Eddy Cue: Apple ‘working’ to bring back music Home Sharing with iOS 9

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Last week, we noted that Apple’s latest iOS 8.4 release with Apple Music removes support for the long-existing Music Home Sharing feature. This function allows an iOS device user to stream music from a computer running iTunes on their own WiFi network. Today, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services noted on Twitter that Apple is “working” to restore Home Sharing functionality in iOS 9. It is likely that Home Sharing was removed in iOS 8.4 due to changes necessary with the record labels to launch the new streaming music service. Cook previously revealed details on this week’s iOS 9 beta, streaming bit rates, and more via Twitter.

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Everything you hate about Apple Music & what needs improving before converting switchers

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Many have praised Apple Music’s launch this week, although the focus has largely been on the free component of the service, a 24/7 streaming radio station called Beats 1. But how are users reacting to the rest of the Apple Music service? It received a lot of positive reviews in the media, but users have noticed some user experience issues and technical hiccups with Apple Music that might keep them from making a switch from the competition when the service’s free three month trial is up. Since the issues aren’t getting a lot of attention from the main stream media, I wanted to share everything we hate about Apple Music so far and what Apple needs to fix before converting potential switchers: Read more

Apple Music diary: Day 1, first impressions

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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.

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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 … ?  Read more

AC/DC will be available on Apple Music, ending its streaming service holdout

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The New York Times reports that AC/DC’s catalog of music will be available on Apple Music starting on launch day tomorrow. In addition to Apple Music, the band’s music will also be available on services such as Spotify and Rdio starting as early as Tuesday. AC/DC to date has never offered its music on streaming services and only joined iTunes 3 years ago in late-2012.

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How-To: Move your playlists from Spotify, Rdio, and more to Apple Music

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With the launch of Apple Music just around the corner, music lovers currently subscribed to competing services like Spotify and Rdio may be looking to jump ship and give Apple’s offering a try. Apple first confirmed in a Beats Music FAQ that there will be a Beats Music update that allows users to import their libraries to the newer service, but users with music collections elsewhere seem to be out of luck without any official migration tool.

Thankfully, there’s an unofficial route to import all of your playlists from multiple services to Apple Music, but you’ll need to act before the 30th if you don’t already have a Beats Music account as Apple could turn off new subscriptions (and trials) at any moment.

Keep reading for instructions…

Taylor Swift says her album ‘1989’ will be on Apple Music

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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

Apple Music royalty rate during free trial on par with Spotify’s 35% deal, at 0.2 cents per play

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A report that Apple would pay music labels a reduced royalty rate during the three-month free trial of Apple Music has been confirmed by labels who spoke to the NY Times. Apple had originally planned to pay them nothing before an open letter from Taylor Swift and complaints from others led to a swift change of plan.

For each song that is streamed free, Apple will pay 0.2 cent for the use of recordings, a rate that music executives said was roughly comparable to the free tiers from services like Spotify. This rate does not include a smaller payment for songwriting rights that goes to music publishers.

Spotify bases its royalty payment for free users on a 35% share, half of the 70% it pays for tracks streamed by paid subscribers …  Read more

Long-time iTunes holdouts Metallica “feel very safe” with Apple Music from “the coolest company in the world”

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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 SwiftAnton 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

Apple Music free trial saga may not be over as Apple likely won’t pay full royalties during trial

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Just as we thought Apple’s u-turn would put an end to the controversy over its original intention to pay artists nothing during the free trial of Apple Music, a statement to the WSJ suggests that there is still time for the saga to turn into a PR nightmare.

While everyone assumed Apple would now be paying artists and publishers the 71.5% royalty rate from day one, it appears the actual amount paid during the free trial will be lower.

Apple declined to say how much it plans to pay during the trial period, though it said the rate will increase once customers start paying for subscriptions.

Eddy Cue’s tweets in response to Taylor Swift’s open letter said only that Apple “will pay artist for streaming” and “will always make sure artists are paid,” stopping short of promising to pay the full royalty rate from day one …  Read more

Taylor Swift says ‘1989’ is not on Apple Music because she is disappointed by 3 month free trial terms for artists

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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’.

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Apple Music passes on >70% of subscription payments to labels, but pays nothing during free trial

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Suggestions that Apple will pay music owners just 58% of subscription payments for its Apple Music service are not true, says the company. Robert Kondrk, the Apple VP who has been working with Eddy Cue on negotiating deals with music labels, says that company actually pays a little more than the industry-standard 70% figure.

In the U.S., Apple will pay music owners 71.5 percent of Apple Music’s subscription revenue. Outside the U.S., the number will fluctuate, but will average around 73 percent, he told Re/code in an interview. Executives at labels Apple is working with confirmed the figures.

The 58% number doing the rounds earlier this month appears to be based on a misunderstanding: that’s the usual cut for the label, which owns the recording; the publisher, which owns the rights to the song itself, gets a 12% cut. Add the two together, and you get the 70% number that is standard for streaming music services.

But the most interesting revelation to me was that Apple is not paying music labels a single cent for tracks streamed during the three-month free trial period …  Read more