Spotify ▪ July 7

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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

Spotify ▪ July 6

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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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Spotify ▪ July 2

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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: expand full story

Spotify ▪ July 1

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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.

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

Spotify ▪ June 30


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: expand full story

Spotify ▪ June 29

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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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