Apple Music diary Stories October 30, 2015

After a rough start and a mixed early experience, I did finally press the button on Apple Music – a decision I’m grateful for at present as my main Mac is away for repair. This diary piece is as much about that experience as Apple Music, but I will get to music, I promise …

I love a large screen on a laptop, so have stuck doggedly to my 17-inch MacBook Pro, despite the fact that it’s now four years old. It’s a maxed-out late-2011 machine that has been very heavily upgraded over the years, with 16GB RAM and 2TB of SSD storage, and consequently still offers decent performance.

Until recently …  expand full story

Apple Music diary Stories September 23, 2015

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 …  expand full story

Apple Music diary Stories 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

Apple Music diary Stories 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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