Things you had not heard before? It’s really cool when that happens and now it is much easier for that to happen…

      • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

        Absolutely – a For You row something like ‘Albums you don’t own by artists you love’ would be great.

      • Dan Bo - 8 years ago

        That would be awesome if they could do that… Given how clunky iTunes has become (at least on my computer) from iTunes 8 through now it seems a mighty feat for Apple to make that happen right now (but that may only be true for my Mac since I had the 2011 MacBook Pro with a bunch of graphics issues and did a clean reinstall of OS X multiple times until I figured out that it was a graphics issue and not a software issue- which may not have been good for my iTunes Library)

  15. Olivier Pilon (@froli13) - 8 years ago

    I would just love if they eventually make something like a Beats 2 radio station with Alternative/Rock/Indie music instead!

    • Yeah the whole Beats thing is a HUGE turn off for guys like me that despise that type of noise.

      • Which noise are you talking about? The generally crap selection of music or the annoying as a knife in the ear Shane Lowe?

        Unfortunately Apple is missing one payment option that would get me to listen to Beats1. The $10 per day option. They pay me. 1 hour max though.

  16. I can see me moving over to apple music if they fill the gaps in their cataloue, hopefully they’ll have it sorted by the time my free trial is up

  17. Dan Bo - 8 years ago

    I actually think that it is a positive that Music puts albums I already own and artists I know in my For You feed. It makes it easy for me to play albums I already love, if I’m in the mood, easily within my reach without having to go to the My Music tab and search alphabetically for that artist. I think that is actually good design and a feature… Glad to see the overly negative perspective was backed off in this article, as the negativity seemed over the top on other articles.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

      I could value that if it was suggesting music I hadn’t played for a long time. But for me, as someone who normally listens mostly to my own music, streaming is predominantly about discovery.

      • Dan Bo - 8 years ago

        I am also a person who listens to my own music, which is why I am glad they also have it in the same place that I am streaming other suggested music. It’s the best of both worlds right infant of my face. On one hand you say the interface is clunky and that you want it to take into account what you have in your library, then on the other you say you’re content to go to an entirely different tab and scroll through a long list of songs/artists to find your music… I think there are legitimate things Apple could improve, but you seem to have some internal contradictions going on with this complaint.

      • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

        I’m not following your point here – whichever tab I’m in, if I want to listen to a specific artist, album or song I click in the search box and type the name …

      • Dan Bo - 8 years ago

        I guess that’s what I’m saying… There are multiple ways to access our own music that don’t make it necessary to navigate the many tabs that people are complaining about. I can just click from within For You (without having to type anything- it’s all at the tip of my finger) or I can search for the artist I want from the search bar, like you said… There are many ways to get to what you want to get to. It would be awesome if there was an algorithm that showed exactly what you did not own by a specific artist, but I think there is a ways to go before Apple can do that in a way that is consistent. The fact that iTunes Match had so many problems and bugs matching music and making the wrong match is an indicator of the fact that Apple has a ways to go to get something that specific just right.

      • Ben, I don’t think the current state of Apple music really has listeners like you and I in mind. I’m with you in habit and location, listening to my own library usually on a good sound system. I often shuffle from my entire library, or playlists, but most times (and used to be exclusively) I’ll listen to entire albums straight through.

        My music library consists only of music I like. There’s a bunch of music I don’t like stored on the same NAS for the wife and kids, but that’s easily sequestered into a super-set library. :)

        At the moment I’m trying to figure out how I can get Nick Menaji and Karly West out of my “For You” tab. Both, among others I despise, have just found their way into some “POP” playlist that Apple has constructed “for me.” Clearly the hearting I’ve been doing hasn’t worked.

        There’s no way to select “I don’t like” or “less of this” – no amount of long-pressing a song or playlist or artist name will do it. No selecting any buttons, long-pressing heart icons, not even selecting the “…” more option for tracks/playlists. I’ve seen some people mention this, but on my iPhone 4S running 8.4 there are no such features.

      • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

        Yes, you may well be right that you and I aren’t the target market. But Apple has a lot of customers, so figuring out how to keep as many of them as possible happy has to be pretty high up the Apple Music to-do list …

    • Mine has all the “Intro to” sections. For instance Led Zeppelin. I have almost everything they have ever done in my iTunes Library why do I need an intro?

      • Dan Bo - 8 years ago

        You and Ben want total perfection. I get it. I know it’s disappointing when Apple cannot achieve perfection for you, but it’s just reality. Even Apple isn’t perfect. I’m sure you’ll cope just fine by scrolling past that and onto the lengthy list of other recommendations Apple has for you in mass.

  18. Lucas Macedo - 8 years ago

    They really need to fix that Add to Library and Make tracks available offline thing. Having to touch every song to make them available offline is just ridiculous.

    • tmrjij718 - 8 years ago

      The last thing I want is 1000s of songs downloading from accidentally hit the make ‘all’ available offline

    • AAPLy yours - 8 years ago

      You don’t have to touch every track individually. Go to the album view that shows you all the tracks and the “make tracks available offline” will download all of them at once for that album.

  19. From what I’ve read, Apple Music certainly does take into consideration your own Library, and I’ve seen this start to show up in my “For You” section. Also, skipping tracks does NOT effect the algorithm. From what I’ve read, they decided to do this because theres just too many variables on why someone would skip; i.e someone just doesn’t want to listen to that artist/song at this time, but does like them.

  20. MaxBay - 8 years ago

    Half the length, and this article would have been better. Otherwise, decent observations.

    Still not interested in their music service. It doesn’t help that iTunes and Music on my iPhone and iPod Touch are ugly and clunky.

    What’s wrong, Apple? Tired of simplicity and ease of use?

  21. DonRSD - 8 years ago

    Good article.
    I never used Spotify, besides when I signed up for 99 cents a few months ago….even then, I rarely used it.
    I have 125GB worth of music on iTunes Match, which now is in Apple Music.
    100% will use Apple Music for my family of 4 for $15/mo.

    Need to get a new aftermarket radio to incorporate CarPlay feature.
    As it is now, my current 5 year old Pioneer radio works perfectly with Apple Music. All of ym music that came from iTunes Match are also available to play with the touch of a finger….even albums just added on the iPhone.

  22. @Ben, Great article. Aside from the things mentioned about the UI and forth I agree, highly Apple will fixed this with the next few months. Growing up in South America in the 70th I remember sitting with my Granddad while played his RCA Phonograph and listening to American and other world artist from around the world. That experience went away with time, records destroyed, Phonographs what’s that?

    June 30, 2015 that all came back. I’m able to go back in time and revisit all those old tracks and explore new ones. Beyond Apple Music and Beats1 is watching the Twitter feed at 4PM or midnight and folks are listening to Beats1 in Vietnam, Jamaica, UK and all the other 100 plus countries at the same time. I think Apple hit a home run, If they listen and fix the bugs and UI will be nothing but goodness. Sorry about the long comment.

  23. friarnurgle - 8 years ago

    I’m hoping for a pricing war in 3 months.

    • dv1dee - 8 years ago

      I hope you get a pay cut also. Maybe even lose you income totally and become homeless. Doesn’t sound so good? does it now. Smh

  24. 1551denis - 8 years ago

    It would be nice to have more variety of radio stations

  25. Me In LA - 8 years ago

    One thing that will keep this from killing off Spotify for me is no (not that I can see) integration with my SONOS systems. If that comes along, it’s bye-bye to Spotify.

  26. Alan Fahd Huespe - 8 years ago

    In South America, the service is not good yet, intermittent to be accurate.
    Songs don’t add to the playlist sometimes, I have to close session and enter again, this happens on all devices, including Windows PC used at my office. I have canceled Spotify, but still missing it although Apple music is beginning to be an object of my affection, the quick songs update it had also on genres listened nowadays like electronic- tech house.

  27. I really like the Beats 1 Music Station – There’s something sweet about havin’ a real person out there introducing me to new tunes!

    GREAT NEW LOOK AND FEEL!

  28. lkrupp215 - 8 years ago

    “iTunes knows every single artist, album and track I own. Not only that, but it knows which ones I have put into what playlists. It even knows the exact number of times I have played every single track! And Apple uses none of that data in guiding its Apple Music suggestions.”

    And then you would be bitching about Apple invading your privacy and asking how to turn it off.

  29. Glenn Berry - 8 years ago

    iTunes was and remains the biggest pile of dog crap ever introduced to a music library, that said, the streaming service is actually playing new to me music that I like, rather a lot.

    Now, if they’s only buy winamp and Apple it, I’d be happy.

  30. Tony Edwards - 8 years ago

    The BEST thing to me is finally beating the “album only” feature on so many sound tracks etc oh the songs iTunes COULD have sold me over the years… I feel so happy to be able to hear them now for free (for the moment)

  31. Ward Curry - 8 years ago

    I actually really like iTunes, and I always have. I choose “NOT to share any information with Apple” and do not subscribe to iTunes Match, and I have not subscribed to Apple Music. I purely use iTunes as a digital jukebox to play music I have imported from CD, electronic DJ mixes (legal) I have downloaded, or music I have bought from the iTunes Store. Every single file in my iTunes library is DRM-free, no DRM files exist in my iTunes library, and I will not allow them. For that reason, I do not subscribe to any of these services. I can transfer my music files to as many devices as I want, burn them on a CD, or open them and re-edit or mix them with another program of my choosing. So that’s how I have it, and it’s going to stay that way. The threat of this “music sharing” and “DRM” scared me off enough to stay away from these “new” deals which may not pan out to be an advantageous deal after all, when people realize what they are getting into…

  32. MurphyMac (@murphymac) - 8 years ago

    What’s that in the picture?

  33. DamoTheBrave - 8 years ago

    I too have cancelled my Spotify subscription. Apple Music is good enough to be usable but there are some bad decisions.
    – Wherever I can view a single song I should be able to add it to a playlist
    – Wherever I can view a playlist I should be able to create a new one (i.e. if I’m trying to add a song to a playlist that doesn’t yet exist I have to leave that song interface and go to the playlist interface then find my way back to the song)
    – Unified search. OMG how basic is this?? I can search EITHER through Apple’s library OR through my own. I just want to search and see results not check what sort of search I’m doing. It should just work.
    – iTunes purchases should be integrated with streaming music. Have the option to buy the song your streaming beside it. Don’t force me to look in some other interface to buy it. Conversely if I’m in the store interface let me stream the song!

  34. yxzenvnemjesew - 8 years ago

    Do You have Genius turned on in iTunes? I do and get my music coming up in For You. Genius asks for permission to scan your library and send data to Apple. Their privacy agreement would prohibit doing that without permission. Maybe that’s why you’re having to train it?
    I use genius all the time so it has lots of data on my listening habits.

    For you has some great stuff coming up, really enjoying Apple Music. Certainly showed me some new bands I like.

  35. spiralynth - 8 years ago

    My 3 issues:

    – Why is going form a playing track to the album to which it belongs such a multi-click chore. Or going to see that artist’s full discography. There should be simple buttons that say “Go to Album”, “Go to Artist”, “Go to Discography” etc. From everywhere and anywhere. On a scale of 1-10, this ranks an 8 in annoyance.

    – Why does an artist pop up in the “For You” section when I specifically obliterated this particular artist in the “Keep Holding to Remove … 2 … 1 … Gone” process. I don’t want to see, hear or even think about this artist anywhere. There should also be an option to permanently demolish a track from ever appearing anywhere in my vicinity.
    On a scale of 1-10, this ranks a 10 in annoyance, and its failure/absence borders on incomprehensible.

    – Eddie Cue’s tweet: “bit rate depends on whether you are on WiFi or cellular” is unacceptable to me. I alone must have the ability to determine how I burn through my (unlimited) data usage. I’m actively testing how this impacts sound quality when I’m driving around in my car—pretty much the one place where I’m guaranteed to listen to music almost 100% of the time and where sound quality is of paramount importance. On a scale of 1-10, this ranks a 10 in annoyance, and could potentially be a deal-breaker for me.

    As for artist recommendations, it lead me to an artist named Chimp Spanner. Absolutely epic.

    • Good stuff! Thats the first Ive heard anything about bit rate. Spotify noticeably sounds better then this, Pandora or Rdio I just wish it didn’t suck at playing without maintenance and had a remote feedback option.

    • Michael Dean Belisario - 8 years ago

      And you just introduced me to Chimp Spanner! See? This social music experience Apple thingie works! (Time to buy some albums…)

  36. prius3 - 8 years ago

    I cannot stream music in my office over the company’s Wi-fi network.
    I have a 30 mins drive commute and a 3 GB data plan: I cannot really stream each day music or Beats1. I already finish easily 2 GB within the first 2-3 weeks of the month with other apps today.

    Songs matching works…sort of – when it doesn’t (too often), you cannot tell iTunes which song it should really match to. Rendering iTunes Cloud library not really useful.

    If iOS9 and El Capitan don’t smooth the UI and fix the many bugs, I will likely stop using Apple Music and continue to do my own discovering work and syncing my playlists on my Mac.

  37. prius3 - 8 years ago

    Oh yes, and adding to another user’s comment – you cannot buy a song that you are streaming directly – how stupid is that?
    I need to remember title/artist, find it somewhere else and then buy it – why cannot I buy it while I listen it streaming?

  38. Neil Dishman - 8 years ago

    Perhaps I am missing something, or perhaps I am just not using the service correctly – but, one of my favorite functions of Spotify is the ability to see what album a newly introduced (to me) song belongs to – AND then be able to save that album.

    This, for me, is a serious shortcoming of Apple Music. The only way I have found to be able to see what album a new favorite song is a part of is to save that one song to My Music, and then go to My Music section to explore more.

    Way too cumbersome and not useful to me. Spotify has its own issues, but for now will remain as my streaming service of choice.

    Please let me know if I am missing something.

  39. So far I’m happy with Apple Music. But I’d love to see Apple release something called Apple Movies. It would be just like Apple Music services but with movies.

  40. Christopher Lee - 8 years ago

    I can’t really use Apple Music, since my iTunes library is over 100k tracks, iCloud Music Library returns a generic error (-4001) whenever iTunes scans. So I can’t benefit from iCloud anything. Not to mention the playlist havoc it has created, and the fact that you can’t even “quit” iTunes without it damaging your iTunes Library.itl file. Absolutely awful.

  41. gregzx - 8 years ago

    The problem with Apple Music using your iTunes metadata to ascertain your musical tastes is that lots of families just have one iTunes account for all music. Before this service, there was little good reason to have separate accounts for music. I don’t want apple music assuming my wife’s musical tastes are the same as mine, not to mention those of my kid.

  42. Vadim Zakharov - 8 years ago

    I really hate to Make available offline option… Do I really have to do it for every song????

  43. paulkunitzer - 8 years ago

    I am back to spotify… dont feel “at home” in apple music

    • dratman - 8 years ago

      I think Apple will fix that.

    • dv1dee - 8 years ago

      More for me. Lol. Just need the social aspects of Spotify and I’m good. I’m wizzing around the app with ease. Yes it need some improvements but so far, so good here. Maybe the updates will make you feel more comfy.

Author

Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!


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