Since Apple appeared to have rolled the functionality of iTunes Match into Apple Music, it was looking like there wouldn’t be any point in retaining an iTunes Match subscription if you were planning to continue your streaming music subscription after the free trial. But MacWorld senior contributor Kirk McElhearn found that there is one small but crucial difference between the two: DRM … Read more
Apple yesterday rolled out iOS 8.4 to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users and the big news, of course, was the addition of Apple Music and Beats 1. It appears now, however, that Apple removed a feature still used by many from the operating system. As pointed out by several users on Apple’s Support forum, the company appears to have removed Home Sharing support for music in iOS 8.4. The Home Sharing support page has also been updated to reflect that the feature is not present in iOS 8.4.
I’m not expecting here to replicate my rather extensive Apple Watch diary series – I doubt this one will run to four pieces. I’m also not starting out here as an Apple Music skeptic. I’ve been using Spotify for years, and – from a brief trial of Beats Music – started out pretty confident I would be jumping ship once Apple Music launched.
But I do think Apple Music has one thing in common with the Watch: I don’t think it’s possible to judge it without a reasonable amount of usage. So I thought I’d begin with my first impressions and then follow up once I’ve used it long enough to have more to say.
I’m not going to dwell on the launch-day glitches, like the welcome screen (above) left over from the beta, the rather belated iTunes update, Beats 1 outage, frequent spinning beachballs in iTunes and the tracks that either refused to play at all or took an age to do so. Half the planet was simultaneously using the service yesterday, so these things will only become issues if they persist. So leaving those aside, what were my first impressions … ? Read more
Apple Music makes its debut in a few short hours/minutes/seconds and if you want to spend that time reading about what early reviewers thought (after migrating your playlists), we’ve got a list of Apple’s selected journalists who’ve played with the app and listened to the music with a few choice words: Read more
[Update: Apple tells us that The Chronic will definitely be available tomorrow on Apple Music.]
[Update #2: The Chornic is available on Apple Music and available to purchase digitally for the first time on the iTunes Store.]
Taylor Swift’s 1989 album isn’t the only high profile record exclusive coming to Apple’s new streaming music service when it launches tomorrow. Apple Music is said to include Dr. Dre’s classic album The Chronic for streaming, Rolling Stone reports, which will be a digital first for the hip-hop album. Read more
Taylor Swift has answered one of the last remaining questions about Apple Music before it launches: her popular album 1989 will be available on Apple Music when it launches on Tuesday. The development follows Swift’s high profile letter to Apple over how artists would be paid during the streaming service’s 3-month free trial. Apple later reversed its decision announcing it would pay artists during the trial. Read more
Metallica haven’t always been the greatest fans of Apple’s music, criticizing iTunes’ track-based sales model as “contributing to the demise of the album format” and only allowing the band’s music to be sold on the service in 2006 – some three years after its launch. iTunes sales outside the U.S. didn’t happen until 2008.
But while Taylor Swift, Anton Newcombe and others have been attacking Apple Music (something which may or may not now be resolved), Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has been singing the praises of the new service, reports the NY Post.
Speaking at Cannes Lions, drummer Ulrich said he and his Metallica bandmates were excited about the launch of Apple Music’s streaming service. “I think that Apple is just about the coolest company in the world. I am a huge supporter of Apple and all their products, and I have been fortunate enough to meet most of the people there, a lot of the people who make key decisions, and I feel very safe with them,” Ulrich said.
Ulrich said that the band had good relationships with the Apple team, including Tim Cook and Jimmy Iovine … Read more
Update: Apple has responded to Swift’s blog post.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Taylor Swift’s latest album ‘1989’ will not be available on Apple Music, Apple’s streaming music service launching on June 30th with iOS 8.4. She has written a blog post on Tumblr explaining her position.
We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.
Swift explains that she respects Apple for their innovation but says the terms associated with the Apple Music free trial are ‘unlike this historically progressive and generous company’. Swift says that under the 3 month free trial period, artists and rights holders are not paid at all for the duration and notes Apple has plenty of money to reimburse the artists for their work. Swift says that she is holding back 1989 not because she cannot support herself but as a retaliation for ‘the new artist or band that has just released their first single’.
Update: As we suspected, this appears to be a misunderstanding on Newcombe’s part. An Apple spokesperson told Rolling Stone that it is not threatening to remove music from its iTunes store if artists don’t agree to it’s streaming terms.
Anton Newcombe, frontman for Brian Jonestown Massacre, has posted a series of tweets attacking the fact that Apple is paying nothing to artists for streaming their music on Apple Music during the three-month free trial. His tweets claim that Apple told him that his music would be pulled from iTunes if he didn’t agree to the company’s terms for the streaming service.
The biggest company on earth wants to use my work to make money for 3 months and pay me nothing - of I say no,I'm banned—
(@antonnewcombe) June 17, 2015
The fact that Newcombe references a fake Twitter account in one of the tweets suggests that he may not have done due diligence on whatever was actually said to him. A misunderstanding may be more likely than a genuine threat to remove music from iTunes – especially as we already know that Apple won’t be streaming the entire iTunes library.
However, his comments that “the biggest company on earth wants to use my work to make money for 3 months and pay me nothing” and “Apple has more cash reserves than all of these nations yet they want to use my work for free” do reflect views expressed elsewhere in the music industry … Read more
According to a document leaked as part of WikiLeaks’ latest dump of information form the Sony Pictures hack, Apple has been testing and licensing 4K content from Sony since as early as 2013. The document is signed by Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, and former Sony Pictures exec Jim Underwood (via AppleInsider)
The chairman of the British music industry lobby group UK Music says that independent labels may not agree to Apple’s terms for inclusion on Apple Music. Andy Heath told the Telegraph that receiving no payment during the free trial period could leave indies, which include big-name artists like Adele and the Arctic Monkeys, “completely screwed.”
Heath said that while Apple’s argument is that it will pay slightly more once the free trial is over, smaller labels may be concerned that they will see fewer download sales during the free trial – and that this could put smaller companies out of business.
If you are running a small label on tight margins you literally can’t afford to do this free trial business. Their plan is clearly to move people over from downloads, which is fine, but it will mean us losing those revenues for three months.
While this argument wouldn’t apply to big-name artists signed to indie labels, some of them have in the past taken a stand against terms they consider unfair, such as the low payments from Spotify’s free members. Adele famously refused to allow her hit album 21 to appear on Spotify until long after its release … Read more