Music ▪ July 9, 2015

The tech sector does love its hype. Every new product is revolutionary. All new apps are ground-breaking. Everything anyone ever launched is going to change the way we do X. Almost without exception, it isn’t, they aren’t and it doesn’t.

But the iPod in 2001 definitely qualified. That simple, clever marketing slogan – “a thousand songs in your pocket” – beautifully summarised something that really was revolutionary. For the first time ever, we could carry close to a hundred albums in a device that slipped into our pocket and could go everywhere with us. Most of us listened to a lot more music in a lot more places.

It also propelled Apple along a new path. It’s no exaggeration to say that without the iPod, there would likely never have been an iPhone. The iPod revolutionized music and also transformed Apple.

But there have been a couple of recent signs that Apple no longer views the iPod as an important product …  expand full story

Music ▪ July 7, 2015

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 …  expand full story

Music ▪ July 6, 2015

Apple Music was a service that I was incredibly excited about when Apple announced it last month at WWDC. I’ve written a lot about music here at 9to5Mac and every time I explain how big of a music fan I am. When I’m in my office, I always have music playing, whether it be radio or a specific artist or album. For the past two years, I’ve been using Spotify for all of my streaming music needs. I never had a problem with the service, especially recently as it has upped the quality of both its iOS and Mac apps to be both more stable and feature-rich. A combination that is hard to come by nowadays.

Being the Apple fanboy that I am, however, I obviously had to give Apple Music a try. For the past week, I’ve been using the service as my exclusive source for music. How does it compare to Spotify? Is it enough to make me permanently switch? Read on…

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Music ▪ July 1, 2015

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.

glitches

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 updateBeats 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 … ?  expand full story

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