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Apple Music Diary: Decision time – is it worth the money? [Poll]


My first impressions of Apple Music weren’t great. I loved the first ‘For you’ recommendation it made, but the service then seemed to be completely ignoring what it should already know about my taste in music and offering me a lot of what I already owned. I also had a number of complaints about the user interface.

One week in, I was still unhappy with it continuing to offer to ‘introduce me’ to artists whose music I already owned, and was pretty unimpressed with the radio stations, but I was enjoying its hit-rate in recommending artists new to me.

With the three-month almost at an end, it’s time to make a decision about whether the service is worth paying for … 

My complaints about the user interfaces of both iTunes and the iOS Music app mostly remain. Apple has done a little tinkering around the edges, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Apple has at least acknowledged that, iTunes International VP Oliver Schusser stating that the company is “adding features and cleaning up certain things” – which I’m hoping goes beyond the changes seen in iOS 9.

My disillusionment with Apple Music’s radio offerings – both old and new – also continued. Beats 1 was never going to be for me, but none of the old radio stations grabbed me either. As I said last time, the one station that should have been tailor-made for me, Singer-songwriter, was a massive disappointment. Whoever curates it seriously needs to be fired. Alternative was okay-ish for background listening, but the ‘ish’ won out over the ‘okay’ and I abandoned that too.

If Apple Music radio was a fixed offering, I’d have stopped bothering to ever click on the tab by now. But Apple does add new goodies from time to time, like these Apple Music Festival offerings.


For that reason, I do still check on on it every now and then, just to see what’s new, but mostly I view it as junk. Which brings us back to the all-important For You tab. If Apple Music was going to win me over, it needed to get this right.

Like any streaming music service, I needed to give Apple Music a chance to learn my tastes. Spotify has literally years of data on my listening preferences, and here I was going to be making the decision on whether or not to switch based on just three months’ usage of Apple Music. I decided that to be scrupulously fair, I would make a religion of training it.

Sure, there were times when I just left it playing in the background, but as someone who doesn’t own a TV, I’m a pretty active music listener a lot of the time. So a good 90% of the time, I religiously used the Love or Dislike options on every track that I felt strongly about one way or the other.


Which brings me to a brief aside on the lack of joined-up design between the Apple Music experience on OS X and iOS: in iTunes, you dislike a track or album by selecting the ‘…’ menu and choosing ‘Recommend Less Like This’; in the iOS Music app, you press on the recommendation and select ‘I don’t like this suggestion’ – despite the fact that the ‘…’ menu exists in the Music app too. Different method, different wording.

I also noted what we learned from The Loop – that Apple Music doesn’t care if we skip a track, as that could be just because we’re not in the mood at the time, but it does give credit for tracks listened to in full, assuming we like those. So I tried to ensure I listened to the very end of any track I liked, even if I was keen to listen to something else immediately afterwards.


I complained at length in my previous diary pieces that Apple Music didn’t seem to take into account my own music library, recommending albums I already owned, and even offering to ‘introduce’ me to some of my favorite artists. Phil Schiller insists that Apple Music does learn from our libraries, and presumably intends to resurface albums we own but haven’t listened to for a while. I was skeptical, because it seemed to recommend albums I not only own but have played recently. In the above clipping, for example, are three albums I own, one of which I’d played within the past week (no, it’s not Shania Twain).

So I decided I’d look on recently-played examples as bugs, and ignore the wording of ‘Introduction to’ recommendations and simply treat those as a way to play a different mix from an artist whose work I already owned. That mental shift made a surprisingly big difference, no longer finding myself irritated by those suggestions, viewing them instead as a ‘Hey, are you in the mood for some …’ prompt instead.

And you know what? Sometimes I was. In the first week, I was very focused on its ability to introduce me to new artists – on which more in a moment – so just viewed already-owned music as a distraction. But once I settled more into a mix of old and new music, sometimes its suggestions were good ones. I haven’t figured out if there’s any particular methodology behind them – like gentler music in the morning and louder music later – so maybe it’s just randomly pulling stuff from my library, but I can live with that.


But music discovery remains key for me. I don’t need a streaming music service to listen to my own music, even if it does give me prompts I wouldn’t otherwise get. And it’s here that Apple Music really has excelled. Even a week in, I found it was broadening my musical horizons significantly, and it’s continued to do so, recommending artists I’d likely never have discovered any other way. Some of those artists have become favourites.

In three months, it has introduced me to more new artists I like than Spotify has in literally years. More than I’ve discovered through recommendations from friends. More than I’ve found by Shazamming tracks in bars and coffee shops.

That’s huge. And while the UK does get a raw deal on pricing, it’s still less than than the cost of one album per month. So yes, for me Apple Music is worth it, and I’ll be continuing my subscription once Apple starts billing me in a week’s time. My Spotify subscription got cancelled a week in, and I won’t be renewing it.

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  1. greenhut (@greenhut) - 8 years ago

    I prefer most things about Spotify, but am switching to Apple Music for one reason: 6 family members have access for $15.

  2. For me, it’s worth it. Why?

    1. Since the iTunes Music Store opened, that is where I have purchased almost all of my music.
    2. I’ve never used Spotify; Apple Music is my first album-based streaming service.
    3. I like to buy one new album every week or so, as does my wife.
    4. Thus, at $15 a month, we save money.

    (That all changes if Apple Music goes away, as all the albums I would have bought, I now wouldn’t own, because I depended on streaming to provide me with everything I wanted to hear. So I guess, in part, I’m betting that streaming is where music is heading, just like TV.)

  3. Nick Donnelly - 8 years ago

    The music is lower quality (bitrate – 256 vs 320) than Spotify – so it’s a non starter. No one interested in audio quality should consider Apple Music.

    • Max Mars (@devianter) - 8 years ago

      too bad you don’t even know what that means, because AAC 256 is just like spotifyes 320

    • slicecom - 8 years ago

      Wow, you have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s not as simple as “a higher number is better” when you’re comparing different codecs.

    • Some Dude in NC - 8 years ago

      I’ll echo more politely what Max says. The different codecs are important. AAC is less bad. I wouldn’t claim to be any sort of expert, but I own about 8000 songs, most of which are 320 bit mp3, and I was surprised at how good Apple’s stream sounds. I was expecting some kind of horror show, but… no. Pretty good. Subjectively, it sounds at least as good as my own 320 bit mp3’s do. So… in my experience, if 320 bit is good enough for you, Apple’s stream probably is, too. So given that and the value proposition of having 30 million songs available vs. buying one or two albums a week for the same price I’m going to stay with it.

  4. j0hnf23 - 8 years ago

    I’m staying with Apple Music. The family plan is a very good offer.

    Hopefully they get their sh*t together and do some cleaning & unifying on the user interface (iOS & OS X).

    For example I don’t know how to search for a song in my playlist on my iPhone?

    It would be cool if it showed which songs / playlists are available for offline use…

    For now I’m staying with Apple Music

  5. Since I outsourced all my physical CDs to iTunes Match and spent thousands of Euros for music on the iTunes Music Store since 2004, I think it’s pretty handy to have all this in one place and accessible from everywhere. I see the new streaming thing as a bonus. And I did discover a couple of new bands thanks to their recommendations. It’s just the most convenient solution for me. And, unlike other things Apple, it does not cost more than the competition.

    • mrtengel - 8 years ago

      Euros … Then as a fellow European: Do you – like me – think the suggestions for European music are rubbish? If I play French electronica, iTunes suggests more French artists. But forgets the rather important “electronica” part. Likewise, when I play British electronica (or another genre with an international selection of bands), the suggestions are mainly American.

      For electroclash, it became rather strange. Berlin had a lot of experimental, electroclash (or similar) music, festivals and happenings. Yet iTunes appears unable to make the relevant connections to allow me to explore recent trends. And the “For You”-section is just a huge “We don’t do automated analytics very well!”.

      Yes, it is an American company, and Yes, Spotify will help me find similar (European) artists. Just a bit … disappointing. Big data and analytics should not be based on country, should it?

  6. taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

    I wish Apple Music was around 8-10 years ago when I was spending $40-$50 a week on CD’s. It’s why I find it funny when people around my age say Apple Music is to expensive. I wish Apple got its $7 a month pricing it was seeking in the US.

    I’m curious how Apple a Music will do in countries like Russia with heavy illegal downloads, but a $3 a month subscription to Apple Music.

    I also don’t have any problems of the interface of Apple Music. I the experience is best to me on my iPad. It’s time to kill iTunes for Mac and Windows and start from scratch.

    • 89p13 - 8 years ago

      I, too, have a tremendous collection of CDs – going back more than 30 years – and I hate the look and feel of the current iTunes! I am in the process of ripping all my physical media to a 40TB media NAS – but I have yet to bring any of this material into the current iTunes as, IMO, iTunes is built to encourage you to buy your songs from Apple, not import your own files into it.

      I also keep hoping that Apple will support FLAC but I don’t foresee that happening, so I have to convert my FLAC encoded files to ALAC and store them in a separate directory.

      It’s my hope that Apple will come around with a version of iTunes that is more “friendly” to the people who have large collections of physical media – but, I’m not holding my breath!


      • galley99 - 8 years ago

        I’ve got 4,300 CDs imported into iTunes and I have no problems with it.

  7. Blair Scott - 8 years ago

    Absolutely not (for me).

    The service is fine if you don’t have a large music library already that you care about. It doesn’t do anything better than Spotify did years ago nor does it do anything better than Google Music. The one thing I was looking forward to was a desktop player in iTunes but that was a miserable experience and given that I primarily listen on my computer at work, I can’t justify spending money on that experience. Google Music is only 8 bucks and doesn’t screw up my library (literally making me unable to listen to certain songs unless I’m on my home computer listening which I never do).

  8. shondempsey - 8 years ago

    It’s interesting you had luck with discovery on iTunes and not Spotify. I have the exact opposite. Spotify’s recent “discovery” personalized playlists, refreshed each Monday, have netted me more new artists that are so scary to my taste in the last several weeks than I’ve found in years. Similar experiences with my coworkers too.

    Unfortunately for me, iTunes is out until they fix the UI consistencies cross platform (as you menrioned) and add something as simple as “shuffle this artist”. The radio feature is trash.

  9. iSRS - 8 years ago

    No brainer for me and my wife and two girls (10/13).

    And for some reason, the My Music tab is empty for me since the update to iOS9. Just for me in our family. Something happened I think, but since my 6s comes Friday, I figured I would wait and set that up as new (also, and I believe related, I can’t download podcasts anymore in the default app. I can listen, but not download) to see if this fixes it.

    I have iTunes Match and will continue with that as well, since it will keep my non-DRM files

    As a result, this part really grabbed me, as I felt the same way you did initially.

    “So I decided I’d look on recently-played examples as bugs, and ignore the wording of ‘Introduction to’ recommendations and simply treat those as a way to play a different mix from an artist whose work I already owned. That mental shift made a surprisingly big difference, no longer finding myself irritated by those suggestions, viewing them instead as a ‘Hey, are you in the mood for some …’ prompt instead.”

    This worked perfectly. Brought up some of my go to recently, and rocked out to Boston last night as a result!

  10. Martyn Drake - 8 years ago

    I will say that it’s gone from a bug-ridden pile of rubbish through to something that works rather well. There is still *considerable* amount of work to be done with iTunes, however as there are still many inconsistencies.

  11. galley99 - 8 years ago

    If Apple Music was a separate app that only monitored my iTunes library, I would probably subscribe. For now, I’m sticking with Rhapsody.

  12. Definitely worth it, compared to pre Spotify times, when I bought all my music on iTunes, I’m saving a ton of money and the app is only going to get better. Also Shopify doesn’t have Taylor Swift so thats a total no go xD

  13. Josie (@josie) - 8 years ago

    I actually went back to Google Music. I think that Google Music’s Songza integration for music based on mood is vastly superior to Apple’s curation. I also really like the YouTube Music Video integration and find myself using that for background music and visuals and have actually had some music discovery with their recently updated Music Video playlists. If Apple created some Music Video playlists I would consider going back to Apple Music.

  14. cody1213 - 8 years ago

    I’m a heavy music listener who has had streaming services as long as streaming services have existed. Apple Music is probably my favorite software Apple has released. My taste tends toward classic funk/soul/R&B/hip hop. The other day, it recommended a playlist of hip hop tracks that sampled James Brown’s Funky President. I cannot tell you how many times Spotify or Pandora pushed me towards watered down funk instead of more obscure, but deeper pocket funk.

    Also, Apple Music is the first service I’ve found that understands that soul/R&B isn’t one genre. If I make an Otis Redding station, Apple Music understands that I want 60’s soul with a focus on the Memphis sound. If they add in a blue-eyed soul act, it’ll be Dusty Springfield and not (as with Spotify and Pandora) Adele or someone like that. (I do like Adele but context matters. I dislike Adele in the middle of a Stax Records binge.)

    Beats 1 is also right up my alley. Abstract Radio is appointment listening. The Pharmacy and Ovo Sound drive the discussion on my Twitter feed as much as anything on TV.

  15. Jesse Nichols - 8 years ago

    We’re a bit divided on this subject in my house. I like Apple Music. It’s done a pretty good job of recommending new artists for me and I like the look and feel of it (despite a few UX/UI inconsistencies that need to be addressed).

    My wife is in love with Spotify, though. She really likes that they send her emails when a new song comes out by one of her favorite artists. She loves that they create a new playlist for her each week that is dropped directly into her playlist “list”. For me, these are inconsequential, but her first question to me about Apple Music was “Will they send me an email when my favorite artists release new music?”.

  16. johnmfoley - 8 years ago

    Ben, I had the same mental shift about the “Introduction to lists…” it really changed how I thought of the For You tab too. I think it may make sense if they just renamed it to “Best of…” or if it could dynamically display the artist list as Best of VS Introduction to depending if any songs of that artist are in your library.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

      Yes, dynamic naming would be ideal, otherwise ‘Best of’ or ‘Enjoy’ or some such would be fine.

    • I understand your point, but I kind of like these lists. I’m not used to playlists. I used to listen to albums, from beginning to end, and I rarely skip tracks. I don’t know why, maybe out of a weird idea that an artist has an idea about how we should listen to an album. Like a concert. So listening to a new mix of music I already know is a welcomed surprise.

      Besides that, I think “introduction to” is better than “best of”. To me, “best of” sounds like a cheap collection of chart breakers from Woolworth’s while “introduction” sounds more like someone put thoughts into introducing this artist to me. It’s a more complex idea of presenting it, maybe the best songs to introduce someone aren’t the hits.

      • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

        Yes, I take your point on the feel of ‘Best of.’ Perhaps ‘ collection’ or similar.

      • I like how “Intro to The Smith’s” is compared “The Smith’s for experts”. I easily understand that the former is an easy-going playlist, maybe better suited for a dinner party, while the latter might have more complex and strange songs.

        There are also a lot of “Intro” lists for other artists that might not be part of your own collection. I think it is a good Idea to name all these playlists that share the same idea of “easy access” the same. Like an editorial category.

        (I don’t know if there’s actually a playlist “The Smith’s for experts”, that is just a guess based on the German “The Smith’s für Kenner”.)

  17. minieggseater - 8 years ago

    I assume I am not subscribed unless I hit Join Apple Music in My Account ?

  18. I just started a Spotify trial at the same time, and honestly, I haven’t touched Apple Music since a week after I started the trial. Spotify is significantly superior. Apple lost the software UIX game long ago, sadly. Their default apps are the crappiest of the crappiest on iOS.

  19. staywhatyouare2 - 8 years ago

    I wish there was a way to “Manually Manage Misic” still. I really like the streaming service but wish I could make music available offline without completely wrecking my existing iTunes library. Still undecided if I will keep it or not.

  20. Adam Pardy (@elpardo) - 8 years ago

    I am undecided, I joined the free trial late as I have recently switched back to an iPhone(never again will I leave you Apple!) I mostly find it incredibly buggy especially around offline storage as I live in London and travel on the tube every day that is where a lot of my listening is done (annoyingly our firewalls make using it very difficult from my desktop) I’ve found it forgets about things Ive downloaded and I end up with a lot of orphaned files(especially a problem as I could only afford to get an 8gb 5c out of my usual upgrade cycle) I’ve had to reset my phone twice because of this which is frustrating. Other than that its largely the same as spotify and I will stick with it if the above is sorted as I can get the family pack with my wife.

  21. Walter Tizzano - 8 years ago

    Not until they charge UK silly money; it’s unfair we pay more than anyone else and I won’t accept it. They can fix all the other issues later (and delete Beats 1 for what I care), but pricing is definitely wrong and unacceptable. If and when they will correct the price I will consider paying for it, and I hope many Brits will do the same, so they will know we are not stupid as they think.

    • IanP - 8 years ago

      I’m with you there. Apple pricing in the UK is definitely unfair. If forced to do it by music licensing organisation then they still don’t get it – Get pricing wrong and so called piracy is encouraged, not that I’ve ever done it.

      Pricing has got to come down by close to half on any of these music subscription services before I’ll consider it. Services should offer a yearly subscription that is much cheaper than paying on a monthly basis.

      I’ve enjoyed Apple Music during the trail but set my subscription to not renew. I’ll be tweeting my displeasure on the pricing on 30 September when my trial ends.

  22. planetfab - 8 years ago

    No Sonos integration, No go. I know that Apple said they were working on this, but the service should have been available and integrated upon the initial release. I don’t use just one service, and Sonos offers universal search through their app, a huge plus if you want variety.

  23. slicecom - 8 years ago

    Not now, maybe later. It needs some big improvements. Still very buggy and overly complicated. Very un-Apple-like.

  24. Yorick van W - 8 years ago

    it is too messy…. I was dying to like it, but whilst travelling abroad it crashed twice and removed all (my own) music from my device and try restoring that whilst roaming. It just is too unreliable. I loved the curated playlists, especially by outsiders like resident advisor…. but I think it needs at least a year to become stable. And hopefully by that time they will have unlocked it from iTunes, that bloated piece of non-functioning software. It’s consistent, that I have to give it… It has been consistently bad for the past decade… Back to Match, hopefully they will sort that out soon….

  25. Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 8 years ago

    “Recommend LESS like this”. I hadn’t seen that, and I’m utterly gob smacked. Who on earth wrote that? Does Apple employ people who can speak English? A grammar mistake so childish as to be imbecilic.

    Appalling use of language aside, I’m finding Apple music to be pretty decent. It does surface new music for me every now and again, and some of it I actually like. That said, the catalogue is still far too small when compared to the full iTunes catalogue, the “for you” section still feels utterly random, Beats One is every bit as awful as Radio One, and clearly designed for 14 year olds, and the Connect section has little in it (despite me following many artists).

    I see a lot of oddities too. Right now I have an “Intro to Radiohead” section in For You, despite me already owning every Radiohead album. It makes no sense.

    The price in the UK really rubs me the wrong way too. There’s no logic behind it, it’s simply a scam.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

      The phrasing depends on how you read it: if you think of it as less albums or playlists like this, then it’s wrong, but ‘less music like this’ would be correct.

  26. usmansaghir - 8 years ago

    Definitely staying with  Music. So much less hassle. No need to plug my iPhone into my PC and transfer my music. That had become a monthly thing for me to transfer any new music. Im not saying  Music has all of my music. But it has helped me find new music.
    Really hope Apple put some new features in on next iOS
    1- A option where i can make all my music to offline mode.Instead of doing it one by one.
    2- Making them offline mode on 1 device and the 2 device automatically turned offline.
    3- simplified U.I.

    Overall really happy with  Music.

  27. Drew (@gettysburg11s) - 8 years ago

    I was leaning towards Apple Music, but then decided no. Why? After using the service for about a month, I realized that I mostly listen to streaming radio, not full albums. I like to listen to specific artists and comedians, and ones like them. So, I decided to go back to Rdio’s select plan. For 4 bucks a month (as long as you subscribe via their website), you get unlimited skips, no Ads, and you actually can download 25 tracks per day of anything. So, if I do want to listen to a new album, I certainly have the option of downloading it. The curated stations aren’t bad either.

  28. Igor Magnani - 8 years ago

    Apple music is “album driven” and I’m not an Album kind of guy. I like creating playlists, sharing playlists, seeing what my friends are listening to.
    I also like to own my music, so I can put it in the device I want and listen to it where I want, even in a plane, without have to remembering to make them available offline before traveling. So, no, I didn’t really liked the idea of mixing online, offline and owned content all at the same place because at some point I’ll probably loose track of it.
    Conclusion: I’m keeping Spotify

  29. soregashi - 8 years ago

    I really, really miss the social features of Spotify and that’s the main reason I’ll be back to it. Also the interface is a disaster, on all Mac, PC and iOS. Unless they update it pretty soon – I’m off Apple Music for now.

  30. x0epyon0x - 8 years ago

    I’ll be switching from Android to iPhone when my 6s comes in on Friday, but Apple Music offers no compelling reason for me to switch from Google Play Music. All of my converted physical media is already uploaded there and I got in on the $7.99/mo pricing when it first came out. The interface is nice, my current library is integrated with the streaming service, and it has a huge selection of content.

  31. michaelcpearson7 - 8 years ago

    I’m not keeping the service because I think it’s perfect. Far from it. But one thing it offers that no one else does is the Family Plan for $15. I have a family of 5 and with 3 teenagers you can’t beat the price. We can compare features until our faces turn blue but at the end of the day all music services offer 1 basic feature: unlimited music. For kids that is all that matters.

  32. I use Apple Music a lot, daliy, I’m even using it currently. However, as a college student, I’m torn from paying for Apple Music, Lightroom and Photoshop, or Netflix. I would like to have 2 of these services, and I like them all. Netflix, is a must, so I need to decide between Lightroom and Photoshop, as a photographer, Lightroom and Photoshop are important to me, but I’m also an avid music fan and listen to it all the time, and there is where I’m torn between Lightroom and Photoshop and Apple Music, both of which are priced at $9.99/mo. If Apple had a combined service option, say like you buy an iCloud storage tier, lets say the 50GB or higher, you get Apple Music included, that would make me happy!

  33. claytonkimball - 8 years ago

    After extensive use I don’t get the impression Apple Music has learned nearly anything about my music taste. The For You section seems totally generic. I’m also annoyed that it has three times turned back on Explicit Music.

  34. Sonny Westmoreland - 8 years ago

    I gave it a shot for about 4 hours. The desktop player in iTunes is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I honestly couldn’t figure it out at first. I mostly listen on my desktop and spotify will probably have me as a customer for life.

  35. elilabes - 8 years ago

    Initially i couldn’t even play or download music without something going wrong, my main problem was that it would delete my music periodically every day and i would have to download it all again. Now the bugs seemed to have been smothed out and it is a great experience to use apple music. There is still much to do and finally a shuffle button was included which bogles my mind at why they thought they could get away with missing such an important feature. Audio quality is perfectly fine and unless you have proper headphones like audio technia then you wont notice any difference. HOWEVER i am still waiting for them to re add the show rest of album button. When listening to music on shuffle and i come across a song on an album and it reminds me of another good song on the album they took away the button that would allow me to do this and it drives me CRAZY.

    I will continue to pay and apple has smoothed the experience out greatly from the first version that was completely un-usable.

  36. gshenaut - 8 years ago

    For me, it’s the breadth of the offering that makes it worthwhile. I pretty much agree that as of yet, it doesn’t do a good job predicting what I’ll like (although there have been some successes), but I have very odd tastes in music, and there are many things I never like and many that I am in the mood for only infrequently. I’ve also tried some of their curated channels and they don’t make it for any length of time either. So, my approach so far has been to use the search function and then play around with the channels that their algorithm generates from the results, repeating until I get one I like. When I get tired of it, I just go again. I almost always hit something I like fairly quickly. I could never do that if I had to buy everything or if the system didn’t have so many tunes on it.

    On the other hand, it would be great if they actually did start making more useful suggestions. Maybe they will, but even if not, I’m fine so far with what it is.

  37. Smigit - 8 years ago

    Yeah, I like it. I’d pay for it but as an added bonus the Telco Telstra here in Australia is offering free 12 months membership to the service, so it’s not costing me anything anyway.

  38. I am somebody who buys about 3 songs every week. I currently use the free version of Spotify, which is fine for me because I usually listen from my MacBook Pro, but I also have a few songs in iTunes. I’m not actually the biggest fan of streaming because you can’t download the songs and put them on a USB stick. I don’t like iTunes either, because you have to pay for every song you download. What I would like would be a monthly fee to download a certain number of songs per month. This would just make my life so much easier. But, I still want the artists to make money, because I think music is a great career. And Apple Music just isn’t there yet for me.

  39. jimgramze - 8 years ago

    I have all my music backed up and stored. Any song I want to listen to, in any genre, all I have to do is call it up in Apple Music. And any oddball songs or even stuff I’ve written is covered by iTunes Match. I don’t have to store anything locally anymore so I don’t. Well worth the money to me. I don’t see ever buying music again, Apple Music is my library.

  40. rsnyder6 - 8 years ago

    I didn’t think I was going to care much either way for Apple Music. I’ve not had enough interest to try the other services. (I use Pandora, and the iTunes stations, but no Spotify or the like.)

    But I’m going to keep it. I like the easy access to new albums. The family deal (four of us) seems a good deal. I am still buying music, particularly some of the rarer stuff you can’t find everywhere. I think I’m still in the old habit of buying music that I’ve been in since the 60s, and I like that if I decide to quite streaming music, I’ll still have my music. Though I also like I don’t have to buy everything, but can still give a good listen to music.

  41. gcfio (@gcfio) - 8 years ago

    Apple music is ok. I do like the price of $14.99 for a family and the fact that I can cut explicit lyrics off for my kids or when I am at work streaming (my biggest spotify beef for years!). I did disconnect my itunes library from apple music. Apple music was using up a couple of gigs of memory on my phone when I had the icloud music library option checked on. Besides, it wouldn’t recreate any of my local playlists and wouldn’t let me share those songs with the rest of the family. It just made a big mess.

  42. Tom (@TommieWho) - 7 years ago

    I find the For You section completely uninteresting because, as mentioned, it contains so much of the music and artists I already own. Usually if I like an artist, I get all of their music that I like, so, the playlists of single artists are the least interesting because they usually contain songs I already have and have listened to or song that I have no interest in listening to, which is why I didn’t buy them in the first place.

    That you have to click on “New” to see Apple Music selection is utterly confusing, like most of the iTunes interface lately. The only way I discover new artists is looking in there and trying stuff out. The writer mentions looking at “recently-played examples as bugs,” where can I find a list of recently played music and what does he mean by “bugs”?

    I also think it’s strange that Apple Music and the iTunes Store have a wall between them. If I see a new recording in the iTunes Store, there should be a way for me to listen to the album easily in Apple Music if available with one click, but, I have to click on New then search for the recording again there.

    I’m not really sure if I’ll continue after the trial, I haven’t really found enough new music to keep me interested, and I find all the recommendations uninteresting or irrelevant. The only radio station I frequently listen to is Electronic Chill, and I hate about half the songs that are played which don’t sound like Electronic Chill at all. I had no idea there was a way to tell Apple I didn’t like a song, now that I do I’ll start using it.

  43. Felix Jensen - 7 years ago

    Apple Music’s catalog is fine, Beats 1 radio is cool, the family pricing is great, but… the UX is terrible and streaming is slow. I’m using both Apple Music and Spotify but Apple Music streaming is definitely a bit slower when you start a new song. If Apple wants to compete with Spotify, they really have to clean up the UI in the iPhone app and especially on desktop. Desktop needs a stand-alone Apple Music app, like Spotify has. I don’t want to have iTunes start a bazillion of services up just so I can stream some music. iTunes is slow and Apple Music should be outside of it. It’s back to Spotify for me after the trial ends today.


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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